You remember how I was raving yesterday about this highly cherished Nigerian fashion accessory called “gele”, a head gear which goes together with an outfit called “aso ebi”?
I even put a picture for those of you who are not familiar with it, to help you understand why I am always so much excited about that very unique style.
Again, here is what I am talking about:
Well, before going further with what I want to share with you, let us look at this definition of the Nigerian outfit retrieved at urbandictionary.com:
(Pronounced ASHO EYBEE)
Nigerian outfits made from matching fabric to be worn by a group of people to a party, wedding, or funeral as a uniform. Wearing a certain aso ebi identifies the group of wearers. For instance, at a wedding, all the bride’s friends might wear blue and gold, the bride’s family might wear white and gold, and the groom’s friends might wear black and pink, and so on. Usually at weddings, the various fabrics for the aso ebi are decided by the bride, and are then announced to all the guests months in advance so they can prepare their outfits. Guests are usually expected to buy the aso ebi from the bride, but close friends and family members and certain prominent individuals may be presented with the aso ebi as a gift. Aso ebi for parties and funerals are generally simple, but aso ebi for weddings may involve many complex changes with entirely different aso ebi for different days of the wedding, and for the reception.”(Definition submitted by: Lotanna O.)
So far, so good, that is what I already knew about it, but I stumbled upon a very interesting blog post at www.allaboutnaijaweddings.com, that shed new light on the whole happy family reunion!
Actually, a lot of pressure can result from this colorful Nigerian tradition: tendency to make the guests pay an excessive amount for the aso ebi, and at the wedding itself, ill-treatment reserved to the guests not wearing the right aso ebi or even worse, not wearing any aso ebi at all!
As for everything good, you will find people who are prone to overdo it and to divert an initially beautiful idea for their own selfish interest.
So, for those of you involved in the preparation of a wedding, remember to keep it stress free for the guests!
Of course, aso ebi cannot be banned! How will you go about it in the first place? Who will support such a move that is without rhyme or reason?
However, here is an excerpt of the post from a lady after my heart who refuses to be bullied about it.
“…Some brides and family members purposely increase the price of the aso-ebi fabric to a ridiculous amount to cover the wedding cost. I don’t mind the price hike provided it’s a small negligible amount for the quality being sold. However, if you triple the price of a low quality $15 Ankara fabric in order to make a profit, then I have a problem. This is even before adding on the sewing cost. Either cut down the wedding cost or wait till you get on the dance floor to make your money back* but don’t overcharge people for a fabric to make a profit or cover wedding costs. So if I decline buying your aso-ebi, this might be the reason…”
The title of the article is: “My Take on the Whole Aso-ebi Custom” but I couldn’t find the author’s name. Her text is followed by very interesting comments too! And more surprisingly, this clarification is published on a wedding site!
Read more: www.allaboutnaijaweddings.com,
*In Nigeria, some newlyweds get a lot of money on the dance floor from well wishers who throw cash at them. It is called : spraying!