What you need to know:
- Some of the villagers, however, expressed doubts about the man's decision being genuine, even as some of his friends applauded him for his wisdom.
- The room went silent for a moment, then his fellow elders called him to the side for him to explain his decision.
Residents of Majengo in Tana River County were left stunned after a man asked for only seven shillings as bride price for his daughter.
Mr Hussein Maro, 63, left his guests, who had arrived for bride price negotiations ready to show their financial might, confused, after he decided to make the talks very brief.
“My fellow elders, it is a great joy to have your daughter married to a good family. Therefore as my daughter and I had already agreed, we shall take seven shillings,” he said.
The elders representing the groom then sought clarification, wondering if, perhaps, Mr Maro meant Sh700,000, Sh70,000, or Sh7,000, but the father of the bride confirmed that he meant seven coins worth a shilling each.
The room went silent for a moment, then his fellow elders called him to the side for him to explain his decision. The explanation he gave, however, was not convincing to his mates.
He then went ahead to give the marriage ceremony his blessings.
Bundles of notes
And in what is, perhaps, a first, the groom’s party was reluctant to proceed because the amount quoted was ridiculously small. They called the groom to ask him if he wanted to proceed.
According to Mr Joseph Jarha, the grooms' uncle, the young man was expecting a surprise from his fiancée’s family, since she had hinted at one.
"You know when you are used to a tradition where parents demand their sweat from their son-in-law for educating a child, such requests look like aspects of witchcraft, so you have to be cautious," he said.
The ceremony, however, continued. The men, who had carried bundles of notes, sent the groom's brother to the shopping centre to search for the one-shilling coins - an exercise that took a while due to the scarcity of one-shilling coins.
The young man only got four shillings at the shops. He had to beg for the other three shillings from nearby homes on his way back in the scorching sun.
"Many people thought I was crazy asking for one shilling coins. They thought I was practising some sort of witchcraft, so they told me off," he said.
This is not the first time Mr Maro is asking for simple things as bride price, say the locals. He married off his firstborn daughter to a man from whom he only asked for prayer beads, which he now walks with everywhere.
Reached for comment, Mrs Asha Maro, his wife, noted that her husband was more interested in a man's word, not his property.
"If the man promises he will love, respect and take care of his daughter, he weighs the words from his heart. If he feels they are genuine, then he accepts. If he feels they are not, he will turn down the man," she said. And if his daughter insists on getting married to the man nevertheless, he opts out of the wedding ceremony and will not take anything from the groom.
Some of the villagers, however, expressed doubts about the man's decision being genuine, even as some of his friends applauded him for his wisdom.
"Many people will see the seven shillings demand, but will not see the scarcity of the demand at the moment," said Mr Mohammed Shaban.