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Curtailing excessive desire for ”Asoebi”

The excessive desire for asoebi has turned many into debtors and other self-inflicted pains. Photo: fashionimages

In Nigeria, cultural celebrations and gatherings are incomplete without the vibrant display of traditional fabrics, popularly known as “asoebi.” These beautifully designed fabrics have become synonymous with the country’s rich cultural heritage and are an essential part of her social fabric.

The cultural phenomenon of “asoebi” has evolved from a traditional custom into a ubiquitous and often extravagant practice. Asoebi, which translates to “family cloth,” refers to the practice of wearing uniform fabrics or outfits during social events like weddings, funerals, and other significant celebrations.

However, in recent years, the overwhelming desire for asoebi has reached unprecedented levels, leading to excessive spending and social pressure.

Origin and significance of asoebi

Asoebi has been a part of Nigerian culture for centuries, with its roots in the Yoruba and Igbo communities. Originally, it was a way to identify members of a family or group at social gatherings. The practice was simple and meaningful, serving as a symbol of unity and shared identity. Over time, Asoebi has transcended cultural boundaries and become a prominent feature in various ethnic groups across Nigeria.

The asoebi addiction: A Growing Concern

Asoebi, traditionally a symbol of unity and camaraderie, has evolved into a status symbol and a measure of social worth. From weddings to funerals, birthdays to naming ceremonies, Nigerians are expected to purchase and adorn themselves in asoebi to show solidarity with the celebrants. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this tradition, the recent trend has seen it escalate into an expensive and sometimes unsustainable practice.

Financial Strain

One of the most concerning aspects of the asoebi addiction is the financial strain it places on individuals and families. Many people feel obligated to purchase expensive asoebi fabrics, even when it stretches their budgets to the breaking point. This results in unnecessary debt and financial instability, which is detrimental to personal and family well-being.

Social Pressure

Asoebi can also exert tremendous social pressure on individuals to conform and fit into societal expectations. People often feel compelled to participate in events and purchase asoebi to avoid being labeled as unsupportive or distant from their social circles.

Materialism Over Genuine Celebration

Many Nigerians have sometimes ignored the major essence of the asoebi by turning it to competition on who gets to wear the most expensive materials. The excessive focus on the asoebi has sometimes overshadowed the true essence of the event itself.

Celebrations should be about coming together, rejoicing, and making cherished memories, not about who wears the most expensive asoebi or who had the grandest outfit.

Promoting Change

It is imperative that Nigerians take steps to curtail the ecxessive desire for asoebi and restore its original purpose as a symbol of unity and celebration.

Promote Affordability

Event organisers should make an effort to choose more affordable asoebi options, allowing everyone to participate without undue financial burden. Organisers should encourage people to express their individuality and creativity when attending events. There should be no compulsion to wear asoebi, instead, people should be free to wear what they feel comfortable in.

Resist Social Pressure

Individuals should learn to resist social pressure and prioritise their financial well-being over societal expectations. True friends and loved ones will understand and appreciate ones presence more than their attire.

Re-emphasize the True Essence

The excessive desire for asoebi in Nigeria has reached unsustainable levels, causing self-inflicted financial strain, social pressure, and an undue focus on materialism. It is essential to revisit the core values of this tradition and make conscious efforts to curb its excesses.

While Asoebi remains an integral part of our cultural heritage, it is time for Nigerians to promote a more moderate and sustainable approach. The true essence of any celebration lies in the love, joy, and unity it fosters, not in the price tag of the Asoebi outfit.

In embracing moderation, Nigerians can preserve the meaningful aspects of the country’s rich traditions while adapting them to the changing world.

Writing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade; Editing by Daniel Adejo