This is the story of the woman whom if you marry, you’ll become a millionaire.

We guess you’re likely not married, huh? So how much are you willing to pay to be with your significant other for better for worse. A million dollars? Never! As beautiful as it is, is it too risky to stake a million bucks into it? And if she’s indeed worth it, would you pay the price?

Dear mates, let’s say you’re not the one paying the bride price, but you’ll get paid millions of dollars to marry a certain woman, in particular. If you dare, you better get your pick up lines ready and meet the daughter of a Chinese billionaire tycoon, who has a bounty worth over a hundred million dollars. Just convince her daughter to walk the isle with you, and…, boom, you’re a millionaire. Sounds easy! But there’s a catch. We’ll explain.

Bride Price: How Much Does A Woman Cost?

Before we reveal this one of a kind mystery millionaire, and your future bride to be (if you got good pick up lines), let’s take a crash course about what’s even a “bride price.” By definition, it refers to the customary fee the groom and his family agrees to pay to the bride family (in cash or even kind) for the couple to be married as tradition demands. Simply put it, the cost of your wife to be, kinda. These practices have their origin from ancient cultures as far back as the cradle of time.

bridewealth | marriage custom | Britannica

The Babylonian code of law of ancient Mesopotamia — the code of Hammurabi — describes with details all the aspects of a bride price. For instance, it states the terms and conditions for a refund, if necessary. This could be if the man falls for another woman, or even if the father of the bride isn’t pleased with the groom. According to the book of Deuteronomy, it states that if a man should be caught having a sexual affair with a virgin woman, then he ought to pay fifty shekels of silver to the father of the virgin, and have her as a wife.

There are several accounts endorsing this practice, so we can safely say that it is indeed a thing. But for the family of the bride (let’s say the father) to offer millions of dollars as bounty for his daughter to walk the aisle, is never heard of. Before we get into that in moment, let’s also look at several practices around the world in our modern society.

Customary Bride Pricing

So how does it cost to buy your wife? A lot of money. There’s even a great cultural pressure to pay a bride price. The average male in sub-Saharan Africa pay several hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars. The equivalent of many months of salary, with some men even borrowing loans, or could choose to pay in installments. This becomes a family debt, if the man dies, or is completely incapacitated, then his family would have to pay for it as debt of honor. And it gets even steeper as most families require a civil ceremony to commemorate the marriage rites.

For instance, there’s a customary practice known as “lobolo” in South Africa which involves offering livestock. And the more you offer, the better your chances of being accepted. This often leads to problematic marriages, as the man treats the woman as his bonafide property. In Zimbabwe its known as “roora,” and its seen as a token of appreciation for bringing her up, rather than a mere act of purchase. But in the kingdom of Ankole in Uganda, not only do you offer livestock, you’re to build a house, buy a car, and pay a huge fee to prove you’ll be capable of handling a home.

More conservation efforts needed for Uganda's long horned Ankole cows -  CCTV News - English
Image: Shutterstock / iStock / Getty Image Plus | photo a typical herd of Ankole cattle, buy one these to pay your bride price

Now, let’s talk about this practice in Asia, especially China, where there’s even a bounty. This practice starts with “ti qing,” where both families meet to negotiate the price. This is followed by “guo da li” which happens several weeks before the wedding. This is when the actual bride price is paid, which could be money, jewelry, and some snacks for treats. This is never a one-way transaction, as the bride’s family also pay something as a gesture of goodwill and acceptance.

Meet The Wonder Bride

Image: AP | Ms Chao, right, married her long-term partner Sean Eav in France in 2012

By now, you might be wondering who is this Wonder Woman. Dear friends, meet Gigi Chao — the daughter of Hong Kong billionaire magnate, Cecil Chao Sze-Tsung. Here’s the back story: back in 2012, he learned that her 33-year-old daughter was married to Sean Yeung, and that was when her father learned without his notice. And to his surprise, she was even married for seven years as at the time. He just couldn’t believe that it was true, since there was still a huge social stigma on homosexuality in China.

Eventually, he placed a so-called “marriage bounty” on her daughter for any man who would marry her. This was a fee of 500 million Hong Kong dollars, equivalent to US$64.51 million as at the time. A couple of years later, there were no suitors, so he decided to double the offer to a billion Hong Kong dollars, equivalent to US$128.97 million to any man who will get her daughter laid. Sounds like a great bid, huh? But unfortunately, this has ever proven to be impossible.

According to Malaysian newspaper Nanyang Siang Pau, the tycoon reportedly told them that her daughter was still single, and was offering a ransom for her hand in marriage. Tough choice! Gigi later sent an open letter to her father about her choice, so he had to finally withdraw his bid. She openly confessed that she’s not a lesbian, but had some issues within her past relationships that’s why she made such an odd choice. Today, she’s seen as an LGBTQ icon in a highly conservative part of the world were such practices are highly stigmatized. After all, money can’t buy love, nor can it pay for it, neither.

Let us know if you would have dare made a move for that bounty.

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Written by: Nana Kwadwo, Mon, Oct 25, 2021.


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