In a fiery exposé, Reno Omokri, the outspoken social commentator, and author, has vehemently condemned the age-old practice of paying bride price for non-virgins, asserting that it goes against both Scriptural teachings and African traditions.
Omokri, known for his unapologetic viewpoints, cited specific biblical passages to underscore his argument.
According to Omokri, the scriptural foundation for bride price is explicitly linked to the virginity of the bride, as elucidated in Exodus 22:17. He contended that paying bride price for a woman who turns out not to be a virgin is scripturally permissible grounds for marriage annulment, citing Deuteronomy 22:20-21 as evidence.
In a scathing critique of the adoption of European wedding customs, Omokri highlighted the incongruence between the wearing of a white dress by European brides and Scriptural principles.
He argued that the European tradition, while not inherently wrong, originally signified the bride’s chastity—a concept mirrored in the Yoruba omoluabi Lukumi people’s tradition, where marriages are consummated on a white cloth.
Omokri delved further into the cultural resonance between Black African traditions and the Tanakh, positing that Moses himself, the biblical figure credited with receiving the Ten Commandments, was married to a Black African woman. He pointed to Numbers 12:1, Exodus 4:25, and Exodus 18:24 as evidence of the influence of Black African culture on Moses.
Drawing from Leviticus 21:13, Omokri underscored that priests were prohibited from marrying non-virgins, further reinforcing the scriptural emphasis on the importance of virginity in marital unions.
The social critic delved into historical anecdotes, citing the example of David’s marriages to Michal and Abigail. According to Omokri, the payment of bride price for Michal was linked to the belief in her virginity, while no such payment was made for Abigail, a widow.
In a bold declaration, Omokri asserted that marrying a non-virgin did not necessitate elaborate ceremonies or bride price. Instead, he advocated for a simpler approach—asking for the woman’s hand in marriage and, upon her consent, ushering her into one’s household.
As the conversation around marriage practices intensifies, Omokri’s impassioned critique challenges established norms and urges a reevaluation of customs that, in his view, deviate from both scriptural and traditional foundations.