It’s been 59 years down the line, 59 years since Independence and Nigeria as a nation has certainly undergone a lot of changes.

The political landscape, constructed and paved with years of struggle, bloodshed and several policies is no longer the same. Not that this necessarily points to positivity but there is still a change, no doubt. Things are no longer the same.


A Nigerian couple in 1965 [Credit – Nigerian Nostalgia Project]


Nigeria Nostalgia Project

And that change is not limited to governance and politics. Commerce, sports, entertainment lifestyle and other aspects of human existence have found alterations, too.

Particularly on the relationships and weddings front, people have surely moved with times. Where polygamy was once a thing, it is majorly now a relic of a time no one wants to return to. When it comes to weddings, Nigerian ceremonies have evolved vastly as well. With wedding fashion, people are also moving quickly with time, absorbing changes to reflect global trends.


What wedding guests looked like in 1961 [Nigeria Nostalgia]


Nigeria Nostalgia Project

With all the changes that have been made over the years, here’s what Nigerian relationships and weddings look like now in 2019.

Relationships

Compared to recent times, not a lot has changed in the way romance has been done in 2019 so far. Social media love is still pretty much a thing for millennials, and relationships are still being sparked to life via DM conversations. Cheating remains an epidemic, of course. It is still rife as it has always been.

In operations, it seems to be the same as it has been in the past few years. The wedding rings worn by married men seem to have developed a special pulling force that single women can’t say no to.


What wedding guests look like in 2019

While social media conversations about marriage and relationships in previous years were quite centered around how much a man should earn before deciding to marry and who should bear the domestic responsibilities in the home among other similar gist, 2019 has been more a year of relative silence on those issues.

The dynamics of relationships in modern day Nigeria are changing thanks to awareness and the rise of the fourth wave of feminism. Young people are starting to question gender roles and the dynamics of what it means to be in an exclusive relationship in 2019.

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Weddings

Tracking back to 1960 and drawing a comparison between that time and now, of course a lot has changed in the way wedding parties are celebrated. But with respect to recent years, not so much has changed.


General and Mrs Yakubu Gowon on their Wedding Day in Lagos, April 19th, 1969 [Nigerian Nostalgia Project]


Nigeria Nostalgia Project

Wedding parties are still very lit, and Nigerians are yet not giving up their huge wedding ceremonies for more intimate, smaller and unconventional ones. There is an odd intimate wedding here and there, but not enough of them to disrupt the flamboyant, lavish arrangements that have now firmly become Nigerian wedding tradition.

The hit movie ‘The Wedding Party‘ gives us a snapshot of how Nigerians are still crazy for exotic, expensive and flamboyant weddings.

Moving beyond fiction, society weddings such as Aliko Dangote’s daughter, Fatima’s in March. and that of Hauwa Indimi daughter of Mohammed Indimi, were the talk of the town and trended online pretty well. Nigerians are still suckers for big weddings.

While society weddings are still very much in vogue, more and more Nigerian millennials are opting for smaller and intimate weddings that are friendlier to the pocket.


Fatima Dangote and Jamil Abubakar at their wedding in Abuja.

Speaking of tradition, questions are being raised about certain wedding practices such as bride price and kneeling down during the traditional wedding ceremony.

Famed Nigerian author Chimamanda Adichie at a September 2018 event in Lagos said; “People always use culture to justify everything, but I keep thinking so many things have changed in our culture. There are things we can still change. I’m not a fan of bride price. I feel very conflicted about bride price.”

In August 2018, a Nigerian lady went viral when she tweeted that she did not kneel down during her traditional wedding ceremony.

While culture still plays a big role in Nigerian weddings, this generation is starting to question certain aspects of tradition.

From 1960-2019 and we’ve grown in leaps and bounds. If only that would reflect well on us in comparison to other countries of the world making real progress.