Meet the Most Expensive Bride, Sudan’s Athiak Dau Riak

by Joseph Omoniyi
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Athiak Dau Riak, a 19-year-old girl who is 7 feet tall, became the talk of the town in South Sudan this week. Three men from different communities competed for her hand in marriage. The first man pledged 105 cows and 65 million South Sudanese pounds ($20,000).

Athiak Dau Riak, who captured the attention of the nation and indeed the world, became the focal point of the dramatic and highly publicized marriage competition. The tale of her marriage showcases the rich traditions and the significant cultural importance of dowries in South Sudan.

The story began when Athiak Dau’s family received proposals from two wealthy suitors, sparking a month-long competition that was closely followed by the public. Athiak’s marriage journey became a viral sensation, with details of the suitors’ offers generating widespread interest.

The first suitor, Marial Garang Jiel, made an impressive bid, offering 105 cows and 65 million South Sudanese pounds, roughly equivalent to $20,000. His proposal included the initiation of traditional marriage rites, emphasizing his serious intentions.

The second suitor, Chol Marol Deng, took a more measured approach, initially withholding the specifics of his offer. However, rumors began to circulate that he was prepared to give 350 cows, a Toyota V6, and a standalone four-bedroom house for Athiak’s family. These rumors created a buzz, making him a formidable competitor.

A third suitor emerged, offering an astounding 500 cows and one million USD for Athiak’s hand. This offer dwarfed the previous bids and added another layer of intrigue to the unfolding drama.

Adding to the competition was Laurence Lual Malong Yor, a 33-year-old billionaire from South Sudan who had never been married. Although his offers were not initially revealed, his entry into the competition heightened the stakes and captivated the audience even further.

In the end, Athiak’s family chose to give their daughter to Chol Marol Deng, marking the conclusion of the intense competition. Despite Marial Garang Jiel’s impressive offer, Chol’s comprehensive proposal, which included not only the substantial dowry but also the promise of building a house for Athiak’s family, won the day.

The traditional wedding was a grand affair. Athiak, adorned in a flowing red dress and holding a flywhisk, was escorted to her new husband in a ceremony that celebrated the rich cultural heritage of the Jieng people. A video shared by Twic Media Reports captured the vibrant festivities, showcasing the newest bride in town.

In Jieng culture, dowries hold immense value and can reach up to 500 cows, accompanied by significant monetary sums. The competitive dowry bids for Athiak’s hand highlighted the cultural importance placed on marriage and the respect for tradition. It also underscored the societal role of marriage in connecting families and communities.

Athiak Dau Riak’s story did not just end with her wedding. Her journey from being an 18-year-old girl to becoming the bride who captivated South Sudan resonated deeply with many. It reflected the intersection of tradition and modernity, where ancient customs are celebrated and shared through modern platforms like social media.

Athiak Dau Riak’s marriage saga is a display of the enduring traditions of the Jieng people and the cultural significance of dowries in South Sudan. It is a story that captivated a nation and the world, showcasing the blend of tradition, family values, and the impact of social media in today’s world.

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