The topic was ‘Is It Time To Change The Igbo Traditional Marriage And Bride Price Custom?’ The event was the BBC Igbo Town Hall Meeting, and the venue was Afe Babalola Hall, University of Lagos, Nigeria. Before now there was only BBC Hausa in Nigeria, however having its biggest African market in Nigeria (approximately 32 million viewers), it only made sense that BBC will open up Igbo and Yoruba channels being the two remaining major languages in Nigeria, and this it did in February 19, 2018.


From Left, Chioma Omeruah, Emmanuel Ibeanyanwu, Chioma Obianinwa, Chigozie Nnabuihe, Fossy Udeji

Since then, the British channel has introduced new programs to generate local content, one of which is the BBC Global Questions, which comes in the form of interactive town hall meetings with audiences where topical issues relating to Nigerian customs are discussed and opinions gotten with a view to changing the former norm and psyche of the people involved, and make them begin to demand changes in some of these seemingly outdated customs.


One of such was town hall meetings held yesterday July 05, in Unliag where the question of whether paying bride price for Igbo women during marriage is still relevant. Having a mixed audience, of students, media personalities, lecturers, cultural experts, authors, titled chiefs and clergymen, it was a very interactive session as questions were asked concerning bride price to be or not to be, to reduce it in some areas in Iboland and whether a woman can also assist her man pay her bride price in the case of the man being financially incapable of doing so.


The presenter was Chioma Obianinwa, while the panelists were Chioma Omeruah aka Chigurl, an actor, singer, comedian etc, Emmanuel Ibeanyanwu, an author and cultural writer, Chigozie Nnabuihe, a lecturer in African studies, and Fossy Udeji, an international and cultural expert. The event also witnessed some traditional customs of Igbo people such as presenting and cutting of the kolanut, which was done by Chigoze Nnabuihe, who poured libation and prayed before the kolanut was shared along with garden eggs. At the end of the event the BBC assured that that was not the end of the conversation, as it would hold again so as to finally get a position from which initiate such conversations at the National Level and decisions can be taken concerning such customs. See more pictures below.

Photo credit wakeupafrica360




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