Authorities in North West of Nigeria have married off 1,500 women in a historic mass wedding on Friday. The Kano state administration said it sponsored the marriages as a means of providing support to widows and new brides, helping them establish the foundations of family life and enhancing social well-being.
During this wedding event, only the grooms were present as the brides were absent. The mass wedding had been a key campaign promise made by the current governor before his election.
The tradition of such weddings had been an annual occurrence for years but was discontinued by the previous government. Kano, Nigeria’s second-largest city and a major commercial center in the northern region, hosted this significant event, according to BBC.
The state had to intervene given the challenging economic conditions in the country after it became evident numerous couples couldn’t afford to independently arrange their wedding ceremonies.
Yusuf Abdullahi, a textile trader, expressed his struggle, saying, “Life is really tough, which is why I could not get married until now, though I wanted to. I pray my marriage becomes the key to my prosperity.”
Not only did the government cover the cost of the bridewealth, but, provided a modest startup capital of $26 for the brides as well as a professional training program.
Trainer Naisa Ahmad explained that the state’s objective is to equip the brides with vocational skills to foster self-reliance. He noted that the initiative acknowledges the rising cost of living and aims to empower women to support themselves, their spouses, and society at large through their chosen trades, according to Africa News.
In Nigeria’s traditional northern regions, where the husband typically bears the primary financial responsibility for the household, increasing inflation has prompted authorities to promote women’s engagement in income-generating activity.
The head of the Sharia police in Kano state revealed that organizing the mass wedding incurred an expense of approximately 1 million dollars for the state.
The wedding of the 1,500 couples was reportedly decentralized, with ceremonies occurring in different local governments within the state.