Is there a bride price in Kenya?

In many communities in Kenya, it is generally a requirement to pay a bride price before getting the bride.
However, in today’s society, some families let it slide.

They give the two lovebirds their blessings and wish them all the best in life.

Today, I will write about the Kikuyu tribe. The community is known to ask for some heavy bride prices.
Note that am using facts that I have managed to get from both Online and Offline sources. I found this hilarious youtube video speaking about Bride price. Watch it below:


Didn’t watch the video? Here’s a short summary about it:

  • The video above is about calculating a Kenyan woman’s bride price
  • The video is on Ebru Kenya‘s Youtube channel
  • Basically, they are tackling the concept of bride price in Kenya from a Funny point of view.

There’s even this ‘new formula’ for calculating the bride price:

Real Bride Price = (Asking bride price) ÷ (Number of men slept with + 1) . In my opinion, I still think it’s funny. You don’t have to agree with me though. The video speaks for itself.

Anyway, let’s continue. I was speaking about the Kikuyu tribe. Of late, the tribe has been known to ask for some High bride prices. I found this interesting article from Daily Nation you might want to read.

According to kikuyu tradition, paying the bride price consists of several steps:

  •  Initial visit by the groom to be to the home of the future wife
  •  During this visit, the groom brings several gifts.
  • A second visit signifies marking of territory. The groom carries more gifts.

Bride price

The bride price proceedings follow in yet another visit. Here it varies with specific clans/families as to how much bride price ‘you’ will be charged.

After the bride price has been done with, the groom arranges for a Gutinia Kiande ceremony(In layman’s terms; Cutting the shoulder ceremony).

Here, he cuts the front limb of a ram, and gives a piece of the meat to his future bride. The front rib has one joint. This signifies that the two are now one flesh. This is similar to wearing of wedding rings in religious ceremonies.

As for other communities in Kenya, the bride price is usually paid in installments. You can pay in form of livestock, vehicles or cash money. Pun intended.

In some communities, paying of the bride price is referred to as ‘buying the bride.’ It’s important to note that as of now, there are no set rules regarding payment of bride price. This has introduced the element of greed during negotiations.


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