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Opinions of Friday, 6 October 2017

Columnist: Paul Zowonu

On how we contract marriages

The other day, I was talking about why only the common people desire a romantic experience into marriage ; that in actual fact, marriages for persons of high social standings are contracted on a much more rational bases.

That is why a Royal family would have some conventions guiding how a prince or a princess would take a wife or a husband.

The truth is that in most cultures, contracting a marriage is not just about the whims of two young lovers; but in fact, it involves the whole society.

And it was so because any marriage by default brings perhaps an unwilling lineage: past, present and future, to accept intended pact.

And so it makes sense to consult large sections of both families before the marriage is celebrated

Unfortunately, in our times, western influence and the foreign media have corrupted the traditions of our people.

Even though what we see in the foreign medias do not represent the real practices of the traditional European society or the American society, we still find it hip or modern to imitate what we see on our televisions.

Today, the modern youth believe it is romantic to meet ones partner even on a train journey; fall in love and get married and live happily ever after.

And such recklessness in choosing our marriage partners today possibly is the cause of the difficulties that threaten marriages of our time.

The religious community or the clergy should also take some blame for the corruption of our norms.

The church's age-long efforts to rob off the family's right and duty to determine such matters for their kindred must be blamed for the challenges today's generation face in contracting and maintaining marriage relationships.

Most marriages contracted by the sole guardianship of the church in the cities no longer last beyond the first year of the marriage ceremony.

I think the modern African clergy would help itself and society if it helps to restore this usurped authority to the traditional institutions to play the larger role in marriage contracts.

Most of the challenges that confront us as Africans today is as a result of we abandoning our true selves. We could overcome some of our modern challenges if we could stick to our core values as a people.

Every organism has its own survival mechanism innate to it. If any organism abandons its survival mechanism for the other's, that organism risks being preyed on by other organisms that would relish the opportunity to do so.