Launched in June 2014, Anakle’s Bride Price App materializes in a website offering a mock-questionnaire that allows users to calculate their bride price, for themselves and their friends or enemies, evoking a practice that was, and in some locations still is a common practice across the continent.
In Nigeria, it is effectively active in many locations, considered a mostly symbolic, but significant component of marriage customs in the country. Filled with insider jokes and humorous remarks – with references to Nigerian culture but also mentions of global icons like Beyoncé – the Bride Price App plays on tradition and stereotypes, and is objectively aimed at the educated middle class living in Lagos and throughout the world as part of the Nigerian diaspora. Despite its ironic undertone, the app struck a chord and was considered offensive and sexist for many, in Nigeria and abroad, causing widespread online debate and coverage in large-scale media outlets. The developers were quick to point out the app was nothing but a joke: “We have taken care that no derogatory, sexually explicit content or offensive language is used on the app,” said Anakle’s head Editi Effiong. “It is also not an attempt to put a price on the true value of a woman.” The Bride Price App garnered huge success, becoming wildly popular and diffused in social media. Shortly thereafter, Anakle developed a variant of the app for the Kenyan audience.