Last night I went to a luxury owambe ('come and show') party. A big society woman was 'washing' her new upscale housing estate in Maitama. The yearly rent is reputedly 90,000US per year (N13.5million). The compound was beautifully decorated with coloured cloth awnings and softly glowing lanterns. There were hundreds of women resplendent in expensive lace and fantastically origamed geles. The initial impression was as if one had been shrunk to insect size and I were crawling through a pile of christmas presents for aristocrats. KSA (King Sunny Ade) was crooning and praise-singing on stage. I want to write in more detail about the space of the owambe in a separate essay - there is so much complexity and subtlety at work that owambes at their finest reveal the genius of the (mainly Yoruba-derived) culture. For now, just feast your eyes on the images to the side and below..
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