“Owambe” is a term frequently used in Nigeria to refer to a large, usually lavish, party filled with music, dance, and plenty of food. This can range from weddings, naming ceremonies, birthday parties, anniversaries, and more. It is an essential part of Nigerian culture and is an event where guests often go all out in terms of dressing and participation.
Now, you may find yourself at an Owambe and want to make a positive impression, or you may want to command attention in the right way. If so, here are some tips on how to stand out at a Nigerian Owambe.
- Dress to Impress: Your attire will be the first thing people notice about you. If you want to command attention, you need to be dressed for it. For women, a beautiful, well-tailored Aso-Ebi or Ankara piece would make a strong statement. The same goes for men, a fitting Agbada or Kaftan would be a good choice. Always remember, your clothes should not only be stylish, but also comfortable, as Owambe involves a lot of dancing and moving around.
- Accessorize Well: Accessories can make or break your outfit. From the right headgear (gele for women, fila for men), to the matching hand fan, beads, and shoes, ensure that your accessories complement your outfit and not overshadow it. Also, ensure they are culturally appropriate.
- Master the Art of Gele Tying: (For women) A well-tied Gele can turn heads at an Owambe. It is a significant part of the Nigerian party culture, and if you can tie yours distinctively, you’re sure to steal the show. There are plenty of tutorials online to guide you on how to achieve this.
- Make an Entrance: If you want to be noticed, your entrance matters. Arriving fashionably late (not too late) ensures that most guests are already present and will notice your arrival. It’s crucial to walk in confidently, greet people politely, and maintain a positive demeanor.
- Dance Well: Nigerians love to dance. A person who can dance well is sure to command attention at an Owambe. If you’re not naturally a good dancer, consider learning a few Nigerian dance steps. From the traditional dances to the more modern Shaku Shaku, Zanku, and legwork, there are various dance styles you can explore.
- Spraying Money: This is another common practice at Owambes. While this might not be for everyone, as it involves giving away money, it is a sure way to command attention. The act involves spraying (lightly throwing) money on the entertainers or celebrants as a show of appreciation.
- Engage with Others: Interact with other guests, show interest in their conversations, and be polite. People are usually attracted to someone who has a friendly and outgoing personality.
- Offer to Help: Help out when necessary. This could be anything from assisting the elderly, helping with the serving of food, or just being there when someone needs a hand. It shows your good character and will certainly make you stand out.
- Maintain a Positive Energy: Lastly, keep a positive vibe. Smile, laugh, and just enjoy the moment. This positive energy can be infectious, making people want to be around you.
Remember, while it’s great to stand out and grab attention, it’s important to do so respectfully and not overshadow the celebrant(s) of the Owambe. After all, the primary purpose of attending an Owambe is to celebrate with the hosts and enjoy the party.