African Fashion Culture

Nigerian Fashion Dazzles Kenyans At June Ruto’s Engagement

Nigerian Fashion Dazzles Kenyans
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Written by See Africa Today

When it was Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto’s time to host his soon to be in-laws from West Africa, there was one clear statement; ceremonial Nigerian fashion crowned the dowry ceremony.

Born a Kalenjin, Ruto’s daughter, June Ruto over the weekend finally brought home her choice for the start of the traditional dowry proceedings known as “koito” in the Kalenjin dialect.

At their posh Karen residence, Ruto’s in-law trooped in numbers and here, the conspicuous Nigerian Ankara made a show as Nigerian women who part of the delegation stepped out in beautiful African-designed dresses.

The bride, Dr Alexander Ezenagu wore a long, dazzling white robe, so did his entourage which wore the classic “oga” attire complete with a hat. The hat was a creation of the Yoruba men and spread to the Igbo tribe and is not a national affair as much as it is a cultural affair.

June Ruto

June Ruto with her bridegroom. [Photo: Zonka]

Ruto’s entourage comprising his close political allies from his Rift Valley backyard and Mt Kenya region too stepped out in amazing African-designed shirts and hats – the fila. They blended in well with the Nigerians who are known for their deep roots in African print design.

Also read: The Dashiki Fashion For Yoruba Culture In Nigeria

Rachel Ruto together with her daughter June was not left behind either, they stepped out in beautiful Ankara dresses that was the talk among fashion enthusiasts in Kenya. The print design was the same, lengthy, well-tailored and outstanding. The bride’s entourage had beautifully designed all-white wear.

In the African culture, fashion is a big thing during traditional ceremonies which precede marriage. The union of a man and a woman is respected. When a man finds his better half, he makes his intention known to his in-laws-to-be in a series of traditional ceremonies.

The woman also takes her husband-to-be to her parents and introduces him. These celebrations are meant to tap blessings from both parents and bless the union. It is a ceremony that cannot be skipped going by the dictates of the African culture.

While times have evolved, dowry ceremonies are dotted by a set of demands which a man must meet to be allowed to marry his woman of choice. Elders preside over dowry negotiations and ask for goats, cows sheep e.t.c among other things. In some African communities, the animals are presented alive while in others, they are paid for in monetary terms.

June Ruto

Deputy President William Ruto with his wife Rachel and daughter June. [Photo: Lemiso]

Traditional Nigerian attire brings out a strong fashion statement that has defied to be overtaken by time and still reigns in the fashion industry in and beyond Nigeria. The outfits have conspicuous colours and are mostly worn during official ceremonies such as traditional weddings, cultural events among others.

Yoruba Traditional Dressing

The Yoruba tribe live in South Western and North-Central Nigeria. They are the majority in Lagos, Oyo, Ekiti, Osun, Oguna and Kwara states. Their signature fashion statement is ‘Agbada’ – a huge type of cloth worn like a jacket and some wear it like a wrapper. ‘Aso-Oke, Ankara, Buba and Igele’ are also popular among the Yoruba tribe.

Also read: 5 Nigerian Fashion Designers Who Have Dressed International Celebrities

Weddings are a great celebration in every culture, so people use all their imagination to create a beautiful and bright wedding dress. Yoruba traditional wedding dress is featured by vivid colours, embroidery and ornamentation. Here you can see how the wedding clothes of a bride and a groom perfectly fit each other.


Deputy President William Ruto Nigerian in-laws. [Photo: The Doyen]

For the Edo people – Binis, Afemais, Eshan – beads are a huge part of their dressing code. They wear beads designed in various ways as a cultural way to symbolize royalty and freedom. The Benin Kingdom is one of the best places to see bead fashion.

The dressing is common during the Edo wedding attire worn by brides during their traditional wedding ceremony is so rich and regal. They look like true African queens in their beaded coral attires.

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About the author

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See Africa Today

Pharis Kinyua is the editor of See Africa Today. With over seven years of experience in digital media, he has a soft spot for African tours and travel. His drive is to tell the rest of the world what Africa offers, the best accommodation facilities, national parks, culture, shopping malls and best airline deals to travel to Africa

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