For every Nigerian woman, a time comes when your weekends suddenly go from lazy Saturdays spent in your house, to having to attend a friend/cousin/colleague’s wedding almost every weekend. And while weddings are a fun, joyous occasion they almost always come with Aso-Ebi gbese.
We asked six Nigerian women to share how they felt about Nigeria’s Aso-Ebi Culture. Here is what they said.
“It’s hard not to love”
Yes it gets expensive, especially when you have a ton of friends, but it’s hard not to love. All the senrenre that comes with it is always so much fun. And if you know how to hack it, it doesn’t even have to get too expensive for you. Pick and chose whose Aso-Ebi, you are buying. Split the cost with a friend and add crepe to make a full dress. Just find a way to hack it. – Adaeze, 26
“I’m so over it.”
When I turned 23 and my friends just started to marry it was fun. I remember buying my first Aso-Ebi it was 10k with gele and I felt so grown up. Now people will be bringing 50k bills for lace they bought 5k from Balogun. If you are not super important to me, I don’t bother with it. And I refuse to be ashamed about it. – Olayinka, 27
“The pressure can be overwhelming”
I had a very close friend get married at a point in my life where I was flat broke. I had to borrow money to buy her Aso-Ebi. I remember other friends telling me it wasn’t that deep, and it wasn’t by force. But I’ve seen the way those same friends act when people don’t buy their Aso-Ebi. Or when someone in our circle opts out of buying someone else’s Aso-Ebi. Maybe I have too many friends. But the pressure to buy Aso-Ebi each time some gets married can be overwhelming. And it’s not even just marriage, just last week I had to buy Aso-Ebi for my friend’s mum’s 60th. – Seun, 27
“You can’t shame me into buying it.”
I hardly ever buy Aso-Ebis. I know some women who spend a ridiculous amount of money on Aso-Ebis every year, but that couldn’t be me. What I hate is how people try to shame you into buying it. Acting like it’s a ticket into some super exclusive club for their D-Days. But you can’t shame me. And if you act up about me not buying your Aso-Ebi then I just won’t come for your wedding. It’s that simple. – Atinuke, 25
There’s honestly no need for it. I think it used to be this fun thing where you and your friends got to show up and show out in similar ‘fits. Now it seems like a money grabbing venture. Almost like fundraising to sponsor the wedding or something. And it’s funny how people price it so ridiculously like we don’t all know the price of lace in the market. It’s completely unnecessary, just call a colour and leave everyone to their own devices. – Adedoyin, 24
“No wedding is complete without it…it’s a gesture of love”
What’s a Nigerian wedding without Aso-Ebi. You might as well not serve Jollof and small chops too. It’s just who we are. It’s extra, it’s flamboyant, it’s beautiful. It’s also a great way to show love and support to the person who’s getting married. I’ve bought way more Aso-Ebi than I’d ever need. But when you buy Aso-Ebi, you are not just paying for material and gele. You are showing your friend, that you are happy for her and you can’t wait to celebrate with her. It’s a gesture of love. – Fadekemi, 25