Last week I went to a traditional Nigerian wedding with some high school friends (the bride also went to our high school). Nigerian weddings…actually Nigerian events in general, are very vibrant and lively affairs, as evidenced in a previous post of mine (read here) and this one was no different.
Typically at Nigerian weddings, the bride and groom pick a specific material and gele (head tie for women) or cap (for men) in colours of their choosing for their friends and family. In this instance, the bride only chose a two-toned head tie but said we could pick any fuchsia material in which to sew an outfit.
I seem to always be taking fabric to my designer to sew for me so this time I decided I simply wanted to buy something to wear. I did not anticipate how difficult it would be to find a flattering fuchsia dress in a style befitting of a Nigerian wedding and my personal style!
I bought three dresses – one didn’t arrive in the post (the one I liked the most sadly) and the others were not a perfect colour match. The dress I ended up wearing was actually the first one I bought and left up to me I wouldn’t have worn it but I was out of options. The only good thing about said dress was the wake-up call it provided me with.
I want to lose some weight. There. I said it.
Don’t get me wrong, I by no means think I’m fat, but I’m bigger than I used to be and I have so many clothes that I have no intention of donating nor replacing any time soon so the excess weight has to go. Simple. That, is what wearing this dress did for me in addition to making me think about women and the way we (plus others) view our bodies. That then prompted the poem at the end.
Anyway, confessions and contemplations aside…below are pictures of a couple of my friends and I plus the bride and groom.
Tying a gele (head tie) is not easy by any stretch of the imagination! Usually I get a professional to do it but I wasn’t able to in this instance so hopped on YouTube, watched some tutorials and voila! My friends and family were impressed that I managed to tie it myself. As I said in a Facebook post, adding this skill to my repertoire has certainly added to my bride price methinks.
In order to make my dress match my headtie more I customised it with a scarf that I secured with gold hair slides – necessity is the mother of all invention after all right?
My friend also managed to tie her gele herself which was even more amazing given that it’s the first time she’s worn one and she isn’t even Nigerian! She looked so beautiful.
..as did our other friend.
This is my friend from University who happened to be a groomsman (small world). He’s not Nigerian either and it was his first time wearing agbada. I love that he had his designer incorporate an embroidered Ghanaian symbol (it’s called Gye Nyame) in order to represent his culture.
The happy couple.
Your body is more than a suitcase for stuff.
Men will frequently try to move you,
unzip your shell to unpack your stuff
to make room for the loading of their stuff
to see if you can carry much more than you were made for;
you will often carry more than you were made for.
How far will you travel for men who will never carry your baggage too?
©Assumpta Ozua 2015