Let’s talk about wedding traditions real quick. If you have watched a Kenyan wedding show or attended a wedding (even if just for the food), you know that the bride’s parents almost always walk her down the aisle. It could be just the dad or the mom, sometimes it is both. Other times it is a guardian or relative standing in the gap, if the parents are not there. Regardless, every girl dreams of taking that beautiful slow walk with their parents/guardians holding their hand, leading them down to the eager groom. Aah, it’s always such an awwwww moment, right? Right.
Twice, I have had the displeasure of watching a bride miss out on this special moment because ‘tradition’ did not allow their parents to walk her down the aisle. The first time, my friend’s wife-to-be’s was duly informed by her folks that they couldn’t do it, because she was not an “original” daughter of the home.
We didn’t father you, they said. We acknowledge your mother as our wife, but we know nothing about you.
She had actually been raised by these same people, and they were the only family she had ever known. Still, on her wedding day, after graciously accepting her dowry, they remembered all of a sudden that according to ‘tradition’, none of them, not even her own mother could come for her wedding. Let alone walk her down the aisle. Ridiculous!
The second time I saw this kind of foolery was on one of the episodes on #OurPerfectWeddingKenya. This bride’s parents completely refused to walk her down the aisle because she had been staying with the man for a couple of years. As a result, her parents wouldn’t even sit close to her! But when the MC called for the bride’s parents to receive their cake, they were ready with open arms, smiling for the camera.
Oh! So you can vigorously shake your bodies to the drums and songs of their ruracio, fill your entitled bellies with food and drink which the couple most likely have paid for, happily accept envelopes loaded with cash and cattle that have been brought as dowry for her, greedily stash the party leftovers in your handbags, drink, make merry and sheepishly pose for photos as you accept the parents’ cake at the wedding ceremony, but walking your child down the aisle on her special day is against tradition? Come on! Get off your f@*ng high horses!
If you won’t walk her down the aisle in the name of upholding tradition, abeg — Oga, Ma, do not accept her dowry! And in the event that you can spare the time to make it to her wedding ceremony, when it’s time for the parents to accept their cake, please, ignore the MC, look up to the sky or to the ground, whichever your tradition calls for, and wait for Simeo Ondeto to send manna for you.