Rethinking Our National Garb...

What I am about to say will tick a few individuals off. Look at the picture above, do you see Umar? Inasmuch as we ought to protect our identity, tradition and the positive aspects of our culture. Does Umar's dress code fit snugly with the new global economy. I doubt that Nigerians are any more culturally conscious than the Japanese but we do not see Shinzo Abe rocking a Kosode. Do we?
I am not necessarily advocating for Mr. Yaradua putting on a suit, but I'd like to see him in something in the line of a trimmed down Kaftan, or in the case of Obasanjo 2.0 version of Buba and Sokoto. I'd like to see smarter outfits adopted as the National attire.
In the swift global economy image (packaging) is as important as the product which is offered.I find it hard to use technology and Babariga or Agbada in the same sentence. It projects an old school image which is no longer in tune with the socio-economic field in which we are hoping to become major players.
If tearing our politicians from their robes is just too painful to bare, can an able Nigerian designer provide us with a Babariga 2.0. Something like this will work just fine.
Update: I hope i do not get fired soon oh.I am getting my Nigerian TV fix at NGMIX.
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55 Reaction(s):

Anonymous said...

I concur, great blog.

aloted said...

Mr Man, wat exactly is d issue here? Allow our president to wear watever he wants jo...am sure u can see another man wearing something similar as well. Tells me they are proud to be Africans. I don't see anything wrong in what he has worn. Agbada, buba and soro, etc is part of our dress culture and we should not have to apologise for it. Just my opinion

Chxta said...

I actually thought of writing this, but as you once pointed out, I've made too many enemies, so I decided to pass.

I concur wholeheartedly.

Akin said...

In fact, I disagree, in the humid and Summery Europe I live in, I wear my agbada or kaftan to work on the hottest and sweltering days - it is practical, airy and less suffocating than the suit and tie.

Just as people hardly work at their desks with their jackets on, people do not have to work at their desks with the agbada part on.

Looking different in the photo is both unique and a celebration, just as I would expect a female president of Nigeria to wear our flamboyant tradition costumes rather than the bland trouser suit.

Ditch your agbada if you must, but I am glad our president is not looking like some clone in Western garb.

...toyintomato said...

totally agree with you, there was a Nigerian Nyse auditor that came to my firm and he wore an adire inspired tie, it looked so cool,and agreeable with corporate world.
its easy to say "the Babariga" is about our culture, but again think about it, would a Nigerian stockbroker or Medical director look professional wearing Babariga in corporate America,so why do our politicians prefer lookin like a billboard and not projectin professionalism...and if other pple want culture,..heck we have discovery channel 4 that.


Wearing traditional attire can be professional and quite appropriate for the work place. Yes, it is different from typical western work wear, but no less effective.

I have no problem with Yardy's dress code. If he opted to wear something like the pic you presented he would probably look fine as well. I do, however, hope that he never opts for a western suit and tie. As 'president' of the Federation, there is little need to make others feel comfortable or fit a specific-westernized image. That is for others to do.

Additionally, the 'grandeur' of an agbada could also provide a psychological advantage. If I am correct, Yardy is small in stature, so wearing a big agbada can add size to him. Probably helps his image, if anything. He looks just fine, dudu....

Anonymous said...

I'm curious: What is it about traditional garb that disqualifies it as a "smarter outfit"?

I wouldn't mind seeing Shinzo Abe in his traditional garb--had he chosen to wear it. A truly "global" world would encompass varieties in dress, and other forms of expression; or does the word "global" imply blending in to the point of becoming indiscernible?

Is the western suit and tie synonomous with "professional"? I hope we've moved beyond that limited way of thinking. Thank goodness for cultural diversity--and even more for those who do not choose to "fit snugly" into western standards of appearance.

Pink-satin said...

LAWL umar in his babriga!left him alone o...yes he doesnt fit in with the whole concept of global economy!but sometimes one has to be a non-comformist!if He feels comfy wearing it as his cultural identity then he should carry on!

Omodudu said...

Wow, I probably got this one wrong, looks like pips switch to turbo when tradition is mentioned.
@aloted, even you, wow.
@chxta we are alone on this one.
@Akin I was not rooting for ditching the attire altogether, I feel the parachute sort of conflicts with the new age.
@toyintomato our people do not agree at all.
@solomonsydelle, wow this is surprising but i guess thats what public op is all about right.
@anonymous, its not a smart outfit lets concede that. The suit as we know it today is the result of a series of revisions. A culture that accepts change. Picture the English prime minister dressed as a Lord all in the name of tradition.
@pinksatin, again i was not suggesting the dude wearing a suit, I just need to see him projecting a more productive image thats all.
My people TRUE or FALSE the agbada is not the smartest outfit in that picture. That was my point.

Jola Naibi said...

I also often wondered how come our national leaders cannot wear shirt and trousers when the occassion deems fit. In terms of practicality, I think sometimes they should leave the agbada at home and wear something more casual. I remember seeing photos of OBJ at a tree-planting event with the Queen of England. In spite of her years, the Queen was smart and did her part of graciously. When it came to OBJ's turn, three people had to hold his agbada. It was so awkward, it was ridiculous. There are so many nice things being done with ankara these days - nice male tops which can be paired with regular trousers. I have nothing against the agbada but please, it is pretty awkward sometimes and when you are at a something like a tree-planting event...I mean...c'mon, anyway...who am I to judge...we can't all think alike!!!

Chxta said...

Guy, get ready for reactions to this even months after...

Nyemoni said...

LOL at chxta!

I see your point, but do not agree... I like the idea that he wore a garb which represented his nationality.. I wouldn't have mattered anyway if her wore a suit... it's about what makes him more comfortable..

Omodudu said...

May God help him if one of those German Easterly winds decide to show up. say bye bye to Yardie.

Ugo Daniels said...

Omodud, why nah! While we're busy advocating for a stay in our culture and try as mucha s possible to avoid too much westernization, you are now saying Yaradua should 'throw off' that particular thing that makes his African and Nigeria.

Granted, the world is taken on global packaging, most especially for heads of states but the question should be, 'Who defines what should be won and not' IS the the imperialist American or who?

It's very fashionable to wear Agbada in Cyprus here. In fact, there was a time i made some money selling off my old agbada's to the whites. I don't see anything wrong in Yaradua wearing that. In fact, it already sets him apart as a brand to reckon with. Like sayn, 'I don't follow the crowds sheepishly'

It really pisses me off to read some og the commentators saying western this and that...nonsense and ingredient. As i sadi before, who defines what should be worn? who defines what you should see on TV? Who sets the standard of PG, 18+, K for Tv shows, America America America. Must we continue imitating them. it's so ridiculous.

Be proud of ya own brand, flaunt it and show you're different and not just one of the pack :(

Omodudu said...

Lol @UgoD, what is it with my Nigerian people. I repeat the question is not suit vs Agbada but Agbada as we know it now and an updated version which is more streamlined. Should our cultural identity blind us this much. Wow. I am surprised at the overwhelming support for the 'flowing gown'.

Oluniyi David Ajao said...

I see nothing wrong with what Mr President is wearing. White people are what they are. Anyone who wants to copy westerns and dress like them, should please feel free.

If the Japanese President chooses to be in suit-and-tie all the time, its his choice.

It's a free world. :)

Ugo Daniels said...

@Omodudu...i asked a question, 'Who defines what should be worn or not'...'who defines what is blinding to the eye' The same western inmperialists that have wrecked havoc on our traditions. Now, it's about what to wear and not to wear.

It has nothing to do with our cultural identity blinding us. It has everything to do with personal choice and opposition to western influence. Or are you saying it's much preferable to imitate the western lifestyle

The same western bloc that teaches the youths to sue their parents when they're reprimanded. I seriously beg to differ on this one. There's no rule saying anywhere that it's 'generally acceptable' to wear suit, as a head of state. The man has the right to wear his agbada, and still retain the dignity and respect associated with being a head of state.

Omodudu said...

@Ugo, hmmm whats apprpraite is determined by the occasion thats why I am saying it again, there was no talk of wearing a suit. Just a more steamlined tradition attire. Haba. I hope i anserwered you question. Don't you think a Kaftan would do just fine?
I am enjoying this though. LOL @Ugo defender of the Universe.

aloted said...

@omodudu-Yes o, even me...lol
I am also surprised & impressed to see the number of agbada supporters and am surprised and dissapointed that u are not one of them :P
Sure he could have worn an updated version like u put it but i still feel he looks nice and distinct in his attire.

@jola- As for OBJ, I agree o. He needs to know what to wear to what function. How can u wear agbada to tree-planting event. lol

Bottom line (for me)- we should be proud of our Nigerian attire and be able to discern which attire deems fit for any event we are going to.

Refinedone said...

...I agree with your post Omodudu.
The point is not sell-out on our tradition...there was a word I think was missed..You said repackaging...Nigeria is a brand that need to be presented as "able and effective"...that is what I get from this post anyway..

The image of the Agbada conjurors up...greed, corruption and inactiveness...Our president should look the part... ready and able to pick the country up into action.. Change a fresh start!

That’s my understanding of the post anyway….

catwalq said...

Abeg, i appreciate the guy's dressing joo. You have to know that not all men are cut out forw wearing suits and neither are some for wearing Agbada. Agbada/ Caftan is a statement of power if you know how to move with one. It takes a certain flair to be able to whip that fabric about you without missing a bit or loosing composure.
i feel represented seeing him amongs them. And that is what i want to see, not someone who is fighting to fit in. We need to start standing out. if we are the token black, we need to represent completely. that is why I love Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala.
Those who say that African fabric is inaappropriate or unprofessional, I congratulate youou on having swallowed the white man's image of you. "you cannot be professional, capable and effective unless you talk like them, dress like them and be like them." Why is it that any thing my people create is primitive and anything that they create is advanced?
I say kiss my ikebe. African fabric rocks joo.

Eka said...

I'm surprised you didn't comment about the other African in a triditional garb in the picture. Hmm? Why are you picking on Yar'adua.

The man has declared his assets. Obasanjo might have dressed like the latest version of Windows, but did he ever declare his assets after taking office?

Eka said...

By the way, the picture of the Japanese outfit is so archaic the comparison is unjust! Shinzo would dress that way to a formal meeting only when too much of the green tea finally becomes the ruination of his thinking bits. Ha!

Ugo Daniels said...

Is the fire still burning here, my guy...yu have opened the pandora's box. I see chxta even warned you...lol!

Abegi, how far for that lighthouse stuff nah!

culturalmiscellany said...

I see nothing wrong with what he's wearing in this context. However, I would have objection if he insisted on wearing such an outfit to something like a food plant where wearing such an outfit would be unhygienic and unpractical.

I remember having a similar discusion with my father. He is a civil engineer and was having issues with Sikh's on his building site not wanting to wear a hard hat over their turbans. Having designed their temple they knew he was not against their religion, it was a matter of Health and Safety that they must wear the hat. Whilst they argued that it was their choice the impact was wider than that as it would be my father who would have been called to court in breach of Health and Safety, and lost his job, not them!

Omodudu said...

I must say I am shocked at the Voltron tendency of young Nigerians when the word 'tradition' and culture is mentioned. I even received a rather nasty email from an anonymous reader. Will discuss later. I am applying the one hour rule, here. If I react immediately my hmmm 38th street southside Chicago attitude may become obvious.

Chxta said...

That's just the first one. You wouldn't believe what I've gotten on each occasion I've written about Biafra for example...

divali said...

for someone who calls himself 'omodudu', i dey surprised gan at ur thinking!
'it does not look smart'- according to whose definition of smart????
I honest to God tdo not get ur point!! I consider Prof. Wole Soyinka, one of the most intelligent nigerians ever,i've never seen him wear a suit likewise Fela Kuti or even any of his brothers-so what are you saying? that the western world will respect yaradua/nigeria more if he wears a suit? you think if today,Putin decides to wear 24/7 whatever it is their traditional garb in russia is, America will be less scared of Russia?
O ti e try rara- substance over style anyday my guy, its like saying the same thing applies to Mandela, then you would reply that the clothes do not make the man...fu ra e ni brain jo

Omodudu said...

Divali did you see the last picture in the blog entry? How did this turn into suit vs traditional attire sef? Wow...Divali, I hope you read some of my other posts sha, cos right now, I am being painted Mr. Unpatriotic. Thanks for coming by, your comments are always welcome.

Don Thieme said...

I see that everything has already been said. For what it is worth, though, I like to see Nigerian politicans dressing in Nigerian clothes. It makes the impression that they still serve their people rather than their allies and trading partners.

Kafo said...


this is HOT oooo

i'm still thinking

Tayo said...

@Omodudu, yes you do have a point and @ all, culture is not necessarily determined by dressing ... if a man like Donald Duke or Alex Ekwueme were president, Suit would have been more appropriate. But man, imagine Yar'adua in a Suit? No. I think it all depends on what one takes as formal. Yar'adua performs his everyday duties in Agbada so let him continue. Although I also agree that other less "loud" traditional attire can depict our culture as adequately.
As for OBJ, his pot belly would make him look terrible in anything other than Agbada. Kaftan? Suit? Don't even bother imagining it.

~Mimi~ said...

lol @ tayo. too late i already imagined obj in a suit. it doesnt 'werk' for me.

hhmm, i think Yardy can wear that. He looks different and there is a certain grandeur about it, i think someone mentioned that earlier.

besides, why not stand out?

Nigeria Politricks said...

Kudos to Omodudu. I'm definitely feeling this post! Nigerian dress sense aka President's dressing should reflect the mode of public/official functions. Makes no sense to assume that wearing Babariga, Agbada, Buba, Aso-oke clothes represents our way of life in anywayz; these are foreign to our cultures and tradition in itself and only makes one look out of place in such social and political events.
People should understand that a smarter, professional looking president would fit the bill in carrying the image of one who can actually govern and lead...a fit and healthy looking president can instill those sterling qualities in the country's citizenry; that's why you see presidents jog, exercise, eat right, display better dress sense and attitudes in public places...a Babariga looking president just doesn't cut it for me; they look ineffective, unhealthy and corrupt entities cloaked in parachute-like garbs...Nigerian leaders should take a cue from esthwhile Governor Donald Duke; this man knows how to dress as well as govern. Learn better attitudes and dress sense people!!!

Anonymous said...

Omodudu I am disappointed, for someone that calls himself omodudu. How could you? You have sold out to the Americans. You do not even have a sense of your traditional identity. You defend Obasanjo's governemnt, you defended Dare Obasanjo calling a human being a servant in Grandiose Palour. You are one of those stupid Nigerian elitist. I am sure you are one of those Nigerian who stole our countries money and ran away. You are a sellout anyway, why are you living abroad. Come to Nigeria and see for yourself. I know you will delete this comment. Yes I sent you the email, what are you going to do about it.

Ugo Daniels said...

i vehemently refuse to adopt the notion that what Yaradua is wearing is foreign to our culture. I'm no longer talking about culture here or ancestral heritage. The issue now should be WHO DETERMINES WHAT IS PROPER RO WEAR FOR AN OCCASION OR NOT.Is there a rule that says if one wears a native dress, smartly, and well, during such presidential gatherings, it makes him less important or mundane.

I believe in the principle of not foolowing the crowd. The flash point should be 'BE DIFFFERENT' Wearing of suits for public functions should not be miscontrued to be less dignifying.

You also said a smarter, profession looking president bla bla bla...What yaradua's wearing sets him apart, mamkes him unique and commands more attention than what the others are putting on. I'm not a Yaradua fan in anyways, but feel irked when respected bloggers jump into an intelligent debate without considering all flip sides.

But, hey, it's just your PERSONAL opinion, so i'm down with that. I respect that. I just wanted to point out the loop holes in your argument. Most times, i blame it all on too much westernization or should i call it, AMERICANIZATION.

I can agree with you, in governance, that Yaradua may seem a tard ineffective, unhealthy, lukewarm, etc but using his dress sense to reach such conclusion is at the very least, outrageous. Someone whispered to me to change it to SACRILEGE..LOL!

In essence, Yardua's garb does not in any way make him lesss dignifying or ineffective. So, what would you say about Soyinka and Okonjo Iwuala? Have you ever seen her on suit...you don't have to answer that.

PS: Omodudu, i hope say you no go ban me from ya blog oo! :)

Refinedone said...

I think a lot of ppl have missed Omodudu’s point about the President dress sense…they are getting emotional about tradition… is this the only kind of tradition you all want to keep?…Will you speak in the same tone and passion about female circumcision? Shaving of the wife hair at the death of her husband in some parts of Nigeria? ..where she has to sit on the floor for 40 days ( as if she is the curse of the death) is that not "tradition" are you all fighting to keep these too?
Our presidents don't look capable in the Agada… we should find alternative attires that are keeping with the culture but also fit and look the part. Let's not get so emotional we miss the point.
It would be a good idea if our designers came up with something…let’s not just get emotional about “tradition” it’s not all tradition that should go with us into the 21st Century

Omodudu said...

Ugo, I am tempted to yarb you, but na, I like opinionated individuals, so that cool with me, ban ke..but why? But this is it though. I want you tell me that that parachute is smart. I want you to tell me that Wole Soyinka, Pat Utomi would wear that Agbada. The same way Bush would not dress like Benjamin Franklin, my people lets move on to smarter more suitable outfits. The original post stated categorically that I was not advocating for a suit wearing president but a smarter outfit. Looks to me here that its not really about the attire anymore, but more about a rebellion towards western ideals. This to me is not much of a problem, but when such rebellions result in sub optimal outcomes. I have a major problem with that.
Anonymous, I will get to you at a more appropriate time. Stop spamming me. Ugo, I think the beauty of blogs and blogging is the freedom to express different opinions, you do not need to be disappointed. Argh argh.

Nigeria Politricks said...

I think we should be civil enough to have a healthy discourse and be more respectful of Omodudu who is hosting this discussion…

@Ugo Daniel
To your question, nobody defines what should be worn or not, but the occasion.
Traditional outfits are fine, but the point here is, as in everything else, we as Africans need to evolve in our dress sense...Yar'Adua's piece of flowing garb is a reflection of him being an African president, but does not in anyway represents the totality of our culture and tradition...we ought to be evolving in our dress sense to look smarter and more professional in public functions.

This is the 21st century people, cultures and tradition intertwine, and for one to spun this discussion as a referendum of western ideals or Americanization on African dress sense is totally outlandish!

Omodudu said...

Okay its 4th of July, I hope you guys are having a wonderful parade and eating greasy food. I have some time on my hands today, no work yay! Lets see if I can clarify a thing or two and finally put some matters to rest. I have been expelled from a discussion board or two for my right wing perspectives, so I get it.
Who determines what is appropraite?
Design determines what is appropraite Mr Ugo. If I were from Costa Rica it would not be too hard to see the aerodynimic challenges associated with the flowing gown. Sorry @Divali Wole Soyinka does not rock an Agbada.
Does the granduer of an Agbada provide a psychological advantage for Yardi? Probably, but is this worth the points lost for proper branding. Take that @Solomosydelle.
Is it the traditional nature of the Agbada that disqualifies it as a smarter outfit? No Mr Anonymous, its the look. The last picture shows Emeka in a smart traditional outfit.
@eka, the other guy is African too, further butress my point, failure to revise our tradition.
Matters arising
Our continent has been oppressed for too long just because nobody has spoken up. I do not get speaking about revising our tradition necessarily relates to being unpatriotic. Does being patriotic equal been blind with a follow follow mentality. I understand why anyone could disagree but haba sellout is a stretch now. Mr Anonymous abi.
I am curious could the same sentiments driving this discussion be the same driving Nigeria's inability to adopt new ways of doing things. Example many Nigerian bloggers still think rss readers are an overkill, they rather move from page to page. Using that as a sort of shadow index keeping in mind that bloggers are generally more tuned to adopting new apps than the average person. Okay I had to just let that out. I am a bit frustrated at the slow rate of adoption of these tools which are freely available on the internet by my brothers and sisters.
We can sit back and talk about progress everyday, not much will happen if we do not examine our state of mind. If I stepped on your toes in the course of this exchange I apologize, lets blame it on the coffee. Love y'all. I really need you guys to expand on this tradition thingie on your individual blogs, it is eye opening.

pamelastitch said...

i don't know jare....!!

Well, the agbada can be a bit cumbersome but i will rather that whoever represent naija wears our traditional outfits but maybe one that is less of a wahala!!


ababoypart2 said...

Spot on!

Ugo Daniels said...

Come to think of it, i don't even wear an agbada or watever...lol!

for record purposes, i've kept the argument civil, C'mon nobody's killing anybody yet, ryt? gr8.
I totally get the point here. Believe me i do. Maybe i miscontrued things initially but like Omodudu said, blame it on the coffee...lol!

Now, let's get down to brass tacks. The importance of wearing 'proper' attire cannot be over emphasized. Granted also, we need to evolve and flow with the trends, especially when it comes to attending public funtions that demands every bit of 'looking profesional and capable' by presdiential bodies or otherwise, but when you look at it firmly, you'll see it doesn't really matter.

Take a good example with Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf-Liberia's first female president. She's gradually turning into one of the best presidents Africa has ever had. Her qualiites and dedication to duty and service speaks for itself, and hey, her garb has been completely native and traditional. Nobody has ever complained about that, neither does it affect her ability to turn Liberia into the most enviable country in the shortest possible time.

From my point of view, Wearing a 2 or 3 piece suit by Yardi doesn't in any way make him a better person or reflect that he has 'arrived' At the very least, he may be branded 'a follow follow' guy. Mere conjecture of the image he'll portray in a suit or other wester regalia will...erhmm, for lack of a better word to use, definitely be uncomfortable.

The issue shouldn't be on his dress sense, whether it conforms with the trends or the occassion but in his personality. A person's personality is all that matters. You can wear anything and still command the same attention and respect you deserve.

Had it been he was attending an upperclass business meeting, i would gladly subscribe to the idea of him putting on something more befitting. The event in question was a world leaders forum/fora. So, what he's wearing shouldn't have come up.

PS: Imagining Yardi in a 3 piece suit cracks me up for real...LOL!

Ugo Daniels said...

Omodudu, it's your turn now...lol

Ok, Does the grandeur of an Agbada provide a psychological advantage for Yardi? YES, but that's not exactly the point here and i'm not even advocating such. Of course occassion and terrain should determine what one should wear.

You pointed out earlier, that he shold have trimmed it down to something like the one Ikemba wears or Peter Obi. The image, really won't look 'presidential' Have you forgotten the yoruba adage that the more overflowing an agbada is, the more respect you commands...haha, thats just an aside.

As i told Naijapolitriks, i totally understand the point here. I'm only emphasizing that what he's wearing does not in any way make him less a president or portray him as being 'lukewarm, outdated, archaic, uncomtemporary, and possibly stupid'

My Anonymous, probably stretched it out a bit there. I totally diagree on his manner of approach to the issue(s) raised.

LOL @ the rss thingy. Anybody not embracing modern technology should be jailed(no pun intended...lol!)

In al in all, it was a lovely debate. I haven't been this excited for sometime. Maybe i should still talk more on this on my blog later. I would like to hear other people's opinion on this ,as well.

PS: someone said, ugly people like wearing agbada, while cuties prefer suits. E.g: Baba Obj and Donald Duke/Pat Utomi...Lmao!

kulutempa said...

I'm late to this discussion (damn!) but here's my take anyway: What he wears has absolutely nothing with whether or not he will be respected in this world of technology that you claim does not gel with traditional fashion. That's what his brain is for. He DOES look smart; it's just not the same kind of smart that Westerners have adopted as befits THEIR culture. It's a shallow critique, dude - it's not like this was that now-infamous tree-planting ceremony. What is it about this outfit that's SO unfitting for the occasion?

I personally think he'd feel a kaftan were too casual, seeing as that's probably what he wears regularly. And we know that, in Nigeria, you absolutely must dress up all the time when you're going out in public, down to those small girls "in uni" (I have my doubts, hence the quotation marks) who just want to nip out for some ice cream and shawarma. Lol...it's who we are, and I don't think he's done us a disservice in that photo. It would become a problem, I think, if he didn't know when to take that outer layer off, say, at a tree-planting ceremony....

Akin said...


I can only agree with you there - our diplomatic service have a right to agree on what events they want our president to participate in.

For instance, Prince Charles went visiting the flooded areas yesterday and his staff expressly said no boats - OK! he eventually got in a dinghy to see the damage for himself.

We should have thinkers that allow for the best conveniences for our kind of attire of which tree-planting is hardly convenient.

Like I said early, on dank and humid Summer days, I wear my agbada to work and take of the big gown at my desk.

This is a group photograph, the man should appear his most regal amongst his peers who are also leaders of their countries.

It is no so much about tradition or culture, it is just the fact that it represents a good deal of our identity and there is no one better to showcase that but the President.

I have heard people say, we have seen that type of costume on your president and it looks nice.

If we have to put shoulder pads in the buba like Sienne Allwell Brown did in trying to Westernise our clothes, we would be the poorer for it.

Omodudu said...

Okay I concede on this issue. Our president looks regal. The bigger question however still remains.
@kulutmepa...so why do firms spend so much on packaging a product, since the product is all that matters. Lets be real.
In the ideal world you are right its the brain that matters. In reality perception feeds into our day to day decisions. We can posture as much as we want, that is not going to change the status quo of the world order. Right now we have to admit that we live in a world where Africa's bargaining power has been choked. Get with the program my people. It is sad but its true. Denial will only prolong the suffering.
@Akin, costume! that is exactly what I think it is.
Ugo... the West presently hold the aces when it comes to production. So sad, but they play the tune right now.

uknaija said...

Nothing wrong with buba and sokoto or the Rivers/Igbo garb or even the simpler Northern Nigeria riga without the baba

Writefreak said...

I've been following the comments, very interesting, personally i don't think there is anything wrong with our leader wearing his traidional attire. Why must he wear suits?? I kind of see it as an evidence of colonialism to have to wear the white man's attire so as to be compliant with the "global economy image".

Ike Anya said...



Dudu: so you are trying to fight me eh? I see you telling me to "Take that..." Let me catch you, you hear?

You are right the issue remains - branding. To package Nigeria via our fashion, agbada would probably not work. A more streamlined Kaftan would be easier to sell to a wider audience and quite frankly easier to wear (less folds of clothing).

Does Yardy have a stylist? Stupid question, he doesn't even have a cabinet, yet. Well, if he got himself a capable Nigerian stylist I am sure he/she will make sure that his outfits are event appropriate.

You also seem to have gotten your feelings about us slow, non-techie types off your chest eh? Later....

Longman said...

Folks,Let me jump in here at the risk of repeating points that have been raised already.

I think the most important thing in choosing your attire is COMFORT. Are you comfortable in what you were and it's appropriateness for the occasion?

Does the president feel comfortable in his Agbada? I'd say YES.
Would he feel more comfortable in Agbada when everyone around is wearing suit? I'd say YES because he doesn't feel odd(which I agree he shouldn't).
Would he feel more comfortable in a suit or tie? I'd say NO because I wouldn't either.
Does his fashion diminish his effectiveness and the respect he gets from his peers. A resounding NO!!!!
Should he get a more streamlined version of the agbada so he looks more streamlined and "neat"? Hmmm...If it's not an Agbada, it;s not the same as an Agbada.

OBJ was massively respected by all internationally irrespective of his dress sense and his dressing was in no way responsible for any of his shortcomings. On the contrary, from being at an international event where he was, he gets more respect for his choice of individuality in his dressing. Plus I would rather he wear an Agbada to cover his 19 months pregnancy than have it protrude in a suit. That would be massively undignified and a big fashion faux pas.

P.S. The other man in trado is Professor Alpha Oumar Konare, former president of Mali and current Chairman of the African Union. An intellectual in his own rights. A PAN-African and Alhaji to boot hence his preferred choice of attire.

Anonymous said...

Who defines what is professional garb? Until I left Naija I may have thought the same way. Now that i live in the west, I SEE. He attends a meeting or two,signs a document or two, how does the Agbada make him "seem" less smart? and to whom? will his wearing a suit attract more investors to Nigeria? will it end or improve corruption in Nigeria?
What this smells of is conformity, which can be equated with "my friends are doing it so it must be ok"
@refidone, your analogy touched a nerve, trading your clothes for western garb e.t.c is NOT the same as the repulsive and repugnant things you mention. These CRIMES against women under the guise of tradition is NOT the same as preserving our culture. I do not fight an evolving culture/tradition,what i question is the reasons behind it.
@kulutempa, you succinctly put into words my exact feelings.

Dami said...

okonji iweala** wore her attire almost everywhere and she performed,everyone listened i dont think she had any problems with hers, so...you work better with what you are comfortable with i reckon

Chxta said...

But this conversation tey sha...

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Entries by: Ragdolldudu and Omodudu. Entries About: Nigeria and other assorted randomness. Location: NY. Drop us a comment at [email protected]. Join the facebook group for Nigerian bloggers here. Life is all fun out here in Duduland where we attempt to make social commentary in a rather laid back manner. We are aware that you are entitled to our opinion, and our opinion you will get. You can also see a straight faced version of me at Altnigeria. Remember to put God first and all other things shall be added unto you. Ciao.

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