Since late last month, men have been flocking to the northern Nigerian city of Kano in their thousands, some dressed in sharp, tailor-made suits, others carrying worn leather brief cases containing divorce papers and medical certificates.
Some are widowed or divorced. Others say they have simply been unlucky in love. All are hoping to win the chance to wed one of the 1000 women looking for husbands under the new scheme sponsored by the the state of Kano.
Kano state has been rocked by Boko Haram-issued violence in recent months, but as a result of the new programme, the city - home to more than a million widowed or divorced women - is gaining a new reputation: as a mecca for matchmaking.
So far, 2000 men ranging in age from 20 to 85 have applied for the marriages, which will be held en masse at the end of April and will be fully financed by the state.
Malam Abba Sa'idu Sufi, director of Kano State's Hisbah Board - a social advisory body - said the area has one of the highest divorce rates in Nigeria. "Men do not seek the hand of divorcees in marriage, creating problems for vulnerable women with no one to take care of them," he told Nigeria's Daily Trust newspaper.
Among those looking for love is Abdurrahman Alhassan, a divorced 34-year-old from the town of Zaria. "What was contracted out of love and affection turned into hatred," he said of his previous marriage. "Since then, I have been scared of even talking to women but I feel this could be a chance for me to get my dream wife."
Mother of four Hauwa Ismail thought she'd never find a man again. Widowed several years ago, Ismail signed up for the scheme after meeting with an NGO known as the Voice of Widows, Orphans and Divorcees Association of Nigeria (VOWAN).
But get this, after the wedding, if the man wants to back out of the marriage, the state govt will fine him N1.5m.