According to Wikipedia, Aso-ebi is a uniform dress that is traditionally worn in Nigeria and some West African countries as an indicator of co-operation and solidarity during ceremonies and festive periods. The purpose of wearing the dress can be to serve as self-identification with age-mates, relatives or friends during social gatherings.
To break it down, Aso-Ebi is a deep rooted Yoruba word. ‘’ASO’’ means cloths while ‘’EBI’’ means family. If there is anything that defines unity, then that should be the different Ankara or lace Aso-Ebi fabric we see on marriages and other social events. Aso-Ebi depicts an African style of dress commonly among Nigerians. Although the Aso-Ebi style of dress or craze is not just a Nigerian thing, you could say that it is ‘’Afrocentric’’ because it is widely worn by other African countries.
Narrowing it down to what plays out in the Nigerian settings, the Aso-Ebi has become one of the trends that compliment a typical Nigerian wedding. If you attend a wedding next Saturday without seeing beautiful ladies and men adorned in Aso-Ebi fabrics, then you definitely in a wrong place and not in a Nigerian wedding.
I would say without mincing words that Aso-Ebi has become a culture in Nigerian weddings which has evolved overtime.
The craze of who’s wedding becomes the most talked about is tied down to which of the weddings had the best styles of Aso-Ebi fabrics. It has become a widely accepted trend today in Nigeria.
The widely acceptability of Aso-Ebi into the Nigerian wedding culture is as result of the so much importance we have attached to it. No Nigerian woman jokes with Aso-Ebi fabric of his friends or relatives’ upcoming wedding. It is more like a norm.
On the flip side, Aso-Ebi has so far become a money making machine to some people. You’d barely get an Aso-Ebi fabric for a wedding at a cheap rate today. Many people have turned it to a venture where they extort money from peoples all in the name of inviting them to their wedding. Sometimes I wonder why some people would make the cost of getting Aso-Ebi become so outrageous. It is very sad.
Sadly, the preferential treatment given to some people adorned with the Aso-Ebi Ankara fabric at weddings and other social gatherings is a case we should frown at. The Yoruba people comes to the picture here as it is more or less like a custom in their tradition that guest at weddings, wearing the Aso-Ebi dress are treated nicely, while others who shows up without the dress are snubbed. Those who do not appear on the dress might not be given food at the occasion, just because they could not afford to buy the Aso-Ebi piece of lace or Ankara. Such is a culture that has found it place in the settings of a typical Nigerian wedding.
Aside the downsides about Aso-Ebi, it is imperative to note that for a Nigerian wedding to be complete, Aso-Ebi is one factor that adds colour, brings unity and harmony in the occasion. At this juncture, I’d like to say, any wedding without the family members, friends and relatives appearing on Aso-Ebi, is that one a wedding seff?