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Why Indecent Dressing Is Strange To Igbos


I laugh when I hear that the youths of today don’t dress properly; that they expose their breasts and laps which distract both the ordinary men and men of God.

Some churches or elders in some modern communities have established fashion police that would turn back hot-headed youths that reveal their salacious endowments and those that sag their short or long pants to the church service or occasions.

Of recent, married women have joined the millennials in exposing their curvatures and the upper regions of their breasts to a grateful view of some people reading this article, who understandably criticize what they love to gaze at.

The worst part is that the discovery of push-up bras has put a lie to the whole matter as many men have complained of being deceived into thinking that what are being packaged are sumptuous or upstanding only to be greeted off the stage by fallen drapes or collapsed breasts.

The story of indecent dressing is a tale of the white man and the civilization it brought.

How were we dressing before the whiteman came?

Were we half human beings before Europeans arrived our shores?

As a growing child in the early 1970s, I saw our people scantily dressed and morals were high. Even as an adult, I can still remember and can draw the shapes and sizes of the breasts of Mama Chinedu, Mama Ngozi, Mama Vero and all other women in the Nwosu Ezeonwaneti’s extended family as well as those of our neighbours. They never hid their breasts from anyone. They only tied a piece of wrapper around their waists at home or at the farm especially during the hot seasons.

Also, the young girls of then didn’t cover everything. A diligent boy, like me, could steady my eyes to see what I fancied to see.

So, where is the charge of indecent dressing coming from?

As a child, I was told that the breasts were meant to feed a baby and nothing more. It was unheard of that a grown adult would be suckling breasts of a girl or a child bearing woman.

In Nnewi, there is a saying like “ị ka na añụ ara?” translated as “do you still suckle breasts?” meaning “are you still a toddler?” said to someone who behaves or reasons childishly.

I never envisaged that I would ever return to breasts suckling until I started reading western literature. This new lifestyle has made our people to prey on breasts. That’s unfortunate! I guess that’s why our wives now call full grown man “Baby”.

Before the whiteman came, no woman in Nnewi wore any bra or tied any clothing across the chest to cover her breasts. There was no rigging. What you saw was what you got. Women only covered their sockets with weaved wrappers made from raffia palm. The men too were only allowed to cover their staffs of office after attaining the age puberty and after Ịwa Akwa ceremony. They can marry thereafter.

In that transparent era, the third legs of young boys never “kenie” or rose to a point of havoc; just a harmless nod here and there. If the unusual bulges continued, the watchful elders would quickly arrange a wife for such fastly maturing boy before his pent up erection builds an illegal mansion inside a girl with an itchy backside.

Also, any a girl found to be fond of hanging out with young boys would be skilfully counselled into marriage. No mother would want her daughter to bring shame to her household except if the girl was set up to bear a child or a male- child for her childless parents, a practice known as ịhachi nwaanyị.

The charge of indecent dressing is the consequence of our wholehearted adoption of the ways of whiteman.

But that is not the case in some southern African states like Swaziland where youngers are allowed to dance bare-chested to the whole world’s glare. This is also the case in Brazil especially during their carnivals.

Even the western world that told us about indecent dressing have created numerous beaches where people enter and walk around naked as they were created.

Following my background and what I have seen growing up, which woman can confuse or entice me by dangling or flaunting her endowments before me?

None, because I had seen them in various sizes and shapes. I would not be moved.

Anybody who claims that he or she is being led to sin because of what the opposite sex doesn’t wear or wears is deceiving him or her self. The person has no self control.

The whiteman also taught us window dressing as a method of showcasing one’s packaged goods to attract patronage of the viewers. Therefore, who would blame someone who wants to make a sale?

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