It would be unfair to assume everyone reading this article knows what aso-ebi is. Hence, for formality sake, let me define what it is. Aso-ebi (translation: cloth of the family) is used to refer to the outfits made from matching fabric and pattern worn by family members (though it now applies to anyone who can afford one or would like to wear one) at a wedding ceremony or social event to denote unity, support, and represent sides of the family. Aso-ebi fabrics are typically of Ankara or Lace material for the outfit with occasional head ties (gele) associated with it. Contrary to popular belief, the aso-ebi phenomena is not strictly a Nigerian thing but applies to many tribes and countries in Africa with the subtle difference in the name; not called aso-ebi across all countries. I am not sure how far this phenomenon dates back to or the cultural importance of it when it was introduced but I’ll like to know if someone knows about this.
Given this definition, it’s no surprise that people attach so much importance to the associated aso-ebi piece of fabric. Perhaps, it’s because of the preferential treatment people who wear aso-ebi get at a social event amongst other reasons.
I personally have no problem with aso-ebi but I have a problem with the price hike associated with it, the forcing of aso-ebi into people’s hands, and segregation of aso-ebi wearers from non-wearers amongst others.
For one, the cost associated with aso-ebi. 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.
Secondly, forcing aso-ebi into people’s hands. This is typically as a result of people’s refusal to purchase due to the hike in price, lack of interest from people amongst others.. If you are an acquaintance of mine, please don’t even bother asking me to buy aso-ebi as I’ll politely decline. I will only purchase aso-ebi from family or friends I consider close enough. I’ve seen and heard about scenarios whereby brides and family members ambush people by either dropping off the fabric at someone’s home, sending it through a mutual friend and offering to come collect the money later without prior acceptance from such a friend or acquaintance. In my opinion, brides, grooms and their families who choose to go with this aso-ebi custom need to notify their guests beforehand of the color and cost of the fabric. It’s up to the guest to make a decision to buy it or not.
Oh and perhaps the part that irritates me the most, segregation of aso-ebi wearers from non-wearers. I personally think it’s of poor taste to do this. I was at a wedding not too long ago and I wasn’t in aso-ebi but it was a clear segregation. Aso-ebi wearers were allocated the entire left side of the hall, were told to get up and dance in with the parent of the bride, served food first, and given numerous favors. On the other side of the hall, we sat and watched in dismay and wondered why on earth we were invited to the wedding. Friends were separated from friends and parents from children all because they wore aso-ebi. I don’t mind giving aso-ebi wearers favors or even specially calling them out for a picture and to dance but when you make a clear segregation amongst guests, then it’s foul.
What’s your take on the whole aso-ebi custom?
Have you had any bad experiences because you did not wear aso-ebi?
Would you be following the aso-ebi custom on your big day?
Source:All about naija weddings
Please next time. Your source should contain the **Name **and **link **to the story 😉
Aso ebi is part and parcel of our culture. No matter the price, it should be upheld in every aspect of our social activities. This are some of the key fabrics of our society that helps shape and define us for our heritage especially among the Yoruba.
code9 cant u see the source below,its obvious you did not read through
Aso-ebi is part of what defines our culture here in Nigeria. They are of different grades even though some are very expensive, but I still feel its worth it. Aso-ebi gives that confidence when you go for an occasion.. People can just easily identity the part of the country you're from.
its worth it i agree with you but it should be affordable,Nigerians are killing its purpose, these days people dont even want to participate in asoebi because of the price hike.
While I do not have any problem with the concept itself as it makes a party colourful, I have an issue with how some people turn it into a money making scheme. I have a problem with how some people sell their asoebi at such ridiculous prices. Sometimes I wonder if the reason for choosing asoebi is to make the party colourful, or to make money.
Some years ago, I was badly in need of money because I was trying to get an apartment. As all the apartment I saw were expensive, I decided to cut down on my expenses so that I could afford to get one. I needed to get an apartment close to work as soon as possible because the stress of commuting from the mainland was beginning to take a toll on me. I had gotten home at midnight too many times due to traffic. Besides, it wasn’t safe for me to be out on the streets that late.
While I was still contemplating on how to cut down my expenditure, my friend called me one day and told me about the asoebi she picked for her wedding. When she told me it was N15,000, I told her I didn't have money at the moment and I reminded her how I was still trying to raise money to get an apartment. She was aware of how my apartment hunting had been going. I had been sending her pictures of every place I looked and I informed her of the rent too. I told her I would let her know as soon as I have money for the asoebi. This made my friend angry. This same friend who was well aware of what I was going through at that time, was angry that I told her to give me a little more time to get money for her asoebi.
"Shoo!!! Na me wan pay for your wedding ni?" “Abi if I no buy asoebi, wedding no go take place?" These are the questions that run through my mind when people call an outrageous amount, or get mad at me for not buying their asoebi. Why would you want to make money from people? At least, you for check your pocket before you begin dey plan wedding na. Can't you just ask your guests to wear whatever they want? Better still, why not choose the colour(s) you want and make it a theme? For example, you could ask your guests to wear gold and red. A lot of people have financial problems and buying asoebi shouldn't be one of them, especially when we have a lot of outfits we can wear to a party. Besides, we all have our priorities.
I must say, this asoebi craze has caused a lot of trouble. Some people go to the extent of borrowing money just because they don't want to upset their friend. The worst part of it is that they bug you with phone calls asking when you'd send money for the asoebi. However, once you do send the money, the calls stop coming in. How and when you'd pick up the asoebi doesn't concern them. All their interest is in the money. This simply means that they aren't bothered if you attend the party or not, as long as you buy the asoebi. These same people expect you to buy the asoebi, wedding gifts and still spray them money on the dance floor. Abegi, Dangote isn't my father.
Another annoying thing is the fact that you can get that same material at a lesser price at the market. This doesn’t mean that I'm asking you to sell it at the cost price. While a little increment is okay, doubling the price is sickening biko! Lastly, I have an issue with the favouritism shown at the parties. Sometimes, the people who bought the asoebi are treated better than the other guests. They get served first and souveniers are given to them.
Oh! Did I mention my friend told me if I don't buy the asoebi, the bouncers wouldn't let me in? Hian!! Bouncers kwa nu. Biko, I would rather sit my ass in my house. Is it chicken, rice, abi cake I haven't eaten before? With that 15k, I would buy 5 kilos of chicken/turkey, half bag of rice, cake, coke and still have some change left.
I know some people probably think I am being stingy. Well, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
Mariam no you are not being stingy, the truth of this matter is that a lot of people especially brides have turned it to a money making venture.I just believe that these days people are beginning to kill the essence by the price hike.The affordability of these materials will have more positive impact & people should allow people to support couples on their own rather than imposing support money through asoebi
My dear, what's an occasion without Aso-Ebi ? This are things that make events colourful. Mind you the most important thing to note is that AsoEbi plays an important role in our culture branding. It reflects our cultural values to the international community. It also helps to promote Nigerian content. And improve our local economy in the broadest sense. I think whoever is minister of information should be looking at harnessing these tools in reshaping our brand.
I must say however, that the cost of AsoEbi can be quite overwhelming at times.
that's true I concur
AsoEbi is our style. There's nothing wrong with it. The only problem is that some girls don't want to hear anything unless their asebi is on point.
The cost sometimes can eat deep Into the whole activity set. Well nothing concern me on top the matter.
hahaha.. No be small na you wan do the wedding. Aso-ebi plays a very important role in our culture. You dint feel complete being on English wear in an event when others are on Aso-ebi but you can feel really comfortable in your aso-ebi even if others are putting on English wears. There's just something that so beautiful about Aso-ebi.
Aso-ebi price can be something else. You wonder if the wrapper has gold in it. It's bad enough that some go for a ridiculous amount, and then sewing it is another issues. That's why people hardly go to wedding with gifts. Or something for the couple. When you spend 30k on Aso-ebi and 10k for sewing. And if the wedding is away from where you are based, you will have to travel there. Who will think of gift when you have such expenses already to deal with. Well I've decided a long time ago not to buy Aso ebi that I can't afford. Or that are unnecessaryly expensive. I will just wear colour of the day and am good to go.
Memz honestly that's just the best thing to do.The cost of attending people's weddings these days tho.I choose to come as a guest now oo or send money to just support than spend outrageous money for just wedding. We i sleep on the same bed on their wedding night???