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Akpo Uyeh: AsoEbi is Simply Overrated



Wow…so girlfriend was officially off the market. She has been taken. Her wedding was close by. Preparations and planning were already in top gear for her big day.Lucky her, the man in her picture was the ideal dream guy of every lady. He ticked all the boxes in the checklist. I grinned in envy when I got a chance to meet him, but thankfully it was short-lived. I was happy for girlfriend, even though it meant she would be changing levels from spinsterhood to Mrs. I had my fears that our friendship might not be that close anymore as she would operating and relating to me from a newer perspective.
Anyway, we are told that when God is blessing your neighbour that means you are next in line! So, no fretting.

As some custom demands, while sending I.Vs, the price tags of asoebi are also attached. Now for those who do not understand what asoebi is: it is the cloth (uniform attire) worn during festivities to show belonging/affiliation/association. It comes in different colours, brands and styles. It also depends on the intending couple.

Asoebi is a serious matter in this part of the world. Do you know that asoebi has started having levels based on affordability? From expensive laces and geles to cheap ankara materials, the guest has the choice to choose what best suits her or him.

After buying asoebi, you have to think of what to sew. That is not the problem if you have got a good tailor, who can deliver on time. If not, you are own your own. God help you if the tailor tampers with the  expensive asoebi you bought with your hard earned money.

Back to my story: girlfriend sent a WhatsApp message that her asoebi was ready for sale.
How much does it cost? Imagine my shock when I saw the price. I started dissecting my salary, trying to make out what would be left of it after I make purchases of the asoebi. Supposing there are three other weddings in the same month, for which I’d be required to buy their asoebi, would I have anything at all left of my earnings?  Or would I start borrowing from Peter to pay Paul? Well… I was thinking of how to politely turn down the offer since it was  stated in the message which girlfriend sent, that asoebi comes with the I.V. Meaning that if you do not buy the asoebi, you do not get the I.V- the gate pass.

Now, the issue of asoebi has become overrated. At times some brides buy cheap material and sell it expensively to exploit their buyers. Other times, the brides put undue pressure on those who did not have budget for asoebi in their finances. If someone has other pressing demands and in a month, the person has four weddings to go. That means he/she would have to buy four asoebis. So after receiving one’s salary, one has to devote part, or all to buy asoebi – to please their friends about to wed. What is the use of rocking asoebi that is serious gbese in the end?

However, asoebi is not a bad thing though. It adds colour to the wedding ceremony. It also brings uniformity. Asoebi creates a form of identity on the side of the groom or bride. Those wearing asoebi at the wedding ceremony are treated as V.I.Ps. They receive special souvenirs and treatment at the wedding.

Have you attended a wedding that you were ignored because you were not rocking asoebi and nobody could identify with you? Asoebi is also a source of revenue for couple in question. We all know it not child’s play to organise a wedding. Selling of asoebi is one of the ways to make up for wedding costs or  create additional funds.

That being said, asoebi still puts undue pressure on the buyers. In situations where the buyer can not afford the asoebi, the bride should accept the buyer’s apology with love, and not contempt. Buyers should cut their coat to their sizes. Better still, they could look for something similar with colour of the day to wear at the wedding than running into debt.

The wedding is all about the bride and groom. There are other ways to show support and love to grace the wedding occasion. Physical presence, prayers, gifts, wedding assistance, cash rewards, wedding coordination are ways to show support to the couple. It must not necessarily be in the buying asoebi.

I am happy that my girlfriend is tying the knot. The last thing I wanna do is to rob Peter to pay Paul because I want to buy asoebi or be a people pleaser. That’s just by the way, if the invitation comes then I would honour the invitation, and if it doesn’t come because of the condition of asoebi then I would let it pass. It would not prevent me from extending my goodwill and heartfelt prayers to girlfriend on her wedding day.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime| DiversityStudio1

Akpo Patricia Uyeh is a witty Blogger| Freelance writer| Geo-Journalist. A Sunshine lover. Music enthusiast. She blogs via Òmòté Rò Dhé


  1. Life is good

    July 9, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    I agree with you…asoebi is so overrated. I declined an offer to buy one recently by simply saying, “I don’t do asoebi.” The lady is not even my friend…we are just in the same department at church. However, I opted for gele just to show support.

  2. Wana

    July 9, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    It’s not that deep. It’s asoebi. If you can’t buy, move on….
    Your money, your life ✌?

  3. Patty boo

    July 9, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    My friends’ weddings are coming up , I’m just tired of the whole thing. Who will I tell yes and who will I tell No, Diff states will I go for this one’s trad and go for the others white..
    Sometimes I think of it and laugh.

    • Mannie

      July 9, 2017 at 10:14 pm

      I got uninvited to a friend’s wedding some years ago because I told her I didn’t want to buy her aso ebi. I’m a guy, since when were guys supposed to be stressing about aso ebi?

      We’re no longer talking, all because of aso ebi!

  4. emerald

    July 9, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    I tire…..I remembered my seconday school friend wedding I attended, I brought aso ebi infact I was the only one that went (a class of 60), but when time to share souvenirs, her mother counted the gift to my side, shared, gave her cousin 5 souvenirs to give those beside me excluding me in the middle. I just smile, even those beside me were wondering y she did that.
    To worsen the case d bride didn’t call nor send appreciative text for honouring her day……8yrs counting…….my classmates make gest of me when they heard….but its past now

    the second one, a corper friend, asoebi of 15k, even wooden spoons was not shared as souvenirs take less of plastic spoon and she promised she will give us after the wedding due to stress but 2yrs counting now, notin…….maybe in our dreams sha.


    • Sul

      July 10, 2017 at 12:44 am

      Lool so u bought aseobis fr both weddings bcz u were expecting souvenirs?? I see ure one of those.You sha wasted money bcz of take home gift,

      pple plz oo wen attendin a weddin try not to look at souvenirs as do or die affair. Buy aseobi bcz u choose to b part of d whole shinennegans n dnt go expecting somebdy to hand u paper bag at d end of d day.

  5. The Real Oma

    July 9, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    The ‘Amoeba’ up there made me chuckle.
    Yeah, i know its autocorrect for asoebi, still funny though
    I don’t do asoebi, maybe because i don’t really ‘do friends’ well :))

  6. meka mora

    July 9, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    Girls and asoebi palava sha….My sisters have even quarreled with their friends all because so so and so person didnt buy asoebi for so persons wedding and the are supposed to be close friends. I have bluntly told a very close friend of mine that i can’t buy the material for his wedding all because it was out of my budget and I cannot come and kill myself. I think if you know the capacity in terms of finance of your friends then you can charge them expensive for the asoebi, If not just pick simple colours that everyone can find and wear. A friends wedding that was yesterday, colours for were black, white, grey and some other colour. And I was impressed how almost everyone sticked to it. for guys a simple black or grey suite and white shirt or well tailored native and you are good to go. Atleast everyone has atmost one of those colours inside their wardrobe. why making it a big deal.

  7. Jennie

    July 9, 2017 at 11:29 pm

    My line of thought too,it puts unnecessary pressure on guest, I do not intend to sell asoebi for my wedding

  8. Ajiun

    July 9, 2017 at 11:35 pm

    You are all being scammed because you don’t understand your culture and language properly (if you are Yoruba) or the culture of the Yorubas. Aso Ebi is for family. Then they choose aso egbe for friends. And for guests, they might choose Aso egbe joda but it isn’t compulsory, they might decide to just ask you to wear a certain colour.

    What they are collecting money for from you all is called aso egbe joda. This means money contributed towards the expenses of the event. Basically you helped pay for the party. It was popular in the 80s because of recession but not common in the 90s. They started it again for elite association.

    Basically by dressing people who they considered of high esteem in the society to make it look like they are “mouthed”. You will see obasanjo in aso ebi at someone’s father’s burial and he isn’t even related to them. They do this to give people the impression that he is family to them.

    This low self esteem mentality now turned into proper scam. At least back in the 80s they were honest and people knew what they are buying and why they are being charged.

    Moreover aso egbe differs by groups; celebrants will group her closest friends separately from her secondary school friends and work friends. The celebrant chooses different fabric materials and colours for them. With closest friend having to pay for more than the other groups. Some might only just focus on their few closest friends that they believe they will return the favour for. And just let other friends be colour coordinated or dress in whatever they have. That was how it was done.

    I hope you will release my comment, BN.

    • PJ

      July 10, 2017 at 1:28 am

      Wow this was really enlightening. Thanks for sharing!

    • Uberhaute looks

      July 11, 2017 at 11:03 am

      In fact, you have hit the nail on the head. At times I think people deliberately wants to shame their friends by picking expensive fabrics knowing their source of income isn’t that buoyant.
      I’ll not do more than my pocket can allow. Se bí o to mo eléwàa sàpón

  9. Gimbiya

    July 10, 2017 at 2:54 am

    E don tey why some of us know. My issue is if you must do asoebi know that cost does not equate beauty, don’t make amoeba 100k simply because you have either ONE friend that swims in money or FIVE cousins. Consider the majority and as such do not base your decision on the few that you think have no qualms buying. How much are your friends making and i mean friends gaan not just people you want to turn up. Otherwise, it is definitely not by force… your wedding will still hold and it will be beautiful even without asoebi.

  10. Temi

    July 10, 2017 at 4:25 am


  11. Modus

    July 10, 2017 at 5:43 am

    Just say no…if you can afford it fine if not….saying no will not kill you.

  12. Fabulous

    July 10, 2017 at 9:29 am

    If you think about it critically, Aso Ebi is from the devil.

    • Eliot

      July 10, 2017 at 11:48 am

      How…? . Nigerians and our devilish believes.

    • linda

      July 10, 2017 at 8:40 pm

      this comment killed me…lmao

  13. Ever Green

    July 11, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    I remember my classmate in secondary school sent a message to me on facebook about her wedding the details but excluding the venue, at the end of the text she indicated the account number to pay into if I am interested in buying the Aso ebi and the price, I asked her to send the picture of the aso ebi atleast I would love to see what I am buying because on a serious some aso ebi’s are not just good, when i was told the price 15 k i just borrow myself brain. I dont need to be in the said party. infact I will rather give 15k to someone that really needs it than use it to buy Aso ebi and If I want lace I know where I can get correct lace at Balogun Market in Lagos Island. what I discover is that when i decided not to buy aso ebi, I was dis invited.

    Last year, my uncle’s daughter got married and the asoebi for the family and friends was sold for N25,000, I was just pissed knowing fully well some of their family members can not afford it and I advise my dad not to buy because I see it more as an extortion but he went ahead and paid for three people but to me I dont just get it, You will be automatically disqualify if you dont buy it. When they brought the so called aso ebi, it was looking so cheap and faded and I just shake my head laughed so hard.

  14. Preciousgirl

    July 12, 2017 at 7:24 am

    I buy asooebi. I also see it as my little support towards the wedding. In this era where the giving of gifts during weddings have almost completely ceased, asoebi could also be seen as the gift the couple is given. Moreover, the asoebi is yours, you make your preference and wear it many times over, even to other weddings. I would rather buy asoebi that join a train especially if the dress is ridiculous and i cant wear it again. Sometimes, these trains are more expensive compared to asoebi.

    • Bio

      July 19, 2017 at 12:00 pm

      another dimension.
      i dont know if i agree though

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