By Lawan Bukar Maigana
To say that I was bemused reading a story of a young lady whose parents influenced her to reject a guy she truly loved because of “Lefe” (trousseau) would be a gross understatement.
Unsatisfied with what her soon-to-be husband had offered, the lady asked him to change the lefe items with expensive ones or abandon the thought of marrying her. He asked why and she explained that the things he brought were not up to her taste because she was about to graduate and deserved better. Nevertheless, she insisted that he had to come and pick up his boxes. Respectfully, his friend went to her house and picked them up.
After the above encounter, he stopped calling her. She became worried and asked him why did he stop calling her. He told her there was no point in calling someone who didn’t love him, and that was the end of their conversation. After that, he sold all the boxes, started a business, and happily got married after three years.
This story happened 13 years ago. The lady is now a graduate and still unmarried. Unfortunately, she came out to share her experience with the public because the same aunties that influenced her to reject the man because of his inability to fill the boxes with pricy things are the same people asking to be the fourth wife to an elderly man who perhaps she doesn’t like.
She is 32 and regrets her decision to side with her mother and aunties. She desperately wants to know his whereabouts and apologize to him. I think there are a lot of lessons in her story. Her last words: “Ladies, not all that glitters is gold. Lefe isn’t important; dowry isn’t important…”
Even though Islam is not in conflict with our native culture, parents must make it easy for their children to get married to avoid them becoming promiscuous. But, more importantly, now is the time to abolish the culture of offering lefe, as a necessity for our Muslim youths, especially the ones in the North, to become couples. It is one JIHAD that must be fought.
Lawan Bukar Maigana writes from Maiduguri, Borno State, and can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.