In conversation with a friend yesterday and we were debating how much Aso ebi should cost based on age bracket and a few other factors. Aso ebi is a very Nigerian party thing whereby friends and family of the celebrant or celebrated wear the same fabric. We take aso ebi for every celebration from weddings to funerals to naming cermonies- though seemingly a Yoruba concept- it seems to have spread like wild fire..to many other cultures..
Now how much would you be willing to pay for aso ebi to attend a friend’s event? I have heard of and seen aso ebi of up to N125,000. I have also heard of folks going to the market to buy other peoples aso ebi to gain admission into high society parties. In the past aso ebi used to give you access to the party if you didn’t have an invitation, so die hard social climbers would enter “gutter” or “moshalashi” in Lagos and buy the same fabric and show up at the event.
In Nigeria it is almost hard to outrightly tell someone “no” to buying their aso ebi and I have noticed that those with really expensive aso ebi tend not to disclose the price. They insist on sending you the aso ebi first and they know you can’t return it at that point, then they disclose the price. Some even offer it on credit and tell you to pay when you are ready. Some of the aso ebi is such poor quality that you know that they doubled the price- someone has sold my mom asoebi for N35,000 before, the same lace was N6,000 in gutter for 5 yards.
There are some generally unspoken rules when packaging aso ebi in my opinion- N15,000 to N25,000 is what is generally acceptable for women 40 and under, while my mother’s age group women 50 and up – N30,000 and upwards is acceptable- when it hits N50,000 then it’s getting ridiculous.
Often times, the more expensive the said aso ebi is, the better grade of party you expect. Meaning, nice venue, nice food, nice service etc. Imagine my suprise when I heard of a wedding in festac with N35,000 aso ebi? There is nothing wrong with Festac- but we all know you are not getting Oriental hotel Service at any Hall in Festac. And I was talking to another friend who had been hoodwinked into buying it through the tactics stated above. And I was like wait let me think about this first….the wedding is not at TBS or civic center, its not in Ikoyi at wheatbaker either, or VI oriental, its not in Ikeja at 10 degrees or Haven? Is it aso ebi money they used to pay for the wedding? Yes incase you werent aware- parties have grades – as a Lagosian, some events aren’t worth attending based on distance and likely perceived party quality…not everyone knows how to throw a party..so why will i drive two hours to get to the said party, then have to hustle for food, then line up to give the couple gift so they can give me back umbrella for coming? At that point shouldn’t i just transfer N5,000 or even N10,000 to the bride and say congrats and move on?
When you are single and someone asks for N35,000 for aso ebi, there better be the most eligible bachelors in Lagos present, some bomb good food, a top celeb dj, a fantastic live band and non stop drinks with top notch service available at a very credible location too. I am just saying. For N35,000 i expect to be approached by an aje butter male speaking with a British or American accent asking for my number – not anybody with a LAFA (locally acquire foreign accent) either. I am sorry who no like better thing?
After all the cost of the aso ebi isn’t the only cost i will incur for your wedding. I have to sew the aso ebi- the tailors that can sew charge easily N10,000 in this same Lagos, i must also tie my gele and do makeup for a minimum of N5,000. You must also add the cost of petrol or car hire for the day. So please tell me if i am spending N50,000 or more just to attend your event, why my expectations shouldn’t be high? These days, you have to compete with the bride to get noticed as a single babe.
For me by the way the absolute most i will pay for aso ebi is N20,000…and you have to be damn close to me or have bought my own aso ebi for my wedding…
Please what is your take on Aso-ebi and corresponding party quality?
That ACER LAPTOP IS STILL HERE