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Opinion

Opinion: In the next 10 years, Bor, Yirol and Rumbek will have the highest number of sex workers in the country due to high dowries & bride price.

By Duom Peter,

Members of Dinka community celebrating a wedding ceremony of couple from Dinka community(Photo: file)
Members of Dinka community celebrating a wedding ceremony of couple from Dinka community(Photo: file)

Monday, May 24, 2021 — You never sent your daughter to school yet you expect an educated man to marry her. That is okay, in chemistry we call it balancing of equations. When an educated guy asks for your daughter’s hand in marriage, you demand 100 cows plus $50,000 American dollars. That’s fine, you need to escape poverty through a tiny window. Imagine a father-in-law to be with monthly income of less than $5 dollars expecting a civil servant in grade 5 or 9 ($7 or 10$ per month) to pay $50k plus 100 cows.  In contrast, he needs to work for 50 years to reach $50k dollars.

You didn’t know that only a small percentage of men in this country earns such an amount annually. When an educated man quits and a young energetic cattle keeper (Awuot) comes with 100 cows, he is rejected on the grounds that he is illiterate. Oh, he has no future because he doesn’t have a Bachelor Degree. Finally, your daughter becomes like an Ebola Patient. 

Everyone runs away from her because of an unimaginable bill of $50,000 & 100 Cows tagged on her. Years start counting down and no one is coming for her. Of course she will never allow any man to impregnate or elope her because the father or brother may beat her to death or the family will not agree with marriage. At this point, frustrations keep building up day and night. She is aging at the speed of light simply because no man is coming for her. 

She can’t find a job because she is illiterate. You kept her in the darkness. She becomes demoralized because she has been denied a man she wants to spend the rest of her life with. The worse comes in when she is short, ugly and illiterate. Many men fear to spend $50,000 or 100 cows on such a girl. But for tall chocolate and beautiful girls, they can even  pay V8 cars, plot of lands, cows and dollars. About 2 or 3 out 10 Dinka girls are above 6.5 feet tall. 

Thousands of illiterate mature Dinka girls are desperately waiting for men to marry them. They are rarely allowed to join school because of cultural rigidity that school spoils girls. Oh really, how about women holding top jobs? Are they spoiled? Big No! How about women with literacy and numeracy skills, running small businesses and becoming breadwinners? Are they spoiled? Big no. 

On the other hand, thousands of Dinka men, particularly Bor men are scared of high dowries. Some few men with high IQ shifted their attention to girls from other Dinka sections (Malual-jiernyang or Aweil, Ngok), Shiluk, Nuer, Acholi, Zande, Bari and other tribes. To illiterate parents, it’s a taboo for a Dinka girl to get married to a man outside the clan. But it’s not a crime for a man  to marry from other tribes though they talk behind your kids. E menh nyan duor (her mother is from tribe X). You see where the rain started beating us? Thousands of our girls are like Ebola Patients – people run away from them. If you impregnated or eloped her, you are beaten, jailed or even slaughtered like an animal. 

Our girls are like zoo animals, they cannot go outside to marry men from other tribes. A mature girl needs basic things such as sanitary pads, soaps, knickers, lotion, smart phone, and some money to maintain her hair. A father or brother who is expecting cows and dollars from her when she gets married rarely supports her. She will struggle on her own to maintain her body clean. At some points where there are slays around, she will join the group. 

For the group to survive in this harsh environment like Juba and other rural towns, you need to sacrifice precious minerals such as gold or diamond (I don’t mean the real minerals……). She will find all ways to get some money. When she tries to work in a restaurant as a waitress, make tea, or even becomes a fuel nozzle holder at a petrol station, you refuse citing how other people will mock the parents. Your unemployed illiterate daughter who is working in a ghost restaurant comes home every time with a new smartphone and dollars. You start chewing the money without asking where she got the money. Yes, money is sweet because it has no mark of where it’s from. An idle mind is a workshop of the devil, it either generates good or bad. 

When a girl is frustrated by a lack of man to marry her, she starts slaying. You can call it Slay Queen. She will know all the names of hotels in Juba more than schools and churches combined together. Every wedding in Juba, she is there trying to throw her dice not knowing that most men who attend weddings are interested in short term relationships. Only a few men who attend weddings look for wife material. When all these attempts yield nothing, she starts trying distance relationships on Facebook and Instagram. 

To win the trust of a distant friend is like entering J1. This means, she does anything possible to a man she is dating online.  If it means sending half naked photos, nude pictures or videos, she can do it to get trust. When she lands in the hands of those boys who watch pornography 24/7, they start sharing those videos the way World Food Programme (WFP) used to give us food items. Dinka Bor, Yirol and Rumbek elders must rethink and reduce bride price otherwise these communities will have the highest number of prostitutes in the country. 

I am happy with the way other Dinka sections and other tribes are handling their marriages. Keep it up. Don’t join Dinka Bor, Yirol and Rumbek in this race. It might end with tears. It’s not too late to take action and change our mindset. To make the story short, the first term has just started, send your daughter to school. Educate her at least to level of S.4 or college, we would pay whatever bill tagged on her.

The author can be reached at duomchol@yahoo.com


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