Thursday, September 18, 2008

Traditions and paying dowry via Mpesa

The other day I accompanied friends of mine to the rural home as part of a marriage ceremony, am not sure which stage it was- but must have been Ngurario or Kuracia.

At some point, we found that we had money in the phones but we almost did not have it all in cash. It left me wondering whether it would nice to send that money via Mpesa, its easier and less cumbersome.

I think it will soon be used in Kiambu, my home, where the traditions do not make that sense provided there is money in the mix. Then after the ceremony is over, the local thugs come for the money, arguing that they heard from the grapevine that the visitors left a lot of money.

To beat the thugs, I think Mpesa makes a strong case plus all those funny old men who sit in the house and purport to “negotiate” for dowry do not have anything to divide at the end of the day.

For the record, I hate the chauvinistic Kikuyu marriage traditions but as a friend of mine told me, that is my culture and there is nothing I can do about it. But the best thing is that things are changing, I know of a friend’s father who can not discuss a family decision with a woman in the house. It is so frustrating.

Anyway, back to the tech business, I know it will be hard for the die hard traditionalists to accept it because it will be seen as impersonal but with the new way of conducting ceremonies, I think it will be faster and easier.

5 comments:

David said...

I think its a great thing that safaricom has brought unto us and now with technology, people are even offering the service to the kenyans in the diaspora, for example, www.hewatime.com enables people in the diaspora to send mpesa to Kenya and they pay via credit cards. In my thinking there is no better product that safaricom ever offered!

SupremeGREAM said...

Very funny. This Saturday I too attended a ruracio for my boss. I gave my contribution via MPESA. The area we went looked like some place thugs would come back later and demand to share the dowry. Atleast with this one we had a galore of comedy from a guy I didnt know about till that day. All the children in the area could recognize him. Mogaka

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