Home Africa News Rich men compete for Athiak Dau Riak

Rich men compete for Athiak Dau Riak


JUBA, South Sudan – The marriage of 19-year-old Athiak Dau Riak, a towering figure at 7 feet tall, has gone viral this week. Athiak’s unique height and her status as a virgin have made her a highly sought-after bride, drawing two wealthy suitors from different communities into a competitive dowry bidding war.

One of the suitors has offered a staggering dowry of 105 cows and 65 million South Sudanese pounds, equivalent to about $20,000. This proposal has set a high bar in a culture where cattle and substantial monetary gifts are traditional parts of marriage negotiations. The other suitor has yet to make his offer public, but rumors suggest he might pledge an even more impressive dowry of 350 cows, alongside a Toyota V6 and a standalone four-bedroom house for Athiak’s family.

In the Dinka culture, to which Athiak belongs, marriage extends far beyond personal relationships; it encompasses family honor and reputation. A marriage proposal requires thorough background checks on both families. The man’s character, as well as the girl’s, is scrutinized meticulously. If both families are found to be of good standing, discussions can proceed. The girl’s beauty often attracts multiple suitors, intensifying the competition as seen in Athiak’s case.

The high-profile dowry battle has sparked widespread interest and debate across South Sudan, highlighting the cultural importance and economic implications of marriage practices in the region. For many, this event underscores the enduring traditions of the Dinka people, where the significance of dowry reflects a family’s social and economic status. Athiak’s marriage, due to her extraordinary height and the substantial offers from her suitors, has become a national talking point, drawing both admiration and criticism


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