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Why should we use aso-ebi? That is the ultimate question on my mind when I get wedding invites with a totally different bag accompanying it. As always the bag will contain fabrics that the bride or the groom or the family wants to use on the day. The question I keep asking ‘why Asoebi’? Here is what my mama told me.

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Asoebi means uniformed clothes of the family in English. These outfits are made from matching fabric and are to be worn by the bride and groom’s close relatives and friends. It shows support for the celebrants and wearing a specific asoebi set apart the two families. Many ethnic groups and countries across Africa follow this tradition, but the Yorubas love it a lot.

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Asoebi adds color to the wedding or occasion. It shows togetherness among the families, friends, and well-wishers. It also shows how coordinated the participating families are. When the colors are matched right, Asoebi actually makes one stand out with elegance and beauty. From Lace to Aso-oke, to Ankara, to Silk, George with the blouse or any other material you can think of, Aso-ebi is really one of a kind.

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As beautiful and well intended the use of asoebi is, our people have made the idea of a uniform material for occasions and weddings an annoying buzz in the ears of Nigerians and here is why;

Special Treatment and Favoritism

Have you heard Yorubas say ‘Ko wo Ankara, ko je semo’? Translating to English, it means it if you don’t wear Ankara (asoebi) you won’t eat semo (food). This transcends from a mare saying to real attitude and favoritism. If you don’t buy asoebi, don’t dare be the one in the front seats, as you might be asked to leave the seat for the special ones that bought asoebi or you might not be served food after all.

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Extortion 

This is the part that annoys me. Why should you over hype prices? I ask myself all do the time, do these people think we don’t go to the market at all? They come with the gist of the material been made in Dubai, imported from Italy and packaged in London. Seriously? The same material one will see in Idumota like water! Then the price! Completely outrageous!! Y’all needs to chill!!!

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Any One Can Wear It

When the trends of asoebi started, it was worn by some selected few. I mean, the special few. The very big men and women of the society. Then, you will sit from afar and drool on the grace and class around them. Nowadays, everyone can wear asoebi, in as much as we can all pay for it. What annoys me the most is how you will see different colors of the same fabric design, on different local of people, making everything look so shabby and displeasing to the eye.


Are you in the Asoebi saga like me? Please share your thoughts to me. Why should we really use asoebi? Can it be scrapped?

Written by Omoefe Ohworakpo

Image Credit: BellaNaija, Sandramanjie

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