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Adanna Elechi: How to Escape Asoebi Duties Like A Pro



It’s four months to Christmas. Which means it is also four months to wedding season. Everyone knows this involves buying asoebi like that’s what you came to this life to do.

Asoebi is fine, you know, a good way to add to your wardrobe. But the problem is that asoebi is expensive, and the economy is bad. The money you have is already budgeted for other stuff like looking good… so you can find your own husband or wife.

We all know Asoebi is an investment without returns. Except in cases where you are lucky enough to meet your own better half, or someone who can change your life a.k.a helper or big god.

Coming from a place of constant asoebi duties with nothing to show for it except a box of never-to-be worn dresses, I present to you five ways of escaping unwanted asoebi duties.

The After Six Months call
We all have friends who never call us and we don’t even notice. The ‘happy birthday’ comment on Instagram is more than enough for a whole year. When you get a call from such person, don’t let them land; say, “Okwa asoebi ehhh? You’ve not called me since 1900 biko be going.” My dear, form vex. Use it as an escape plan, if not, your money is gone. If it is not an asoebi call, then you are safe and the nonexistent friendship continues.

No Middle Name, No Asoebi
How can you donate your hard earned money to someone who doesn’t know your middle name if it is not charity? Start asking them your full name before you accept that asoebi. Your true friends should know your baptismal and confirmation names, even the names your paternal and maternal grandparents gave you. My middle name is Onyinye, even my enemies know it, so I have a special name for this purpose. This name sometimes I don’t even remember is my name but if you don’t know it then why are we friends? Alexa, play ‘Oh Na Na What’s My Name’ by Rihanna

Clash of Dates
When you get the asoebi call from your friend or acquaintance, just sound super excited until they tell you the date. Then you will be like “OMG, I have another wedding the same day oo. I can’t believe this is happening, but I will try my possible best to be there.” You have skillfully removed yourself from this one, because you cannot wear two different dresses on the same day when you are not Katherine Heigl in 27 Dresses. That way, you can rock your own dress and money is saved. Sense will not kill me.

You Already Have an Outfit in that Color
If someone wants to sell you a colour you already have, be sure to point that out because you are not a pimp named Slickback who probably has a closet filled with purple clothes. If the shades are different, try your best to convince them that those fancy lights at the reception can change the color of your outfit to theirs. If water could turn into wine, and at a wedding, even, then anything is possible. Also, let them know you were a chameleon in your past life.

It Is Too Expensive/You Don’t Have Money
I know a lot of people shy away from this one because they are forming one thing one thing. See, if the asoebi is too expensive, better let the person know. Not when someone brings ₦4000 material and sells it for ₦20k and you buy because you don’t want them to call you broke. Also, if you don’t have money say you don’t have and move on. ‘Na broke you broke you no kee person.’ Don’t form your way to bankruptcy, it is definitely not worth it. A true friend will understand your situation and find a way to still involve you on that day. Stop stressing yourself for superficial people who do not care if you have to starve to be able to afford their asoebi.

I am not saying you shouldn’t support your friends. My friends can vouch for me that I am always available when they need me. These excuses are for random people who are most likely going to give me even worse excuses if they were in my shoes. Things like “my brother-in-law’s wife’s sister’s dog caught fire and fell in the fish pond and the fishes caught fire too, so we are going to pour pepper and onions on them to turn the fishes into barbecued fish so they don’t go to waste.”

Asoebi is an essential part of any event, just like jollof rice, but I never heard someone cancelled their wedding simply because one person wasn’t a part of it. All that money can be used for other things like improving yourself. If we all sit to calculate all the money we’ve spent on asoebi, I am sure some people’s own should be able to complete a duplex somewhere in Enugu.

My dear friends who I have done asoebi for, there is no escaping this one. Be sure you cannot use any of these excuses because you can’t outshine the master. The only way you can escape is with your Doctor’s report.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Adanna Elechi is an entrepreneur, writer, blogger and information enthusiast who believes in changing the world one post at a time. She is passionate about nutrition and wellness and blogs about it on Connect with her on all social platforms @adee_elechi


  1. Dr. Ezinne

    August 3, 2018 at 5:07 pm

    I enjoyed reading this ‘okwa asoebi’ cracked me up. Being away from Nigeria for so long means I’ve only had to buy asoebi once in the past 6 years. Lets see how the coming years will go

    • Fleur

      August 4, 2018 at 2:23 pm

      You forgot to add “ugly design.” Some asoebis are of the kind of fabric you’d not purchase on your own so why sacrifice your taste for a friend when money is involved? Give them the cash instead.

    • Adanna Elechi

      August 5, 2018 at 11:01 pm

      I definitely envy you right now.

  2. Nene

    August 3, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    Gosh you are sooo funny and its soooooo true nice writeup and good advice. For me i am madame dont like to impress, worse still i dont like natives or uniform soi just tell the bride i will comemfor your wedding and if she needs any support i do the one i can. Its wrong to make asoebi a money making venture i wouldnt do that during my wedding because am simple and prefer to relax and enjoy my once in a life time wedding cause i will never marry twice. Its greedy women that do that asoebi thing, why would make someone pay anything for my wedding whenbi know i am the HOST haba.

    • Adanna Elechi

      August 5, 2018 at 11:03 pm

      can I borrow your liver for one year, please??? one particular year, I had asoebi almost every month.

  3. Dortasha

    August 3, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    hahahahaha. nice nice. this article is hilarious. but in learnt alot jare. thanks for tips. [email protected] pimp named Slickback

    • Mz Socially Awkward....

      August 4, 2018 at 12:51 am

      I’m absolutely here for a Pimp named Slickback. ??? And yelz ke, that’s a boss, an entire bwass!

      Thank you for being a Boondocks fan. Enjoyed the humour in your writing, too.?

    • Adanna Elechi

      August 5, 2018 at 11:04 pm

      Anytime! Thanks

  4. Dortasha

    August 3, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    *…I learnt…

  5. Marsala

    August 3, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    My dear, I love this article especially the part about middle names! In fact, that will also be a criteria for picking my wedding guests; Biko, what is my confirmation name. Ehen, what’s my middle name. Gbam!

    • Phoebe

      August 3, 2018 at 5:42 pm

      ?? Sister girl!! Me too, LOL

    • Adanna Elechi

      August 5, 2018 at 11:06 pm

      lmao. I can’t try it for my wedding. I am sure my mum already hired a coaster bus to bring all my village people to the event.

  6. ejayz

    August 3, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    yea! please dnt allow my Boos query me for laughing too loud oooo. Nice one girl.Ha! and me i just got one oooooo,for a birthday i didn’t even attend. Abeg keep writing as your sense of humor is A+.

  7. zzzzzzzzzzz

    August 3, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    This is just an info, for some weddings I have attended in the north, the sample of the material is cut and sent to all, you go to the market and buy yourself

  8. See

    August 3, 2018 at 6:40 pm

    Hilarious article. I can’t stop laughing. This asoebi issue…

    The other wedding related issue that just amuses me is when brides/bridal parties come up with a gamut of fanciful wedding-related activities and packages for which chosen bridesmaids inevitably have to fork out huge sums of money or risk becoming the enemy who isn’t ‘happy’ for their friend. The day a friend told me all the stuff she had to pay for as a bridesmaid and how stressful it was for her budget, she was almost in tears : expensive dress she will never wear again, uniform shoes (no it didn’t matter that she already had shoes in that color and a similar style), make-up artist, expensive asoebi for trad, spa day, bridal shower and uniform for shower too, hen night (separate from shower o) then contribute money for gift. I shuddered o!

    • Cece

      August 3, 2018 at 7:18 pm

      But why do women find it hard to say sorry i will pass? I believe your friend was trying to impress and she needs to learn that saying NO doesn’t make you bad whoever misunderstands her definitely is the one with a problem and if because of asoebi you want to destroy our friendship then i wonder what i was thinking in the first place to consider you as a friend.

    • See

      August 3, 2018 at 8:39 pm

      Because hard it was and hard as she is as a person, it wasn’t the type of friend she could say sorry to. It was her best friend’s wedding… she couldn’t exclude herself, but she was not happy about the expenses.

    • Phoebe

      August 3, 2018 at 9:53 pm

      She needs a new best friend

    • Osa

      August 7, 2018 at 7:16 pm

      Its not about that. Most peoole buy not to look the odd one out on the special day. Its worse when its a high society wedding but not so bad when its just a regular wedding and u urself are good looking. So the rich tend to have more aso ebi buyers. The norm continues

    • Cece

      August 4, 2018 at 4:34 am

      SEE am not trying to upset you but your friend should listen or buy ARESE UGWU book. She said on one of her articles, the reason for most women financial failure is KEEPING TOXIC friends that are not goal driven. As someone said down there no true friend not even a best friend will make you feel bad for not buying asoebi, its CHILDISH and that friend has real character issues. Its like those indirect low self esteem poeple who derive joy in controlling poeples ability to make their choices, atrue friend should let me be myself, i know my pocket, i care about you but i can’t afford it.

  9. Babym

    August 3, 2018 at 7:30 pm

    Buhahahahaha! ? luv it! Wonderful tips! Ngwanu I’m prepared to try this for my next ‘acquaintance’ bride ?. If I try these with my real friends I’m finished. My other bride (friend) has already put me on payment plan ? #bridewithsense #noescape #norestforthewicked

  10. Ayogu Vivian

    August 4, 2018 at 1:21 am

    Sister mi, ihe nke Kari o. Ashoebi everywhere. But Na true talk u talk sha. So if you know you do not know my confirmation name, no ashoebi for you. Lol? . But I am serious o. Nice one my sister,, keep it up.

  11. Iyke

    August 4, 2018 at 2:14 am

    I hate this Asoebi and owambe disturbance.
    Why can’t ladies do a simple and intimate wedding devoid of all these biko nu?
    Family and just close friends are all you need.
    Me I don talk am, I am not leaving this obodo oyibo to go do asoebi for nigeria.
    Na here me and the girl go sort am out. Can’t be busy saving up to pay off my mortgage for one girl to disturb me with asoebi and noisy wedding.
    Una never ready to marry.

    • Ada

      August 5, 2018 at 6:14 pm

      Iyke if you and MSA are not married yet, can we marry already? You won’t have to do asoebi, I promise

  12. Dr.N

    August 4, 2018 at 2:27 am


  13. o

    August 4, 2018 at 2:44 am

    Lol. Nice article. Some time in 2013, randomly i put pen to paper and calculated all i had spent on asoebi and i and shocked. With my miserable salary i had spent over 300k. Thatbwas

    • Esther

      August 4, 2018 at 4:43 am

      It is until you decide to write it down that you can truly know the cost involved.Not just the dress,the sewing,Transportation, call making,hair and makeup,gele tying, gifts and the time involved for preparation and the actual day.Chai!!!!!!

    • o

      August 4, 2018 at 12:11 pm

      And those days it was the norm to make beads to match. What of matching shoe and bag? And those lol spending all their life savings on it usually have no tangible asset. Land for mowe or ikorodu sef them no get

    • o

      August 4, 2018 at 12:08 pm

      didn’t know my comment was posted sef, bad network. As I was saying it was not until I saw how much I spent that I said NO MORE!!! Now I wear what I have in that colour and if I don’t have the colour, I do buy 12/15k fabric in that colour instead of the 35/40k fabric they picked. I only support by buying here and that’s once in a while

    • o

      August 4, 2018 at 1:58 pm


  14. baby4u2

    August 4, 2018 at 4:29 am

    One lady came to give me 50dollar gele. I am like this thing is 10dollars now. I am still upset.

    Another one gave us one ugly asobi for 200. I sewed it and can never wear it. Too ugly for a young girl like me. Plus we are certain the material is under 5o dollars.

    They know me very well in the this hood. I do not buy asoebi. I wear the color of the day I already have. I don’t play like that.

    I am upset all over again.

    • Aare

      August 4, 2018 at 3:06 pm

      The more they sell the greater their ability to pay back the expense of the extravaganza. Sometimes the asp-evo turns itself to an opportunity to pay for the wedding.

  15. Jenny

    August 4, 2018 at 6:49 am

    Addy with the yoggy

  16. aloelady

    August 4, 2018 at 8:07 am

    Just say no, Simple as that. Your true friends should respect your wishes.

  17. Didi Elechi

    August 4, 2018 at 8:35 am

    Turn into barbeque ????????

  18. See

    August 4, 2018 at 9:56 am

    I totally agree with you, my motto for people’s weddings is “Biko, i’m not the bride!” And I tell them straight up. When someone turned down my request for her to join my bridal train because she just couldn’t do train duties (which actually didn’t entail anything other than bridesmaid’s dress and be present on the said day), my respect for her went up a notch. Because like I said, she was not the bride!

    • See

      August 4, 2018 at 10:07 am

      This is in response to Cee’s comment under my comment. Lol!

  19. Chisom Winifred

    August 4, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    Lmao ? such a nice read Ada. Biko jisi Ike

  20. Meelikey

    August 4, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    Great write up. I ask for the colour of the day immediately i am informed of a wedding ,by that i have passed across a message before aso ebi talk start

  21. Ceetoo

    August 4, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    The worst part of this whole uniform thing is that people take offense (I don’t know if it is fake offense) if you don’t tell them. You try to keep it within close friends and family circles and someone begins to get upset that you did not include them… ?
    Anyway I don’t sell so I don’t buy unless I like what I see then I buy like I were acquiring new clothing for myself.

  22. Neddy

    August 4, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    Lmao. So true

  23. Blossom Beauty Finesse

    August 4, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    27 dresses !! ??? Economy get as e bi ?

  24. Sammie

    August 4, 2018 at 5:42 pm


  25. Nnedi

    August 4, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    I really love this write up. You have really given me a way to doge this thins. Now they have even added bridal shower fee on top the asoebi

  26. Serene

    August 4, 2018 at 10:47 pm

    You’re so on point. Bookmarking this for reference purposes

  27. Nividad

    August 5, 2018 at 9:31 am

    I once said no to a lady about being on her train, and she blocked me immediately. Such toxicity!

    • A

      August 6, 2018 at 9:33 am

      LOL! For me the bride was a childhood family friend of mine whom I had not seen or heard from in at least 10 years, only for my mum to tell me that I will receive a call from said lady. She called me, and then I was still recovering from investments made toward my cousin’s wedding (as a corper). So I first told her to give me some time, then after about two weeks, I let her know I won’t be able to come. Also, I’d have had to travel for the wedding because bride is based in a different city. After then communication ceased. So really, what would have been the point?
      In this life, one of the best levels of freedom is being able to say NO to people and move on. And for me once you are not immediate family/close friend, and there’s no past record of good deeds I have been a beneficiary of, it makes me less indebted to you! We both know we’re not really friends…so let’s keep it moving.
      I’ve even been burnt from an experience of going all out (travelled, gave gifts, bought asoebi, even a heavy cash gift from my parents) for someone’s wedding, and then it was hard for me to get a “thank you” call back, and my parents got none- I’d never felt so disrespected/taken for granted in my life…I feel disrespecting me is one thing, my family – a whole new kettle of fish. Tbh it still hurts but I’m moving on. Since then, I’ve even been more hardened…LOL!

  28. Jube

    August 5, 2018 at 11:17 am

    Lovely hilarious article. For my wedding I bought Ankara 3k and I sold it 3,5oo.oo. My friends were so shocked at how cheap it was some even paid 5k and asked me to keep the change. I didn’t want anyone breaking the bank for a one day event. After the wedding a friend that didn’t even attend the wedding called me and was like “babe that your asoebi was ugly o. Why didn’t you give me the contract to get nice lace to use as asoebi”! I wasn’t even offended I just smiled and said thank you for the observation. Imagine! People sha. I have a rule no matter the person I cannot pay more than 10k for asoebi and this is even for my close pals. I’d rather send the cash to my parents or buy Diaper and wipes for my baby. I cannot comman go and die jor.

    • A

      August 6, 2018 at 9:34 am

      LOL! And these days there’s 80k, 100k asoebi. hahaha! I laugh in spanish!

    • kemi

      September 10, 2018 at 4:47 pm

      why add 500naira! you be thief


    August 5, 2018 at 11:48 am


  30. Star

    August 5, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    Well we dont pray for that sha but igbese should be avoided

  31. Dr fab

    August 5, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    So I recently went to visit an aunt in the US who showed me one fine asoebi for a friend’s daughters wedding. She now said that said friend is begging her to carry the asoebi to go and distribute at another wedding in Houston. That she had begged the mother of the bride at the wedding in Houston to help her distribute it because she cannot afford to go for the wedding and the woman said no. I was like haaaaaaa some people are savage. You cannot go for wedding because you are saving money but you are creating work for the brides mother to give out asoebi at her own daughters wedding? My aunt said biko she no carry too before she will become public enemy number one

  32. Adanna Elechi

    August 5, 2018 at 11:07 pm

    lmao. I can’t try it for my wedding. I am sure my mum already hired a coaster bus to bring all my village people to the event.

  33. Adanna Elechi

    August 5, 2018 at 11:15 pm

    glad you guys liked the article. The people I rejected their asoebis have come for me. in case you don’t see my write-up soon, just know they have locked me up somewhere. lol

  34. Diasporachronicles

    August 6, 2018 at 10:04 am

    Eh ya, all you youngies. Don’t worry once you are 40 and above like me the stress will pass. Haven’t been in a wedding in 5 years. Most people i know are now married or are not looking to. In fact the other day i was telling a friend that i miss being a wedding. lol. On a serious note, honesty is the best policy. Here in the UK there is a trend now, people sell aso-ebis for their 40th and 50th parties and the invites go out a year before the event. I later realized that the aso-ebi actually funds the party itself … go figure!

  35. Diasporachronicles

    August 6, 2018 at 10:05 am

    I forgot to say…. Adanna this is a super article. Very refreshing. bless you much!

  36. Sidney

    August 6, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    So my husband’s colleague is getting married. Both asoebi for male and female is N70k. I told my husband ‘we cannor come and ki oursef. Give her 10k in an envelop, all will be well jo’.
    The other wedding, I attended last weekend, I wore the traditional outfit i used for my wedding. Oh , I looked like a princess. lol. I am not here to impress.

  37. Debby

    August 6, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    It is so me right now,a friend of mine wanted to do her wedding for oct and her asoebi is 18k minus sewing,t fare,make up,bridal shower,gifts. I calculate how much i will be spending close to 40k, she only chat me up to ask about the money for asoebi and i told her i didn’t have money for asoebi and since she stop chatting with me and am cool with it. what i learn is that if someone is indeed a true friend, she will not kill u with asoebi money,one of my friend sis was doing wedding and i told her i didnt have money for asoebi and she pay for my lace,i only paid for gele alone. most of this expensive asoebi people aren’t our very close friend.
    Have learn not to please people in the expense of hurting myself.

  38. Precious

    August 11, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    Lol…I love this article. I couldn’t stop laughing even after reading. I like the middle name/baptismal name part… hahaha… I’m just happy that I’m someone that can’t be cajoled into doing what I don’t want to do. I’m planning my wedding already and I stated it from the onset that I’m not doing asoebi o and no bridal train either.. because I cannot be putting people under stress because of my wedding…the transport fare they’ll be spending and gift is enough sacrifice for me biko.

  39. Nomzy

    November 8, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    Adanna you r very funny and find all ur stories a stress reliver pls can I get ur Twitter name I wud really love to follow u.

    • Adanna elechi

      November 10, 2018 at 6:54 pm

      Thanks dear. @adee_elechi. Waiting for your follow

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