The Akans customary marriage has strict policies and regulations that the couple-to-be and their families must respect. It is taboo for the parties preparing an Akans traditional marriage to ignore the Ghanaian engagement list. The Akan list for engagement comprises items that a man must give the bride’s family before the marriage ceremony takes place.
Ghanaian law recognizes three types of marriages, customary (traditional), Islamic (religious), and ordinance (civil) union. The 1985 Customary Marriage and Divorce Law legalizes the Akans’ customary marriage. However, conservative Akan couples perform Ghanian traditional marriage rites called awareɛ followed by civil or religious marriages.
A marriage therapy and pastor, Rev. Daniel Annan, has urged families to reduce the number of items for traditional marriages to a maximum of five.
He believes most marriages are suffering due to the expensive nature of the bride price.
Also, Rev. Annan is of the belief that modernization has contributed to the high cost of bride prices as marriage has become competitive among families.
The counselor who spoke on Prime Morning on Thursday, stipulated that most females are competing with their peers on the organization of their event, thus contributing to the expensiveness of marriages.
“It should be about five. Basically, five things should be okay. If the person can’t make it, fine. The issue is that we’re not competing. Women, we’re competing too much. Stop competition. We should complement each other. Don’t let anybody’s issue be your standard,” he told Asieduwaa Akumia.
He is also of the opinion that society is setting a particular standard for marriage for everyone to follow, which should not be the case.
For this, he called on traditional rulers and churches to help put a stop to the recent practices that are changing the narrative. “If we don’t stop this, I don’t know where it will get to,” he said.
If the situation continues, Rev. Annan thinks people may get involved in armed robbery so as to pay their bride prices.
Meanwhile, he has admonished partners to be real to themselves, as it will guide parents in providing the bride price based on their capabilities.
“Why don’t we become real to ourselves and also be truthful? If we’re able to do that, two families can sit down and have a common ground, then work on it,” he urged.
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