We’ve talked about a few things over the weeks, but here’s an important topic we haven’t done justice to: The important phenomenon we call ‘Aso ebi’.

The day has come for you to be celebrated, albeit as a guest. You’ve got your invitation. You wake up, take a shower and get dressed. Ghen ghen.


My people! I know it, you know it, we all know it. Aso ebi issa mood. And it can transform anyone into a child of the people.

But what exactly is behind the Aso ebi tradition? Why do Nigerians dress up in variations of the same fabric? And why is it so important?

The custom of coordinating outfits traces its origin to 1950s Yoruba land, where members of age grades would wear different uniforms to mark fraternal bonds.

The custom eventually evolved to a measure of personal affluence and rivalry. Today, we see this mixed with the original sentiment of coordinating outfits.

But even with a beautiful part of West African culture, there appears to be a darker side.

There’s such pressure on celebrants to enforce outfit coordination.

The fabric for coordinated outfits is sold at such outrageous prices.

It has got so bad that partygoers now prefer either refusing to wear Aso ebi to events, or staying at home altogether.

The truth is that there’s no reason for one to go bankrupt simply because they want to celebrate with the people they care about. There are far more important things than fitting in.

So what should one do to avoid getting entangled in the money-sucking habit of constantly buying aso ebi? A good way out is to wear bright clothes that match the colours of the event.

Yes, one can look amazing in or out of Aso ebi. And if there’s anyone who objects to your decision to save money, it’s perhaps time to reevaluate that relationship.