Chief of Akwamu Adumasa, Nana Ansah Kwao IV has bemoaned how some parents use their daughters as bait to stock their material life and make the process of marriage rite complex to some men.
The Chief made this revelation while touching on the need for parents and Ghanaians to appreciate the local marriage rite called “engagement” during That’s My Opinion radio show on Joy FM.
According to him, it is alarming how some parents ridiculously demand outrageous bride price and long lists from men who want to marry their daughters.
He clarified that the woman who would be given out to marriage was not for sale. In the olden day’s dowry was presented to the bride’s family to express some form of gratitude for grooming the woman for marriage, the host explained.
Furthermore, Nana Ansah Kwao IV said the dowry was to identify that the would-be wife comes from a home and a community, adding that it was to acknowledge all those who contributed to the lady’s upbringing which got her attracted to you.
According to him, the dowry was more symbolic than the recent costs involved in getting married and while advising against pronouncements by parents along the lines of: “my daughter had her tertiary education at Harvard University and her fees for the entire programme read was $400,000 so pay me back for adding value to my daughter’s life”.
He condemned parents who even go to the extent of demanding airline tickets, expensive jewelry among other irrelevant materialistic products which has got nothing to do with the rite.
Nana Ansah Kwao IV explained that in Ghana, marriage is a bond between two families and that was why a man could be out of the country while the woman is also in another country but they could still marry in a community somewhere in Ghana on condition that the two families have agreed for a marriage to happen.
According to him, marriage has always been an affair of two families who binds it and is also sealed in heaven, but in recent times people entangle themselves with excessive cost which has tendencies of incurring future financial problems in their marital life right after the flashy wedding.
“In the olden days, our forefathers did not use any wedding gowns with extra events for their wedding and engagement ceremonies but enjoyed their marriage, and women maintained their identity by not changing their biological names to use their husband’s name, until the enlightened women who attained some level of education wanted their marriage ceremonies looked similar to that of their colonial masters and changed their names to use the ‘Mrs’ title”, Nana Ansah Kwao IV explained.
“Our traditional marriage rite was very imperative and emulating in a sense that there was nothing devilish attached to it, but rather bonded the couple by attracting blessings to them in order to have a fruitful and peaceful marriage”, he stressed.
The Chief said in the olden days there was feast made of a mixture of palm oil and mashed yam with eggs which signified “what God has put together, let no one separate.” This simply means that what God has ordained is ordained in Heaven, while the eggs used for the feast signified life for the new couples.
He underscored that there was no evil motive behind the old ways of getting married which the radio host believes was full of blessings to the couple and ensured sanity in society.
Nana Ansah Kwao IV highlighted that in recent times, every man would have to get a cake to be cut at his wedding because it was the norm which is practiced at every marriage ceremony.
The Traditional ruler attributed that the use of candles and cakes at marriage ceremonies had its own implications linked to the history of westerners who have so many superstitions connected to the spirits and goddess of the west.
He lamented that Africans see everything that belongs to the white as a good, but ignore the mashed yam known as “eto” which was used for celebrations in our Ghanaian setting by considering it devilish.
Nana Ansah Kwao IV admonished Ghanaians to embrace their old cultural values because it has more life in it than destruction.