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Here’s what you’ll pay as dowry if you want to marry a Kikuyu lady

Shiru Klontone
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A Kikuyu traditional wedding ceremony. [Source/]

Are you dating a lady from the Central part of Kenya? Well, there are certain things you need to know before marrying your Kikuyu darling.

If you are serious with your girlfriend, dowry is one of the things you must prepare in advance. Among the Gikuyu, the dowry process involves three stages. 

The first stage is called 'kumenya mucii', where the groom and his friends are required to visit the bride's parents, to familiarise himself with the home. The second stage is called 'kuhanda ithigi', which translated to planting a branch/ tree. This stage paves the way for dowry negotiation. The third and last stage is called 'kuracia', which is the actual dowry payment. 

The dowry could be in many forms which include; 'goima' (fattened ram), 'thenge' (a he goat), 'mori' (a heifer), 'njohi ya uuki' (traditionally made beer) and cows. The number varies depending on what the two families agreed on. 

The bride price can be paid in instalments depending on the agreement made. In the Kikuyu culture, dowry payment is never done in full, to give you a reason to visit your in-laws again. When bringing the agreed dowry, a feast called 'ruracio' is performed. 

In appreciation, the bride’s family gives items such as 'kyondo' (weaving basket), lesos, 'nyungo' (pot) and 'mukwa' (new rope) among others to take to the groom’s mother. 

Some families, however, accept money as bride price.  


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-Shiru Klontone

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