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Busayo NYC Lifestyle Blog | Ladies wear your crown
Photography by Neec Imagery

The weekend is most colorful in Lagos. It bubbles with parties – birthdays, graduations, child dedications, weddings, naming ceremonies, anniversaries, award shows and many more. Lagosians relish the opportunity to celebrate just about anything and all these celebrations render the city a cacophony of high style, color and energy.

 

In planning any event, there is deliberate selection of the textiles and colors that attendees are expected to wear. This uniformity tells the story of relationship of the attendees. The textiles are meticulously plotted, each attendee retains personal autonomy in choice of design of the garment, some go with a contemporary design evocative of more European design while others stay closer to tradition, donning a traditional ‘buba’, a blouse that hangs loose on the body paired with an ‘iro’, a wrapper. Men wear an ‘agbada’, a robe like tunic that defies description. One of the most unique and flamboyant elements in Nigerian formal wear is the headgear. Men don hats called ‘fila’ in Yoruba and women rock ‘geles’, headwraps in Yoruba. The texture, style and structure of a gele differentiate it from the typical head wrap that is common in the States. Whether the outfit design is traditional or more contemporary, the gele remains a constant. The gele may change form and structure but it remains.

The architecture, structure and design of the gele is not to be taken lightly. The style gods of Nigeria of my childhood demanded gargantuan gele styles; in 2016, do not be caught dead with a high rise architectural wonder as the sartorial gods have dictated that giant geles are out, structured, layered, conservative structures are now the norm. What is disappointing about this trend is that geles are losing their creativity. They have lost their individuality and uniqueness. They are staid, respectable and frankly, a bit boring. The tradition of wrapping and constructing the Gele is a coming of age tradition practiced by women of every class, passed from mothers to daughters.

 

Gele is the pride of a Lagos woman. You can tell everything about a woman from how fly her gele is. The gele is that last piece of the puzzle that takes the outfit to its next level. The gele and its wearer sparkle that way.

24 Hours In Lagos

Discover Lagos |Lekki Market

Photography by Neec Nonso, Creative Director (Neec Imagery)

Written by Ebuka Njoku, Contributor (Busayo Lifestyle Blog)

Model: Anuli Nwando Ebeledike

Lagos is a complex, chaotic, seemingly impenetrable city. It is a city with a fierce reputation, a cacophony of sound, color and people. Yet, beneath Lagos’s frantic surface is a rich, dynamic place with so much to offer the adventurous visitor. A great Lagos day for the casual visitor may begin at Oba Elegushi Market (also known as Lekki Market). The market is a bit like Africa. From the outside, it looks poor, unkept and pitiable. But like the pretty woman Africa is, the deeper you go into the market, the more of her beauty you get to discover.

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Yoruba religion has been in American popular culture a lot lately thanks to Beyonce’s borrowing particular Yoruba motifs and myths for her visual album, Lemonade. The celebration of and interest in Yoruba religion in American popular culture due to Beyonce’s exploration prompted this conversation with my father (Harvard Prof. JK Olupona), who dropped several deep nuggets. In this conversation, Busayo Olupona explores the roots and tradition of Yoruba religion, cultural appropriation and the embrace of Yoruba religion in the diaspora.

“The primary problem that we have in Africa, that we have in Nigeria, that we have as Yoruba people is that we don’t value what we have.” – JK Olupona

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Busayo in conversation with Yolanda Sangweni. Yolanda is a writer, editor at Essence magazine and a singer. In addition, she is the founder and creator of AfriPOP! a digital platform which explores introduces and celebrates contemporary African culture. Yolanda shares her experiences as an immigrant to the US and finding her path as a journalist and performer.

editingessenceblackartblackpodcastcreativeafricaafricanbusayoyolandasangweni

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Busayo in Conversation with one of my favorite musicians. A wide ranging, long-form interview with Gabriel Rios, on the U.S. release of his album, the Marauder’s Midnight. We talk about everything, the journey to discover a new type of sound, boxing, our mutual love bordering on obsession with Nina Simone. Enjoy!

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A conversation with Comedian Louis Katz, exploring his career as a standup comedian and a writer. The conversation explores some old drama from our college days, the challenges of carving out a place in the comedy space and Louis’s development of his voice as a comedian. Enjoy!

ComediansbusayoLouis KatzRaceArtArtistStandup

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