High Cost of Marriages And Burial Ceremonies In Nigeria – What To Do About It
To start with, Nigerians love competing when nobody has mandated them to set up a competition and embark on this binge of wastefulness that bothers on lack of commonsense and if not wickedness. Everybody is out to outdo the other when there is no trophy to win for giving your loved one an out-of-this-world befitting burial or have yourself a fairy-tale wedding on the excuse that it’s an once-in-a-lifetime event. For God’s sakes, be moderate and learn to feed the poor who are continuously ever-present in your neighbourhood even when you perfectly pretended they are not there. What about the motherless babies’ homes? I guess you now have grasped a significant meaning of my drift?
Our young men nowadays take time dilly-dallying before they make up their mind on when to settle down – something their fathers did when they were less than thirty – simply because there is no money to support their dream of settling down and raising their own families. From Western part of Nigeria to the Eastern part of Nigeria, the stories are the same. It is no longer shocking running into a thirty-five year old Yoruba man who is ready to settle down but has no money to back-up his yearnings neither does it bother anyone that a forty-five year old Ibo man is still single and definitely tasting, unlike their Northern brothers who can get into marriages without spending more than a farthing and have their children while he is still young and in good health. Children born during one’s youth age are healthier than those born when one’s energies have been spent.
Of course it is obvious that the managerial abilities of our economic management team are failing them and Nigeria in general, still the culprit for this delay in the life of a man whose wish it is to get married is this ‘economic stagnation’. It did not start with the present leadership and economic management style; it is more of a global thing. But my question is who started or what necessitated this competition in the psyche of Nigerians to be this wasteful on their weddings and burials when over ninety percent of Nigerians are crying to God to deliver them from the excesses of hunger? No one actually. The gamut of this sheer wastefulness definitely could be guessed to be envy which is one of the mortal sins inherent if not innate in most human beings.
Instead of acknowledging that a friend’s wedding is cute; you will be overheard threatening to surpass his achievement. This to an extent is a healthy rivalry but don’t you care about the guy next door who may not even have the kind of money you spent on your suit and wife’s wedding gown which the sum total could give him a swell wedding. The obscene display of wealth – ill-gotten or otherwise – has given rise to anti-social activities going on the rise as we are we witnesses to increasing cases of kidnapping and armed robbery all over our land.
That is why you will see a couple that have just had their wedding today running-off to a hotel to pass the night in fear of being visited by night marauders. You have always thought it’s their honeymoon, huh?
And if you think the obscene display of wealth on weddings is scaring able-bodied men who are matured enough to get married away from taking a shot at signing the dotted lines, let’s talk about the anomaly that has befallen that of burials. Several things contribute to the continued unbelievable and dizzying amount being lavished on burials today in Nigeria one of which is encapsulated in this aphorism ‘giving my loved one a befitting burial’. That is yet to remove from the disturbing fact that burials in Nigeria today is far from a healthy competition. When the father of a poor man dies, he will be caught crying his eyes out simply because the height of competition he is to face is not within his reach unlike a wealthy man crying when his father has departed this sinful world. He just lost someone who once meant something to him and, yes, tradition demands he sheds a few tears to tell the world he has no hand in his father’s death especially in a case where the said ‘fallen’ father is still considered young.
How do you justify a situation where a bereaved is spending money by millions on gift items that would be given to his friends who would come to commiserate with him with very tangible items and objects? Everything has been commercialized that tradition has long since been flung through the window into some wasteland. Well, I stand to be corrected, but let us tell ourselves the truth knowing that the economy is not so good on generality of Nigerians and their voices can never be drowned by the obscene display of wealth by the very few who have it to spend.
I suggest that legislation be used to make our weddings and burial ceremonies much less financially-tasking as all hands are not equal.