The Kano government has married off 100 widows and divorced women in a mass wedding ceremony held in the Emir’s palace on Tuesday.
The marriage is the first batch in a series of mass weddings planned by religious authorities in Kano, sponsored by the government, to marry off the city’s bulging widowed and divorced community.
A total of 1,000 couples are to wed in the in the ceremonies, planned in ten batches.
The marriages were arranged by the Hisbah board, in a bid to reduce the number of women, widowed or divorced, and left to fend for themselves and their children.
The government says the move will provide the women with stable homes and financial and social security, the Hisbah authorities say.
The bride prices, normally given to the wife’s family by the husband, was paid for by a local businessman, Isyaku Rabiu, who donated N1 million to the grooms. The bride price is capped at N10,000 each.
The Kano state government paid for the brides’ “kayan daki”, a collection of brass and enamel bowls and decorative cups and saucers, which are a symbol of her married status. They also paid out N15,000 to the brides to kick start their entrepreneurial ideas.
The women, most moving into their second marriages, had the opportunity to choose their grooms through a matchmaking game organized by the Hisbah. Suitors were first selected and screened by the Hisbah, after applicants responded to a radio campaign, which began in February, calling for prospective suitors.
“We will continue to conduct the weddings in batches and soon we will have the wedding of the second set of 100 women already screened,” the head of the Hisbah, Aminu Daurawa, said after the wedding.
The BBC reports that the Hisbah also screened the applicants for HIV.