After attracting six suitors, all tycoons, 17-year-old South Sudanese virgin from the Awerial area Nyalong Ngong Deng Jalang, is finally off the shelf.
Nyalong brought an end to the long extraordinary journey in search of a suitable suitor on Friday when she exchanged vows with businessman Kok Alat in a flamboyant wedding ceremony in Juba.
The competition for her hand in marriage was ‘won’ by Mr Kok Alat after he outshone five other men, including a Deputy Governor, by paying 530 cows, three Land cruiser V8 cars and $10,000 for the virgin Dinka girl making her arguably the most expensive bride by African standards.
Well, most of the South Sudan marriages are seen as fairs where families trade their daughters for cows, Nyalong’s case is an unusual one by virtue of being the most lavish. Other than Kok Alat, the other suitors had equally tabled humongous offers including Deputy Governor Hon David Mayom Riak’s 353 cows with bonuses including ‘first class’ land.
According to their customary laws, the maximum dowry is only 30 cows which means in case of a divorce, the wealthy businessman will only get back 30 cows.
In the Dinka culture, men willing to marry need to convince the girl’s family that they have the desired qualities and are able to take good care of their daughter, and this is portrayed through the ability to meet dowry terms.
It is from here that contestants are allowed to battle it out and the best son-in-law ‘selected.’ In Kok Alat’s case, his competitors were unable to match his offer. Therefore, Nyalong’s family members made the decision that will see her cross the River Nile to be the wife of the multimillionaire.