As fantastic as the idea of attending the typical party in Nigeria aka Owambe sounds, things could get from really great to bust real quick because there are far too many snafus (usually beyond the celebrant or party planner’s control) to ruin things. No thanks to the quality of social amenities like erratic power that we’re dubiously blessed with in these parts, our parties can’t be perfect anytime soon, so we might do just well fool proofing ourselves against the many snafus trying to yank the fun out of the party experience for us.

It’s not all gloom and doom showing up the typical Nigerian owambe, you could have all the fun in the world if you’re fully fool proofed against the animate and inanimate party-poopers bedeviling our party venues. We’re trying to return the merriment and fun to our shindigs like a movement (#NigerianPartiesMatter) and these are the 5 ways to foolproof yourself for the next Owambe and make sure your enjoyment goes up by at least 50% going forward from now.

  1. Buy the Aso-Ebi

This rule is a golden oldie; that’s why Lagosians say, “Eni o wo Ankara, koni je semo,” literally translated, You’re not eating if you aren’t dressed appropriately. Showing up at the Owambe without the Aso-Ebi is a no-no, you won’t enjoy the experience one bit. Besides turning up like a peacock in colourful attire as your host expects you to be, you’ll blend in quite beautifully with the crowd. With the Ankara or whatever uniform’s selected for the party are perks like good service from the guys serving the food, other guests would defer to you and you’ll cop a souvenir or two when the gift-sharing starts at the tail end of party events. Don’t expect any preferential treatment if you’re in a suit where others are decked in their colour attires.

  1. Eat before going

One of the biggest attractions at Nigerian parties are the deliciously prepared tasty dishes and delicacies and this has nothing to do with poverty or hunger. Our party foods are to die for, you can take that to the bank. That’s one of the ways to light your Owambe up, they define the merriment. The one problem is the feasting doesn’t start on time for most people’s liking, the delay, the longing for the ‘orisirisi treatment’ could be torturous to an empty stomach. You might want to keep the worms in your stomach at bay with a little food or light refreshment before taking off, that way you won’t lose interest in the party food. ‘Item number 7’ would eventually come, you don’t want to be slobbering like the Hyenas in the ‘Lion King’ before the food gets to your table. You might get caught on tape looking left and right following the movement of food with the servers doing their thing.

  1. Be there on time

Forget what they say about African timing, there’s wisdom in heading to the party venue early if you want to enjoy yourself. This affords you the opportunity to bed in early; you won’t get caught in traffic and could beat the attendant parking headache common with partying in our parts. Should the seating arrangement be open and not labelled, you could choose the vantage point where you could see the goings-on without craning your neck like a giraffe (depending on if you want to see the stage or avoid sitting beside those wicked loudspeakers).


  1. If they’re around, tip the area-boys generously

Your party venue might be in the less posh side of town like Mushin, Oshodi, Shomolu, Ikorodu and other tough parts of town crawling with tough figures aka Area-boys. For this, you’ll need to do a little bit of generous tipping if you still regard your car as a prized asset. Remember you’ll be leaving your car out of sight for the most times and very much in their exclusive view, especially if your party venue lacks proper parking (which event center ever has enough?). These toughies aren’t exactly around to secure your car but a bit of tip ensures nothing goes amiss either. Fears of having your windows smeared with left-over food won’t be there too.


  1. Know when to log out, leave early if you have to

All those hearty jokes and heavy rotation of the waistline on the dance-floor makes good party etiquette but that’s not what would get you home at the end of the day. Know when to log out of the party and you won’t left spewing expletives when get caught in the approaching vehicle’s headlights like a terrified deer. Early to arrive, early to leave ensures you don’t caught in the jaws of heavy after-party traffic (both human and vehicular). Leaving early is the only sensible option if you’re averse to driving at night and weekend evening traffic waiting to welcome you in its very cold arms. Knowing when to quit is key and if you’ve no clue mastering the art of making a good party exit, zoom out early when your host is busy hugging other guests, he/she won’t notice.

So there you have it; eating your jollof with Nigerian parties and having it. Your party experience won’t be the same when you master the art of partying the Naija way. Did we leave anything out? Feel free to drop it in the comment section.

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