White sheet culture tests brides’ virginity

A white sheet is placed on the bed that the newlyweds will share that night.

The white sheet represents something really significant. It measures virginity.

This means that if the bride is a virgin and they have their first sexual encounter on the wedding night, she will bleed, and the blood will stain the linens.

The bride’s family is then shown the sheet so they may verify she was a virgin.

The Star made an effort to learn more about this rite, which is primarily practiced by coastal tribes.

I needed to hear from the instructor—the person who instructs the couples on how to use the white sheet—first.

She is referred to as the “Kungwi” at the Coast; let’s call her a bride trainer.

According to Aisha Abeid, a bride trainer in the coastal city of Mombasa, this is a crucial aspect of the newlyweds’ culture that is honored.

The bride’s virginity is revealed by the virginity tester, and the family is thrilled to learn this.

From the bride’s family, who are pleased to have brought up their daughter in modesty by raising her without having had a man touch her, to the husband’s family, who are pleased to have married a woman who has never had a man touch her except for their son.

According to Abeid, the Digo of the Mijikenda community and the Swahili community in the Coast are the main practitioners of the custom.

The white sheet was referred to as “Bafuta” by her. She claims that while following the custom is not required, it is advantageous because it makes the bride and her family proud.

Abeid claimed that in order to prepare the white sheet for the bride, she first inquires as to her virginity.

“The white sheet is not always placed on the bed and is not required if the bride is not a virgin. The bride trainer remarked, “I just give her bedroom suggestions and that’s all.

She receives gifts from both families when she is discovered to be a virgin, the white sheet is spread, and the test reveals that she was indeed a virgin.

“She usually receives presents from her siblings, her mother and the bride trainer, and these things should be expensive, including gold and money in cash. Also, she receives presents from her in-laws, starting from her husband and the mother-in-law,” Abeid said.


However, she claimed that it is difficult to find virgins in this day and age. Only five of the 20 brides she handled with the previous year were virgins.

According to Abeid, bride trainers have a strategy where they cut a deal with the couple if the bride is not virginal but they want people to believe she is.

Blood from a dove is extracted as a cover-up and spread on the bed to make it appear as though the woman is virginal.

The bride will be instructed to act as though she is in pain before you explain how the blood is spread, take the dove’s blood, and instruct them.

Abeid asserted that she fully supports the culture and sees nothing wrong with it. She stresses that the pair should voluntarily participate in the rite rather than being coerced into it.

Three years ago, Leila Athman got married and through the white sheet ceremony. She has no issues with the culture and was not shocked when it happened to her at her wedding.

People would be asking her why she was regretting the culture, so she was aware that it was a culture that had to be implemented.

Since I was aware that it was part of our Swahili culture and brought us pride, I did not find it to be insulting in any way, Athman stated.

She claimed that psychologically speaking, she was already ready; in order to avoid being surprised, she really needed to be ready.

But she claims that most people today have given up the habit.

She said most parents do not support it any more as some of their children end up engaging in anal sex just so as to protect their virginity.

“People are tired of such a culture and some parents are saying it is promoting many girls to engage in anal sex and it has really brought a huge problem,” she said.

Ramla Ruwaida, who wed in January of this year, just lately claimed that the white sheet was forced upon her.

She declared that she did not want the culture to continue and that it need to be entirely eradicated.

Despite the fact that the sheet was placed at my wedding, she stated, “I do not advocate the sheet to be put to anyone.”

Hamisi Musa claimed that taking the test was really difficult for him.

He claims that on the night of his wedding, he felt sorry for his wife because there is no turning back once the sheet is spread.

“I had to force myself through so we could move forward with excellent outcomes,” he said. “It was hard to handle the whole situation since my wife was genuinely in pain.”

He felt sorry for his wife, but he still supports the culture since it encourages girls to keep their virginity.

What do you think?

Written by Esther Oyugi

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