The anarchists guide to Naija weddings

    A.k.a: The Dos , Don’ts and dare to be different guide

    Dos
    1. Go to the church, it’s always incredible how an empty church translates into an overflowing hall.
    2. There is no shame in catching the bouquet (even if you are a married guy*)
    3. Dance… Shamelessly (and with old people and little children)
    4. Worth friending (read ‘bribing’)are the people serving drinks and food, it’s your fast track to all the good stuff.
    5. Bring your own camera (up this by doing number 15)
    6. Do not sit in the corner and sulk. It draws attention in a negative way. Draw attention to yourself… but on your own terms! I suggest violently contrasting with the Dress code.(When in doubt refer to number 13)
      Don’t

    7. Don’t be stupid, even if you are an anarchist arrive on time and get a good seat at the reception. Bad seats can make or break an event! FACT.
    8. Don’t follow other Wedding crashers anywhere: While it worked out in a cute and amusing way for Rachael McAdams, the majority of you will turn out to be the girls in the beginning sequence of the movie, so use your sense.
    9. It’s not about you…IT IS NEVER ABOUT YOU, so back off the bride and stop trying to make her remember your name.
    10. Do not leave your stuff unsupervised, some wedding crashers are pickpockets (Yes, even in church)

      Dare to be different

    11. Spray people with monopoly money and make them work for it!
    12. Take something edible when you sneak up to see the bride and groom on their altar of awkwardness. People forget that they aren’t cake ornaments
    13. You do not have to buy the aso ebi**, especially if you fall into the category of people who have just left college and whose friends all seem to be getting married (ask yourself, “do I really need another blue woodin?”) this is especially true if you are broke and not in the wedding party.

    14. Bring your own ice. Nigeria is Hot!
    15. Take outrageous pictures for facebook and twitter posterity.
    16. Take only one thing that you intend to use from the souvenir package. I doubt you really need a new tray/food flask/picture frame/mug…. let the vultures squabble over the rest or refer to number 18.
    17. Make friends with the people who sit at your table, even if you clearly told them that the seat was reserved.
    18. Divide table into platoons and send them out on missions to score things*** wager leftover souvenirs (winning platoon takes all)

    *say it’s for your wife who you’d gladly marry again! Then die from embarrassment for being so cheesy.
    **traditional material sold by the wedding party to guest for uniformity (it also helps identify crashers because those do not wear it tend to stay within the color scheme)
    ***drinks from other tables, the microphone (losing platoon must make speech), bouquet from bride b4 the toss, figurines from the cake, extra points if they can be repositioned e.t.c.

5 points if taken be4 the toss, only one point if taken after

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Top 10 election vexations

Nigeria is 50 and we are mere months away from the 2011 elections. In anticipation of the actual tedious voting itself here are ten things to look forward to.

1. Obama: He will appear on posters and be compared to candidates that he has never heard off. These people will also parade slogans about change that are variations of ‘yes we can’. (Note Obama can be substituted with Gandi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Jesus…George Clooney*)

    2. Ankara: Because nothing says I’m going to vote for this guy, like his face all over my clothes. The campaign trail uniform of choice for all wannabe first ladies and their entourage. They will be well cut and highly fashionable except for the unseemly awkwardly placed face print. We will forgive them after we decide that the patterns are lovely and cut them out of ovation for our personal tailors to attempt recreation.

3. Jingles: Of the broken English variety. As we all know the lower classes vote based on the ads directed at them. Each ad will sing the praises of the candidates who are ‘for we people,’ ‘dey kam-pay,’ and ‘go save we country’. All accompanied by native drums, beads and shrieking. Be warned, you will find yourself singing along.

    4. Songs: Not to be mistaken for jingles, which are shorter and catchier. With all the political tension in the air, up and coming artists will try and cash in on the power of song, to bring about change and skyrocket themselves into stardom. (it’s the equivalent of singing a football song that becomes the world cup anthem)

5. Rallies: aka parties for political parties. A huge turnout is guaranteed every time because Nigerians love free food. Mo gbo, Mo ya”

    6. TV specials: Candidates will dust off their one achievement and put it on display. That school they built 20 years ago or that hospital they refurbished (under duress) as governor 5 years ago, that lone road that happens to reach their village (with a complimentary street named after them) and don’t forget that orphanage with the fat, grateful, chatty warden and the mute anorexic children. Whatever the case people must know. For those on the fence they will be won over by molesting I mean the token kissing of babies.

7. Endless debates: Not about the issues but about the likelihood of free and fair elections.

    8. Green, white and dare I say more green. Everything will be draped in patriotic green and white, all in the most random locations, on the most pointless things (yes I’m referring to the sea horse that appeared in the middle of Lagos during carnival)

9. Smear campaigns and bogus boasts, disguised as politics. I believe in divine ordinance, but it is not viable political argument.

    10. Light: (Gotcha) I regret to predict the usual lack of light.

*for sexiness

Cashmere Mafia

If there were a Fashion mafia [mind that I didn’t say fashionable Mafia] I mean Mafia in the sense that they syndicate fashion crimes on a giant scale, their headquarters would be in Lagos Nigeria.

    Now we Nigerians pride ourselves in being the most fashionable Africans [ignore all that South African propaganda]. Everything that’s fashionably African is from us. Unfortunately we pay the price for our great style leaps in a currency of truly heinous fashion blunders.

Even the fashion forward have on occasion been know to defy common sense. Take for example the guy I observed at an ATM cashing out while taking shelter from the rain. He was decked out in a truly awesome winter coat. Where to begin… I love a guy in trench and this was one fine, lean bobo. But what’s the worth of a guy when his IQ is in question?

    I though about taking his picture but as Nigerians and champions of suspicious behavior we are particularly weary about strangers taking our pictures and identity thief in general, even those without anything lose. Therefore I reconsidered; content enough to just gawk at him. Unfortunately, this earned me a smile and a better view of his GQ ensemble. By the time we parted ways he was probably convinced that I was in love with him. I for my part considered the dark forces that conspired to feed my eyes on that rainy day.

Let’s consider the complexities of carrying such a bogus piece of clothing from anywhere were snow is prevalent [this was no ordinary snow flurry protection, but the real honest-to-god middle of a Russian winter type trench]

    Did he bring it all the way or did he buy it in the country, and which one of these options makes him a greater moron. I considered asking him but though better of it when he smiled at me, that last thing I need is some boy to watch over. For anyone in my salary range boy-toys are generally a downward spiral into further debt.

As this is Lagos, generally speaking we don’t see rain until the rainy season and while we are prone to floods when it does rain, that is just down to dodgy city planning. The rain on its own isn’t that bad. So what would possess anyone to put on something so heavy? I mean I did once try to induce a heat stroke to get out of PE, but hello high school! As we cower together under the ATM roof I reconsider the possibility of his wearing it as a raincoat.

    Amazingly the only thing unique about this guy’s outfit was that it was well put together. While I boast about Nigeria being the most fashionable, it also manages to house the most unfashionable insane people on the planet. A nonsensical coat seems small compared to the winter boots and extravagant ball dresses some people wear daily on the streets of Lagos.

Long before bend-down clothes gave lagosians access to these weird extravagance, our ancestors shrouded themselves in heavy native wear made up of layers of hot, itchy, prickly, sparkly, colourful fabric, which are making a comeback in modern styles today. These modern styles like their predecessors continue to be topped with an icing of expensive and heavy bling of the sordid history variety. [Sometimes I drive past clans of supposedly desperately poor beggar women and their kids wearing gold bracelets and nose rings]

    Yes, along with pride and gluttony, excess is one of our sins. Consider for your [and my] amusement, this smug girl on my [NYSC] volleyball team. Our coach adores her and why not— two weeks out of camp and she’s on the team. I’ve been out since December and am still a reserve. I can’t compete with her court aggression or her wicked spike [I can’t really hate her because what she lacks in style she makes up for in a lack of style]. The coach and I disagree with the way she dresses for practice but on the facts we disagree [he thinks she is overly girly and I think she is just wrong]

She’s a fan of the tank over t-shirt layered look. Where to begin—even if we weren’t experiencing global warming, Nigeria is still to hot that this combo is like a car wreck waiting to happen. I keep watching for some heat related damage to befall her. So far I suspect brain damage in the form of her clothing options and her on court aggression.Also, I can’t tell if she is actually ugly because her use of makeup makes any conclusive analysis impossible. All I can tell is that she uses lot of any colour that matches her outfit…Indiscriminately.

    My favorite thing about her is her hair. I had seen girls around in this trend but until I met her I assumed it was accidental. Forget the weave [bulky and occasionally highlighted in blues and purples] she needs an alice-band [a big one at that] a huge clashing scrunch and a giant hair crab [that is out of proportionate to the hair/weave it is holding].

While you may accuse me of volleyball envy, whenever I see her I want to point and giggle and that is what makes my weekly trips to practice hell liveable. To reiterate: Nigerians are stylish and love fashion but life under the sun has lead to the manifestation of midday madness in the form of bad fashion choices on a national scale. The scale of this behavior has forced the fashion police to consider the possibility of this being the work of a highly organized and devious underground group. But hey what do I know.