`Aso-ebi’: Gate Pass to Social Gatherings
A News Analysis by Busayo Onijala, News Agency of Nigeria
A popular Yoruba adage says, “Eni o wo ankara o je semo” meaning: the guest who does not wear uniform fabrics, popularly called `Aso ebi’ will not eat at the social gathering the fabric is meant to celebrate.
‘Aso ebi’, usually worn by family members and friends at ceremonies, has in contemporary times, become the gate pass to social events such as weddings, burials, harvests, ordination of religious leaders, political rallies and campaigns in Nigeria. It gives a sense of belonging to those who adorn them during the events. It equally makes the celebrator to feel loved and important.
According to Wikipedia, ‘Aso ebi’ is a uniform-attire traditionally worn in Nigeria and in some other West African countries as an indicator of cooperation and solidarity during ceremonies and festive periods. `Aso ebi’ can be made with Ankara, Lace, ‘Aso oke’ (hand woven fabrics), Damask, George, `atiku’, `Senator’, and a host of others materials for both men and women.
`Aso ebi’ adds beauty, colour and glamour and grandeur to events.
Analysts note that guests who wear ‘Aso ebi’ to social functions are usually believed to have directly or indirectly contributed to the success of such functions.
They also argue that those determined to identify with a celebrator through adorning of `Aso ebi’ often do not mind the quality or market value of the fabric.
According to analysts, a guest who refuses to adorn ‘Aso ebi’ may receive cold reception especially from ushers at the event no matter how highly placed or influential he may be.
Thus, most guests purchase ‘Aso ebi’ and appear in them on the day of the events, whether convenient or not, just to fulfill all righteousness, since they are not likely to wear them after that day.
It is also believed that some people see the purchasing of these outfits as an opportunity to acquire more clothes as they may not have the time to go to markets to buy fabrics.
A fashion designer, Mrs Seun Olujide, says an average of 10 ladies send ‘Aso ebi’ to her shop for sewing weekly because of one event or the other.
“This keeps us busy, helps us to hone our designing skills, and deepens our mastery of the art while we make a living from it.
“When our clients wear their fabrics, it gives them a sense of belonging when they get to the event venue because no one likes to feel left out. We are also fulfilled as fashion designers when our clients bring us commendation from their friends and admirers about our works.
“Personally, when I attend a wedding in ‘Aso ebi’, it increases my confidence. I don’t feel like outcast or someone who does not want to support her friend or family member,” she says.
Mr Ojo Ogidi, however, notes that some people exploit ‘Aso ebi’ buyers by selling to them at high prices, noting that this makes such people unable to sell more packs of `Aso ebi’ because some intending buyers would have carried out market survey and observed the exploitation.
“To beat such pranks, two or more potential buyers will jointly buy just a set, instead of the individuals buying a set each,’’ he argues.
A civil servant, Mr Funmi Ajayi, says she teamed up with four others and bought a set of lace materials for a wedding which the event host sold at a skyrocketing price.
“We decided to buy a set and share it among ourselves. Each of us gave to our fashion designer who combined it with other matching fabrics and sewed.
“Our host gave us a single gift which we gave to the oldest among us.
Mrs Boluwatife Alabi of April Fabrics, Lagos, is of the opinion that an event without ‘Aso ebi’ is incomplete.
“What is a wedding without the ‘Aso ebi’ ladies? What is a celebration of life without friends and family members cladding in `Aso ebi’ of various materials and styles?
“I make it a point of duty to select the best fabrics for my clients because the more colourful the fabrics, the more colourful the event will be,’’ the fabrics seller argues.
She explains that `Aso ebi’ sellers add a little amount to the market price of the fabrics to cover the cost of souvenirs to be given to guests.
“ I am aware of instances where certain amount are added to the cost price by organisers, but that is to cover for souvenirs that will be distributed to guests during the function.”
A student, Miss Itunu Asamany, believes that ‘Aso ebi’ is vital to social functions as it serves as a means of identification with age mates, relatives, groups or friends.
“It always makes such events beautiful, colourful and well organised. The bride during her wedding will be able to identify her friends and close relatives by what they wear,’’ she says.
Asamany, however, condemns charging of outrageous prices for ‘Aso ebi’ by some celebrators. She is convinced that the high prices are exploitative and can discourage many potential `aso-ebi’ buyers.
“Some people go as far as adding 30 per cent of the cost price to the selling price; this is not fair at all.
“I won’t break a bank to please my friend. If the selling price of the ‘Aso ebi’ is beyond my budget, I will not buy it but go for what is within my power.”
However, a trader, Mr Koko Adeola, has a different view. He says he will not mind spending a huge amount of money on `Aso ebi’ for close friends but won’t bother doing so for an acquaintance.
“I will not buy an expensive “Aso ebi’’ from someone who is just an acquaintance. The level of relationship I have with you will determine whether I will attend your function in `Aso ebi’. A major advantage of ‘Asoebi’ is that it helps to identify invited guests from those who gate-crashed,’’ he says.
He observes that `Aso ebi’ is less expensive for men. “Men are lucky when it comes to buying `Aso ebi’ because, many times, all they need to buy is just the cap which may not cost more than N500.’’
A businesswoman, Ada Mbah, is worried that `Aso ebi’ can breed unhealthy rivalry between families, especially, during entertainment and sharing of gifts at events.
“Why should the family and friends of the groom be refused food and drinks because they are wearing a different fabric (`Aso ebi’) from those of the bride?
“I attended an event without wearing the ‘Aso ebi’ and I was told that only people with the uniform would be entertained and given gifts.
“I was embarrassed because I bought the fabric but did not wear it to that particular occasion. I really felt bad because I was addressed very rudely and treated like outcast.
Mbah’s friend, Deborah Ige, is of the opinion that a guest can still be treated badly even when wearing Aso ebi. She recalls when she was ignored during entertainment at a ceremony even with her `Aso ebi’.
“I bought the fabric for the event, but when it was time for entertainment, I only got a bottle of water.’’
According to her, getting the required attention during social gatherings with or without ‘Aso ebi’ will depend on planning.
“ There are instances where the population of the guests is more than what the host has budgeted for; he or she will resort to rationing foods and drinks,’’ she argues.
A marketer, Mr Joseph Omojola, is of the opinion that since `Aso ebi’ has become the trending gate pass to events whether secular or religious, there is the need for more security consciousness to ensure that criminal elements do not disguise as family members or friends by wearing the ‘Aso ebi’.
Analysts are convinced that wearing `Aso ebi’ is a major way of promoting African culture, and if well managed, will reduce foreign influence on Africans’ dressing.
They suggest that African governments should do more to promote local production of the indigenous fabrics at affordable costs and consider using them for school uniforms and office wears on certain days of the week.(NNNFeatures)
If used, please credit the writer as well as the News Agency of Nigeria
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BBNaija (S4): Khafi wins N7.6m car
Housemate, Khafi Kareem has won a 7.6 million Naira IVM Fox car in the ongoing BBNaija season four.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the Khafi won the car prize during the ‘Proudly Nigerian’ challenge on Saturday.
The challenge, sponsored by Nigerian brand, Innosson Motors, tasked housemates to present their Nigerian stories and highlight the beauty of being Nigerian.
During the first round, housemates gave passioned presentations on their Nigerian story, however, Khafi’s Excellent and inspiring presentation got viewers emotional.
At the end of the first round, housemates were asked to pull ribbons attached to the Innosson car. Those who dropped the ribbons were disqualified.
After some housemates were distracted by Pizza and noise, Khafi, Mercy, Cindy and Jackye were the last ones standing.
reports that the other women eventually dropped their ribbon, leaving Khafi to win the coveted prize.
Reacting to her win, Khafi said she loved the red colour and the car would be her first.
Fans have taken to social media to congratulate her and pass remarks about her moving speech.
@Juliet_ said, “Congrats Khafi, a win well deserved. Proudly Nigerian indeed.”
@Miracle tweeted, “She was the first that entered into that car and blow the horn of the car,she had one of the best speech,she is the deserving winner,kudus baby girl,I am happy u won.”
@Tessyme said, “She waz Determined from start.. And thanked God for her first car even before wining it. Am happy for her.”
@Chanty4 said, “Salute to the Nigerian spirit. Salute to Khafi. Congratulations to the last four. #BBNaijia #BBNaijaPepperDem.”
Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi
Mr Nigeria bags 5 talent awards at the grand finale of Mr World in Philippines
The 24-year-old Mr Nigeria, Nelson Enwerem, late on Friday in Manila in the Philippines won five talent awards in the just concluded Mr World pageant. .
Heslewood defeated 71 other candidates during the grand finale to become the 10th Mr World.
NAN reports that the 27-year-old model also won an award for his impressive drumming, had now succeeded India’s 29-year-old, Rohit Khandelwal, who had just completed his three-year-old reign
Enwerem, a model and fashion designer, who won the talent award of being the best in graceful contemporary dance, told NAN from the Philippines that he was grateful to Nigerians and his sponsors.
“I just want to say a very big thank you to everyone who supported my journey. God bless everyone, I tried my best to represent our country which I’m very sure I did extremely well.
“Unfortunately, I didn’t win but everyone who watched the show or was at the event and everyone who competed with us is very aware that the results ain’t fair,” he said.
According to him, all I can say right now is that I’m thankful to God, Silverbird organization, my family and friends and every Nigerian out there for making this experience worth it for me.
NAN reports that though Mr Nigeria did not make the list of the first five topmost contestants, but Fezile Mkhize, (black) from South Africa did.
Mkhize emerged the first runner up and won the Mr World Africa title.
The biennial event, which was held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday, Aug. 23, had Mexico’s Brian Faugier, as the second runner up.
Bet Saliva from the Philippines went away with Mr World Asia title.
The five countries that made it to the finals were: Brazil, Dominican Republic, Mexico, South Africa and current champion, England.
NAN also reports that Enwerem was one of the 13 young men that represented Africa at the Mr World competition in the Philippines.
The other African countries with that featured participants are: Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Ethiopia, Guinea Bisau, Kenya, Mauritius, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan and Nigeria.
This 2019 edition of Mr World held in the Philippines is the 10th.
The global title holder is expected to travel around the world as a charity ambassador.
The Mr World competition is a biennial event and the male beauty pageant sponsored by the Miss World Organisation.The competition was founded in 1996 .
Edited by Abiemwense Moru
BBNaija (S4): ‘Omashola TV’ steals the show
Omashola Oburoh, a housemate in the ongoing Big Brother Naija reality show, has stunned fans with his creative project, ‘Omashola TV’.
Nigeria News Agency reports that Omashola’s makeshift television was part of the wager presentation by his group, ‘The Icons’.
Video Source; Dstv
Omashola designed the television entirely from scrap, waste material in line with the theme of the wager task.
The innovation earned him praise from other housemates, especially Mike who specially congratulated him.
Fans also shared their thoughts on Twitter.
@Halimasucre said, “Omashola’s Box Tv Dey burst my brain.He creatively thought out of the Box totally!
“We #TeamOmashola never saw this coming! I Re Stan my Stanship! I’m Very Proud of You Omashola! Go Icons #theicons.”
@Rainebe tweeted, “That is a strong exhibition of a true winner who is fighting so hard to win a deserving tittle and Price.
“It takes only people with genuine judgement to see how necessary it is to root, support and sponsor Omashola to win.”
@Egedec said, “Well Deserved victory icons. Very creative items ( ready to buy) omashola’s TV great prototype bill board for every shop in the streets. I learnt a lot. Items, presentation and good spirit. #BBNaija”
@MissBarosi wrote, “Omashola’s tv was mind blowing,unexpected. The fact that it changed channels, that was a Bomb.”
NAN reports that Ike’s handmade chess board was another highlight of the wager presentation.
He collaborated with Cindy and Khafi to paint and make chess miniatures from waste materials.
The team had their third win in a row on Thursday, following their last wager and nomination task win.
Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi
19-year-old Nigerian visual artist showcases Fela’s ‘Beast of No Nation’
19-year-old artist, Emediong Uko has turned Fela’s acclaimed ‘Beast of no Nation’ song into an expressive painting.
‘Beast of No Nation’ is the first song Fela wrote in 1986, after he was liberated from prison—serving two years from a five year prison sentence for trumped-up foreign currency violation charges.
In May, Emediong’s painting of music legend, ‘Lagbaja’ became the first African work to be displayed at the Cyprus Modern Art Museum.
The Akwa Ibom born artist is the youngest and only African artist to have her work exhibited at the museum, which is the largest in the Mediterranean region.
At her recent exhibition, Emediong also unveiled another Fela-inspired work, ‘Shuffering and Smiling’ to celebrate the strength of Nigerians.
In an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Friday, she said the painting is aimed at drawing attention to leadership lapses that need to be fixed in the country, while retaining Fela’s earlier message.
She said, “I decided to depict the essence of the song. It spoke about the leaders and how they need to do better at leadership.
“I did the painting in about a week this summer, 2019. I want the painting to spark conversations and I hope it inspires people.”
Emediong is known for using musical influences in her art and revealed that she loves every music genre with a message.
On Fela’s influence on new wave musicians, she noted that they are Fela-inspired in a way, from their sounds to lyrics.
She said, “These artists are Fela inspired in a way, especially Burna boy. His piece on the Beyonce album has some Fela-infused vibes.
“We are creating Africa and we are the ones reaching out. In this post colonial times, we are creating ourselves by ourselves.”
NAN reports that Emediong recently auctioned 17 paintings with themes on motherhood, music and nature.
Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi
NIBCARD designs `Wan Wan Touch’ board game on street football
Mr Kenechukwu Ogbuagu, Creative Director NIBCARD says the team has designed a new board game titled, `Wan Wan Touch” as part of the awareness campaign for street football in the Country.
Ogbuagu gained acclaim, in 2018, for leading the campaign and eventually, opening Nigeria’s first board games cafe with his team NIBCARD.
In an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Friday, he noted that the street football game titled ‘Wan Wan Touch’ was designed to help adults revisit their childhood memories.
“It can be played by two to four players and takes between 30-60 minutes to play and is suitable for anyone from the age of seven years and above.
“The game idea came up during a board game hangout we hosted. One of the players jokingly talked about the football game we usually played on the street when we were still younger.
“The process has brought back a lot of feelings from the past – memories I thought were forgotten. Also, this game has been a force for better design and production from everyone in the team.
“This is also our first 3D board game. And we are really excited about it. Really excited,” he said.
According to him, he wants the world to appreciate the growing board game community in Nigeria, especially through the ‘Wan Wan Touch’ game.
On the reason for setting up a crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo, Ogbuagu said that he wanted backers to expand the Nigerian board game industry.
He said, “These successes has helped us introduced over 15,000 people to Tabletop Gaming directly and even much more through our online activities (and in different countries too).
“We have also handmade and distributed more than 7,000 games since 2016.
“With their backing, we hope to make better tabletop games and inspire more people in Nigeria to join the hobby, we can never do it alone,” he said.