NAIJA GOOD: “OWAMBE”
HAPPY NEW MONTH!^_^
We began this year with telling you about the position of Jollof Rice in Nigerian Parties.
The beginning of a new month calls for something elaborate and over the top, so as you are passing around and forwarding new month greetings let’s talk about the ever-lively OWAMBE.
“OWAMBE” is a Yoruba word and in English it means “IT IS THERE”.
And it definitely is there!
Let’s break it down for you: OWAMBE is what a Nigerian Party is called; think of a very grand party where nothing lacks, when you hear OWAMBE think of a well planned exotic party.
You will see how Nigerians lavishly celebrate, Nigerians are famous for painting it red in parties and leaving a tale to talk about. (The Yorubas are known nationwide for this).
OWAMBE is a Celebration of life; weddings, birthdays, launch, anniversary, naming ceremony e.t.c
And for it to be celebrated the NAIJA way?
1) Family Cloth: Popularly called “Aso Ebi” which is a Yoruba term, it is the dress code of the day. The celebrant’s Family picks a colour for the day and eventually a fabric mostly Ankara or Lace to distribute and sell around for all the members of the family or attendees that want to look like the family of the celebrant to make into different styles of their choice. There is a popular saying in Yoruba for Nigerian Parties -“o wó Ankara, o jé semo!” which means “If you don’t wear Ankara, you won’t eat Semo!”.
2) PARTY FOOD: A proper “Owambe” has assorteds; racing from The Nigerian Jollof (no party without it) to Amala, Semo, Eba, Ofada rice, moi-moi, chicken, fish, soups and small chops. One usually has a big decision to make regarding what to eat in an OWAMBE and the food never runs out. You can’t be watching your weight and be at a Nigerian Party, the two do not mix well.
3) TRADITIONAL MUSIC: “Owambe” comes with live music; mostly traditional songs or a celebrity comes to perform their hit song. Mostly ‘Fuji’. Attendees will be seen showing their best moves or slowly swaying while stuffing their mouths.
4) HEAD TIE: Apart from the family cloth that makes any attendee stand out, the women grace these occasions with big, fancy, colourful fabrics tied stylishly on their heads while the men put on fitting traditional caps.
5) SPRAYING OF MONEY: When the celebrant or someone impressive is dancing, big men and women stand up to throw naira notes stylishly. This is always evident in OWAMBEs and apart from it sweetening the mood of the party, most times it is done to show off wealth.
So! From what we have seen here, at an OWAMBE we have the Aso Ebi slayers, the ones that comes just to eat, the life of the party, the money pickers, the souvenirs packers and the ones that parks their cars anywhere.
Nigerians go through a lot and have a lot of crisis and bad days as it is but these OWAMBEs bring everyone together: different beliefs, religions, backgrounds and various tribes come together in these occasions that are done on every Saturday to celebrate a person.
It is an opportunity to dress in unison and eat different cultural foods in unison.
When it’s time to celebrate, there is abundance, worries are dashed aside and the NAIJA way inspires everyone.
A catchy tune- OWAMBE by popular songstress SIMISOLA KOSOKO explains the theme highly. Listen and Download Here!
~We are Nigerians, we know where the shoes bites but we will use the same shoes to dance away our sorrows.
Hence! NAIJA GOOD.
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