A Kenyan lawyer is offering President Obama quite the livestock dowry to marry first daughter Malia.
Felix Kiprono wants to have a meeting with Obama when the president visits his ancestral homeland in July, and offer him 50 cows, 70 sheep and 30 goats for Malia’s hand, The Nairobian reports.
“I got interested in her in 2008. As a matter of fact, I haven’t dated anyone since and promise to be faithful to her. I have shared this with my family and they are willing to help me raise the bride price,” Kiprono told the newspaper. 16-year-old Malia was only 10 years old during her dad’s first presidential campaign.
“People might say I am after the family’s money, which is not the case. My love is real,” the lawyer continued. “I am currently drafting a letter to Obama asking him to please have Malia accompany him for this trip. I hope the embassy will pass the letter to him. I will hand it over to the US Ambassador with whom we have interacted several times.”
“If my request is granted, I will not resort to the cliché of popping champagne. Instead, I will surprise her with mursik, the traditional Kalenjin sour milk. As an indication that she is my queen, I will tie sinendet, which is a sacred plant, around her head.”
In fact, Kiprono left none of the details a surprise.
“I will propose to her on a popular hill in Bureti near my father’s land where leaders and warriors are usually crowned. The place is called Kapkatet, which means ‘victory’,” he said. “Ours will be a simple life. I will teach Malia how to milk a cow, cook ugali and prepare mursik like any other Kalenjin woman.”
While the labor force participation rate for women is higher in Kenya than in the United States, an article in The African Executive noted that some men in the country still “believe that it is a waste of time and money to educate a girl, as her only role will be that of a wife.”
“When young women are forced to marry men old enough to be their fathers, they lose their independence. They have to abide by the wishes of their husbands, even if those edicts are oppressive. Such women hardly exercise their freedom of movement or association and as a result cannot participate in the nation building process. Among the Loita Maasai, for example, women are not allowed to address men at a public baraza. Some women must even adopt subservient positions when speaking to their own spouses.”
Kiprono has been getting some advice on his proposal from Nairobian commenters, including: “Modern marriage is not based on bride price and in fact whites do not care about bride price. No modern parent care how many goats or sheep you have, they leave their children to choose their lives and what make them happy. You just privately approach the girl and let her know how you feel about her. If she reciprocate your love then we all do not need to know until you invite us for the wedding. She has a life and maybe a love life, she may be tied up in a relationship or she may be free but not interested in you. The choice is hers, not Obama’s. In fact your poor approach can be repelling to even other girls if you approach their fathers instead approaching them, so try to polish up despite the fact that you are in a third world country.”
Malia should be as excited about this offer as she was about her dad pardoning that other turkey.