Day 59: Ten Mzansi and Naija fashion accessories – BBTitans

15 March 2023
In line with the theme of the week, we decided to put together a few celebratory items from Mzansi and Naija that shows the beauty of both cultures.
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Vibrant colours, beautifully woven fabrics, and delightful-looking prints are associated with both Naija and Safrika cultures. They have turned out to be symbolic of special moments, celebration and fashion statement. Let’s take a look at ten of these amazing items. 

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Gele: The Gele is headgear worn by Nigerian women for marriages, birthdays, and other forms of celebration. It comes in different colours and fabric and is tied by hand into different, often, astonishing styles.

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Coral beads: Coral beads are a symbolic item in most of the cultures in the southern part of Nigeria. They represent authority and are also used as fashion pieces during ceremonies. They come in varying shades of peach or red and are styled in thrilling myriad ways.

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Aso ebi: Aso ebi is a Yoruba phrase that means family attire. The Yoruba people of Southern Nigeria have a culture of wearing the same attire for events, but this practice has spread across the country and beautifully designed outfits for various celebrations are the order of the day.

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Fly-whisk: The fly-whisk is a hand-held tool used as a symbol of authority and fashion statement by men and women in Nigeria. The fly-whisk can be commonly seen being used by brides on their wedding day ("smack"!) in various colours ranging from white to black.

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Agbada: Often referred to as Babariga in the northern part of Nigeria, the Agbada is a robe that often symbolises authority and class. Though the name ‘Agbada’ is from the Yoruba culture, the garment is worn by men from various backgrounds. 

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Idzila: Idzila is a fashion accessory worn by married women to celebrate the union with the love of their lives. It is a long gold bracelet placed around the neck, arms and legs, with a signature beaded headband known as amacubi.

iSphandla: This is made from goat skin taken from the goat’s leg and is worn with pride and honour, representing a sense of celebration and belonging. Isphandla is not just worn by anyone, but by someone who has just had a ritual performed.

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iThumbu: this is a long-beaded necklace made with traditional beads worn along with a traditional Xhosa attire which represents pride in the culture, by both men and women.

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Venda beads: Venda culture takes pride in its beads, and different fashion accessories can make use of different beads to represent a celebratory feature, mainly in multiple bands worn on one hand and the ankles. They are made from tshithivho vivho, zwifudzi, lutomola tsie and makunda beads.

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ligcebesha: This is a celebratory neckpiece made from traditional beads worn by young girls as a symbol to celebrate their virginity during the traditional reed dance and by the men as a symbol to raise Swati’s flagship.

All images sourced from Getty images.

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