We are having our end of the year party at work next week Saturday. The whole office has been raving about it. We are using one of the spaces in one of the popular hotels on the island.
Anyway, people have been raving about the party. We are bringing a popular celebas special guest, and the theme of the event is old school.
Everyone has been talking so much about what they’ll wear. Guys are talking about putting their teacher chike costumes together. Many are going cultural, with the olden days aso oke (not the modern day bella naija types) and heavy bead. People have several concepts of what their old school would look like.
But there’s one common concept that most of them have.
They are all completing their looks with afro, which I guess is the trademark for old school for many people.
But this was nothing to me, as a naturalista. Most modern day naturals wear their hair in afro at awkward stage phase.
What is a costume to people is a reality to me and many other naturals I know. I guess my colleagues and many people haven’t yet caught up with the fact that afro is no more old school. In about five years from now, there’d be enough naturals around for afro to be called new school.
As a sharp Nigerian, one of my colleagues started selling afro wigs in the office, in the spirit of the Christmas party.
She approached me.
“Anna, you’ve not bought your afro wig for Saturday’s party. When will you buy?”
“Oh no, I don’t need it. I’m not buying.” I responded.
“Really? So how will you do it? You better buy from me. I have the cheapest price you can ever get for a quality afro wig like mine.”
“Don’t worry, I have it naturally.” I said, pointing to my hair and smiling.
She looked at my hair before saying “but yours would look different.”
“Yes, I know. But then you would see how real afro looks like.” I grinned at her.
“And how will you make it stay in a great round afro shape, like the wig?”
“Actually, I never said I was wearing afro. I only said I had it naturally, so I don’t need a wig. You just assumed I would come in afro.”
“But it’s old school party. What else can you wear?”
“Afro is not old school to me, so it makes no difference. Besides, there are many other old school styles. I guess you don’t watch Nigerian movies in old school setting.”
“So what will you wear on your head.”
I started wondering why she kept assuming I had to wear something on my head, but it didn’t matter. She just couldn’t see beyond modern day. “Well, let that day come. I haven’t thought of it yet, but I’m sure something would show up on my head that day.”
She looked at me like I was delusional, and walked away. We were like parallel lines. We could never meet.
After she left, I gave a thought to what I could do, and settled for either the vey ancient suku ologede (curved Yoruba suku) or the very traditional threading (those types they construct on the head, that look like buildings and bridges).
It’s time to show them what old school really is.