Sunday, 28 July 2013

Grooms to be: The Engagement List - A lengthy and perhaps expensive fun item on your to-do-list

A few weeks ago, I got to thinking about Nigerian traditional wedding traditions. I could not help but feel a sense of nostalgia as I thought about how much I've missed being back home. How much I have missed the fun and excitement surrounding the wedding ceremonies in Nigeria. Yes sometimes these ceremonies may seem extreme and over the top, however it is for the most part the general consensus that it is altogether fun times.

One thing I did also come to realize was that I was pretty clueless about some of the intricate details of the ceremony. In an effort to reconnect myself with the world of Nigerian weddings, I decided to do some reading on the internet to see how much of the tradition I could learn about online.

Here's Part 1 of our 3 part Series

The engagement ceremony in all 3 major tribes in Nigeria is an important part of the entire wedding planning process. Of particular attention on this day is the Engagement List. The engagement list is a long grocery list of items required of the groom by the bride's family. Traditionally and historically, each item on this list has a particular significance to the new marriage and as such it is important to have all items fulfilled. In addition, failure to provide items specified on your list could result in "enuf yawa" and could put a financial dent in your pocket.

Part 1: The Yoruba Engagement Wedding List

Alright brothers,drum rolls, curtains drawn and voila here's what your list could look like if you are getting hitched to one of my Yoruba sisters.

Engagement Bible  Owo Isigba(fee to open the gifts on this list (usually packaged))
Engagement Ring  Dowry
One Big Suitcase  Owo Omo Ile Okunrin(Money for all male children)
2 Different Pairs of Shoes and Bags  Owo Omo Ile Obinrin(money for all female children)
2 Head Gears (of high quality)  Iyawo Ile - (money for all wives in the family)
Gold Wrist Watch  Owo Iya Gbo(money for bride’s mother’s consent)
1 Traditional Cloth (Aso- Oke)  Owo Ijoko Agba (money for all the elders in he family)
4 Other Assorted Clothes  Owo Ijoko Iyawo(Money to bring in bride)
42 pcs Obi (Kola nut)  Owo Isiju Iyawo(money to unveil the bride)
42 pcs Orogbo(Bitter kola)  Owo Ikanlekun (Entrance fee)
42 pcs Atare (Alligator pepper)  Owo Baba Gbo (money for bride’s father’s consent)
1 Decanter of Pure Honey  Owo Phone(money for phone calls)
1 Big Dish of Aadun(peppered Corn meal)  Owo Plane (money for travel to groom’s family house)
1 Big Dish of Sugar  Reading of Letter
42 pcs Big Eja Osan (Dry fish)  Owo Alaga Ijoko(money for MC)
1 Big Dish of Salt  4 Cartons of Five Alive
42 Tubers of Big Yam  4 Crates of Can Drinks
1 Roll of Sugar  6 Bottles of Wine
1 Big Bag of Salt  2 Crates of Can Malt
Umbrella  1 Empty Decanter

Sisters, please feel free to bring your beautiful selves to this once in a lifetime event as the guest of honour. Her Royal Highness. The newest Mrs to be.

There it is. All laid out for you. Please note however that this list is by no means exhaustive and depending on how your in-laws feel, amounts and items might vary. :)

So brothers, if you are by any chance planning on popping that question to your Yoruba lady, please "consider yourself oh". Don't say you weren't given the heads up on this. No matter who you are or where you are from, the list must be complete A to Z.

Since every item on your list has an underlying significance to your marriage, it is in your best interest that you leave none out. However, please feel free to add to it (e.g. The keys to that BMW she's been eyeing would be much appreciated). No worries, I'm pretty certain she will find an underlying significance for that too. :)

Dearest Arewas, if the question gets popped by your lovely sweetheart, please smile and say "YES", after all you know you've got "enuf stuffs" coming your way and the way of the Iyawo Iles.

Haha. Enjoy the Loot. :)

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