A Nigerian advertising company has sparked worldwide criticism after the creation of Bride Price, a social media app described as objectifying women by critics. It calculates users’ value as potential brides, analysing criteria such as physical appearance, education and cooking skills.
Anakle, the Nigerian advertising company that designed the app, said it was created as a joke “that might be misunderstood by people outside Africa”.
Bride Price users are asked to answer simple questions about themselves or people they would like to evaluate as potential brides.
Questions range from; height, “facial beauty”, skin colour: light skin is worth 40,000Naira ( £146), while dark skin 20,000Naira (£73) to education, nationality and accent (English attracting the highest value of 45,000Naira (£165).
After the questionnaire is completed, the following phrase pops us: “Please wait, the elders are consulting.”
Then the price is revealed.
The app is causing outcry as it is seen by many as a grave violation of women’s rights.
“I want to start by saying it’s a joke and secondly, it’s an inside joke that might be misunderstood by people outside the country and Africa,” Editi Effiong, CEO of Anakle, told CNBC Africa. “[We wanted] to create something that gets attention, [from] which we can record data.
“The real inspiration came when we saw a picture that was a bride price list and we just upgraded that.
“We want to write about relationships and marriage which was the second most popular topic on social media in Nigeria, so we decided to do this,” Effiong continued.
The app had received hits from 56 countries in three days.
“The elders have done roughly 100 billion naira in bride price transactions as we speak,” Effiong said.
Bongani Mbindwane of Cape Town, who used the app, said he found it a bit crude and that it objectifies women, Times Live reported.
“There’s a skin complexion you can tick called ‘Lupita’,” – a reference to Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.
Rosabelle Boswell, head of anthropology at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, said the app might not be so funny for people who took cultural practices such as lobolo (bride price) seriously.
Some of the employees at IBTimes UK filled the questionnaire to check their value as potential brides in Nigeria.
Results are rather interesting, ranging from; Super Premium Babe (someone tall, with white flawless skin, straight legs, employed and with British accent) worth 849,500Naira (£3116), to Make Sense Babe (someone with average physical features, flawed skin, tattoos and tendency to party hard) worth 276,000Naira (£1012).
Source: IBTimes UK