Radio Netherlands Worldwide

SSO Login

More login possibilities:

  • Facebook
  • Flickr
  • Twitter
  • Google
  • LinkedIn
Thursday 23 October  
Nigerian bridesmaids and groomsmen
Lagos, Nigeria
Lagos, Nigeria

Party like there's no tomorrow: Expensive ceremonies in Nigeria

Published on : 3 June 2014 - 2:28pm | By RNW Africa Desk (Photo: Shardayyy/Flickr)
More about:

Africans love a big party. Whether it’s a birth, a graduation, an initiation, a new home, a wedding, a chief’s inauguration, or an engagement: for most of us these things call for a big celebration.  Nigerians, in particular, like to go the full distance when it comes to ceremonies - sometimes even when the expenses will likely leave them bankrupt. In Yoruba, a local West African language, there’s a saying that ‘you’ll go into debt on the back of your guest.’ Do people throw these big parties just to show off their wealth? Or is there more to it?

In this week's edition of Speak UP! event managers analyse past events, and young Nigerians reflect on the choices that make peeople go the extra mile to organise a ceremony that will forever linger in people’s memories. 

Host/Producer: Joke Fayemi

Speak UP! is an audio show in which young Africans discuss thorny social issues without pulling any punches. It is created by a selection of young hosts and producers in Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Rwanda, Nigeria and Kenya, working in partnership with local media organizations and RNW. Each edition of Speak UP! provides YOU with a chance to express yourself – because everybody wants to be heard.

If you would like to read more about ceremonies in Africa, you can read this article here.  And if there’s a topic you’d like to speak up about, get in touch with us via Facebook or Twitter!



Anonymous 16 July 2014 - 1:08pm / Zimbabwe

Thats wat w call lyfe lyfe is hw u make it l lyk it

Loomzy 10 June 2014 - 11:02am / Nigeria

It may not really be to show up. It's the pressure and demands that the traditional Nigerian society places on people. One is expected to throw such parties so as not to shame the family name or so as not to be looked down on.Everyone expects that once a young man gets old enough to get married, he must be financially buoyant enough to meet certain demands placed on him by the society. In this regard, how the young man gets the money would be nobody's concern. I have to say that we have a truly wasteful culture and it takes a lot of discipline to be Frugal in this part of the continent

Elias 8 June 2014 - 6:52am / Zimbabwe

With cash everthing is possible but always remember your poor relatives

Anonymous 6 June 2014 - 5:52pm

The reason could be to just show-off,prove to other people that you are financially buoyant especially where you feel they have being looking down on you,pressure from family and friends,wanting to feel among,your status in the society and could also be because you have the money to throw around.Whatever it is I personally thing most are a waste and could be avoided,you can invest or use that money for something better and still be happy.

Mutahakanisibwa Esau 4 June 2014 - 2:23pm / UGANDA


Ritah Makumbi 4 June 2014 - 12:19am / Canada

Interested .

SUNRISE 3 June 2014 - 6:30pm / ZIMBABWE


Post new comment

Please be reminded all comments must be in English, short and to the point - guideline 250 words. Abusive and inappropriate comments will be removed.

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <p> <br>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options