I would never understand the average Nigerian’s seeming obsession with the party jollof

I think I’m tired of Nigerian weddings. I have never been at an English or American wedding before( I mean diaspora weddings in whatever continent) but what I have seen at play in Nigerian weddings has given me a huge distaste.

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The razzmatazz, the paparazzi, the glitz and unneeded effects. First of all, many have argued that there’s nothing called white/ church marriage and there’s no clear distinction between it and the traditional marriage except of course, the “blessing” as people call it.

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All of them are valid so far the marriage is joined by a licensed organization which could be a licensed local government or church.

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But whether or not one is more important is not the topic of discussion today. I am talking about the ceremonies here.

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The idea of prolonged traditional ceremonies where the groom dances to Fuji, reggae, disco, gospel and hiphop is a little over the top. Then, the alagas use it as an avenue to milk the visitors dry with unreasonable demands for money.

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Whenever I go to a wedding which is very rare, the investigative reporter in me comes out. Not that every wedding event is news worthy because trust me, some aren’t…especially when the much anticipated party jollof is cooked with red oil and it looks embarassingly red and oily.

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I would never understand the average Nigerian’s obvious obsession with the party jollof. It still beats me to this day. What is in a rice mixed with vegetable oil, pepper and firewood?

Photo Credit: Dooney’s Kitchen

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For some, Nigerian weddings is just about the party jollof, nothing else. For some, its the praise singing and the attendant attention by the praise singers.

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So I was at the bank sometimes last week and a cashier gave me money in excess of what I wanted to withdraw. Instead of saying thank you, he asked to give me mint in 20naira denomination. I wondered why I collected it but I told myself it would be useful for bikes and my other little naira indulgences.

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Well, I took it home and sold it to my dad who loves owambe. He bought it with commission. Good brisk business.

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The groups of people at a wedding ceremony……..

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The party jollof lovers; they are only there for the jollof. That’s why they don’t bother to go to church but straight to the reception.

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Some group of guys( groom’s friends) who form a circle somewhere discussing arsenal versus Chelsea match. Most of the men in the bride’s family are discussing the reason why buhari is still trying to revive the economy without nothing to show for it.

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Half of the people sitting down under the canopy are not interested in the letter reading, razzmatazz, prostrating command etc going on. Their mind is constantly thinking of the party jollof, amala and semovita they are going to devour.

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Isn’t weddings an opportunity for people to feed their ravenous appetite, for food mongers ( if there’s anything like that) to eat semo with vegetable and lick the drip of oil on their five fingers?

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Isn’t it an opportunity to down several bottles of malt, fayrouz and Pepsi in one gulp? Isn’t it an opportunity to steal and still pack food away?

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An opportunity for people to explore their vain cravings of showing off in different colours of aso ebi.

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What is even an aso ebi? A clothe of many colours? A uniform that gives you an admittance to eat many food of your choice and fight over souvenirs. Well, you need to see men and women fight over things like handfan, toothpick, kolanut, palm oil, erazer, yam etc

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An avenue for people to feed their crazy appetite. To eat rice and still combine it with amala and gbegiri or tuwo.

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An opportunity for showoff, vain glory, gossip and family gatherings.

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An opportunity to chop till you die. And parents derive a particular joy in calling their friends, enemies and ancestors to witness their kids celebration.

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They extend invitations to every nooks and crannies of their villages, calling people who can’t even identify their child in a crowd to come attend their wedding.

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What about you? What does wedding celebrations mean to you?

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Don’t get it twisted. We aren’t talking about marriage here. There’s a wide difference between wedding ceremonies and marriage. The ceremony is the feferities, the marriage is the lifetime journey itself.

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Does the money spent in weddings which is actually a far cry from the reality of the couple’s real pocket make sense when compared with the satisfaction or stress of the one day affair?

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Is wedding a Nigerian mentality or an African sensation?

What does that toothpick or kolanut (imagine, even kolanut!) souvenir mean to you that you have to fight over it?

Who has witnessed an African wedding that was not Nigerian? What does a wedding mean to you? Why is souvenir important to you?

Author

nikeolasiyan@yahoo.com
She has won many awards in writing and poetry amongst which are CLO essay competition (1st Prize Southwest) NDIC essay competition(5th Prize in the southwest) and a World Bank Essay Certificate of Participation She has worked with woman.ng as a content editor and a host of sites as a ghost writer. She has written great inspirational content for fashion brands/blogs. She has been featured on radio and recently added public speaking to her portfolio. You can hire her to write a professional/business profile for you, online content editing, book editing, guest blogging, ghostwriting, content creation or if you need copies of her book, contact her via nikeolasiyan@yahoo.com Facebook.com/Yetunde Olasiyan instagram.com/Yetunde Olasiyan Follow her business page on Instagram @officialladywriter

Comments

Dan
April 16, 2017 at 9:45 pm

Wedding is an event that showcase the birth of a new family…traditional wedding is the only wedding I recognized, and I don’t believ in crowd, send your wishes, but don’t come without an invite!!



Oyeniran kayode
July 20, 2017 at 12:10 pm

Sister, “feferity” has to be added to the dictionary…….make sense!



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