Aribaba & the 40 touts – as one of my friends calls me – is back again with “10 things I love about Naija”, and this one (Part 7) is about something that has over the past years risen on our list of things that most Naija people take pride in. I’m talking about Naija Fashion. I’m no expert in fashion or anything so please forgive me if I don’t describe my things accurately, or I don’t have my fashion facts together. I’m just a regular Naija boy that likes traditional outfits, so I’m going to write about it the way I can.
I was looking through some old pictures a couple of days ago, and saw a picture of my Dad wearing his favorite agbada… you know the Baba-Riga… the one we all used to call “One Thousand, Five Hundred.” I just smiled, because I remember when I was younger looking at those big men getting called to the high-table, and they’ll constantly pull up the large wide sleeves of their Agbada to their shoulders, and be walking up there showing off their “One Thousand, Five Hundren” with every pull of the sleeves. It was understood that only Big Rich Men wore those Agbadas. It’s not for small boyz…lol. Fascinating, when I look back at it. Their wives will be besides them with their own traditinal outfits, Aso-Oke, George, Brocade and such, and top their beautiful outfits with the Gele` on their head which usually matched the hat the husband had on also. My cousins and I used to call some of those head-ties, “Third Main Land Bridge” because they looked like they were built to cross the River Niger. They might as well have been, since it took about 2 hours to get it right. Whatever the case is, the outfits were colorful, and every traditional event looked so much more ceremonial because of the outfits.
Fast foward to 2009 and our Naija fashion has evolved with the times. A good number of young fashion designers have transformed our tradionally ceremonial attire to more casual and laidback fashion. Wearing traditional doesn’t have to be a ceremonial event anymore. I can now rock my half-dashiki with jeans and pam slippers to work on casual fridays and not have to look like I’m going to someone’s traditional wedding. It’s a beautiful thing I tell you. The best these days, is seeing young naija babes dressed in trad (short for traditional outfit) at nigerian functions. I can admire girls in trad all day long. It’s something about wearing that traditional outfit that brings out the best in a Naija woman. My brother would say “Every girl looks good in Trad.” From the head-tie, to the slim-fitting gown made from traditional material, to the shoes, and accessories… Girls wearing trad simply look amazing. Those that wear the Ankara, and those that go all out with the Aso-Oke, I love it all. I almost feel like I should make it mandatory for Naija babes to wear trad every sunday or something. Anyways, let me not get carried away because this post is not about my love for Naija babes in trad…lol. Bottom line is our traditional outfits are very beautiful.
Like I said earlier, I’m no fashion expert, and as a guy, I think I’m genetically programmed NOT to be into the details of the latest in fashion and all that, but the bottom line is one of the things I love about Naija is our fashion. It’s unique, and very distinguished. It brings out the best in our looks as Africans, and gives us that edge of royalty that makes us very proud to rock our traditional attire. I shall proceed to post some pictures of our traditional attire. Since they say a picture is worth a thousand words, this should help me describe exactly why I love Naija fashion. Enjoy!!