Long ago and as early as the days of the first Man and woman on earth (Adam and Eve), at least according to the biblical account of the creation story mankind has always sought means to cover his skin at least to a reasonable extent as it is the temple of the holy spirit and the craftsmanship of God’s creation. Little wonder after the ‘Fall of Man’, being aware of their nakedness they sewed fig trees together and covered themselves as is reported in the book of Genesis and I quote, “As soon as they had eaten it, they were given understanding and realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and covered themselves”(Gen. 3v7). This no doubt, was the earliest stage of the ‘Stone Age’ when man wandered about in search for food and shelter manually, tilled the soil with local tools and cultivated, ate fruits and drank from the nearby freshwater in local streams as a means of survival.
However, as time went by and as advancement in technology grew to greater heights, man sought for other means to cover his entire body as he only covered the private and sensitive parts all these years if for anything, to help in protecting himself during the cold seasons and add more beauty to his human form. Thanks to the success in wool and cotton making locally, that bid became a huge success and man was able to cover a greater fraction of his body. As time went by, more success was achieved in this field as textile industries, fashion designers, cotton cultivation and full fledge industrialization exploded and man was able to wear different styles, size and quality of cotton materials produced in the textile industries and this made man much more attractive. It led to different people seeking for skills in Fashion making and other cotton related human disciplines.
Lest I forget, at this time, the sole aim of fashion was not to brandish the human flesh but on the contrary almost 80% of the human body was covered and yet man appeared more beautiful and fashionable undoubtedly to the admiration of God. In sub-Saharan Africa, this trend was also entrenched and even practiced to a greater extent also. In this part of the world, nude dressing was seen as a taboo in many parts of the Nigerian state. For the Igbo’s in the south Eastern part of the divide, on no account was a girl to be allowed to expose sensitive parts of her body in the name of fashion else she risks being banished into the evil forest. For the Yoruba’s, who loved and practiced their tradition with passion, higher penalties awaited anyone who acted in such manner. For the Arewas in the Northern parts of the country where Islamic law according to the Maliki scholar was fully in practice, the wearing of dresses calculated to attract the least of attention was seen as a haram as nowhere, in the Qur’an and Sunnah of the Prophet( S.A.W) was it recorded. It is not only ironical, pathetic and pitiable but also incongruous that like a flash in the pan, like a thief in the night, we have all washed away these modes of dressing, these codes, standards and norms that guided the way we dressed and appear in public in the days of our fore fathers for reasons I am yet to come to terms with.
In the name of civilization and in a bid to practice the Western ways of behavior, we have with our hands dumped our local cultures and tradition that once guided our dress code and with those hands, have adopted the ways of the white man who has no regard for tradition at least not in the way our earlier parents did. We have alienated those norms and it is not surprising that a great number of us now walk almost nude up and down the streets of the various metropolis. If Adam and Eve after their fall, were sensible enough to cover their nakedness with fig trees as far back as the time of creation when there was a total dearth in technology and possible cotton production, it then means not a single fraction of our body should be left in the air to the admiration of the so-called admirers in this age of technology where we have almost everything we need. How can one live at the bank of a river but yet still wash their hands with spittle? But to the consternation of many, the reverse is the case. In the name of liberalism our ladies and many young mothers scarcely wear dresses that hardly cover their breasts. They prefer to leave the cleavages to the admiration of God –knows-who. Skirts when worn, hardly covers the knee, show-back, show front and so on and so forth now sits in the driver seat of this fashion train and the passengers are enjoying the ferry. No one seems to call this driver to order.
In our institutions of higher learning and even in some secondary schools, young girls have reduced the campus to a fashion galleria where people go to show off all sorts of immoral dresses in the name of liberalism. There is a practical application of what they watch in many ‘High School’ movies and even where the authorities have come in to make pronouncement pertaining to dress code, it is hardly enforceable. And even where it is, these students still ply their new found passion outside the walls of the universities as they have abandoned their eroding sense of value which means something is fundamentally wrong somewhere.
To the male folks, wearing tight jean trousers that leave a great portion of their inner ‘boxers’ outside in the name of ‘sagging’ has become the order of the day. Only a little few are in the knowing that the wearing of sagging pants was traceable to the reaction of prisoners sometime in early history who protested the warden’s collection of their belts that once held their trousers to their waist as they used it in harming others behind bars and sometimes even prison wardens. So in protesting, they pulled down their trousers as a sign of rebellion against the officials. But sadly enough, it has become a fashion trend that is today fully embraced.
No doubt this immoral systems of dressing however relative the term could be, has come to stay. It has triumphed over our socio-cultural value system and has betrayed us collectively of the creed we profess as good people in the furtherance of a great nation. While the government through the ministry of culture and tourism has overlooked this socio-cultural decay that has eaten deep into the fabrics of our true identity as a cultural nation it should also be aware that the two major determinants of a people’s culture is the mode of their dressing and the language they converse in. Undoubtedly, haven being drunk with the wine of civilization we have abandoned our standard and moral dress codes irrespective of our diverse traditions. One wonders if we are not going to lose the major element of our culture – Language in the nearest future. If we continue to tow these same steps, I doubt if we won’t.
Nkannebe Raymond tweets @yung_silky
What a nice piece! This is no doubt one of the ways to create awareness of the indecent dressing among youths and even the elders nowadays. The liberals are taking over. To them, provided the person is an adult, he or she should be left alone. What a wrong idea! The ladies who dress indecently are doing it solely for opposite sex admiration, so as to seduce men. The boys who are into sagging are doing it solely for winning the opposite sex. Rubbissh!! Like it or not, embarrasment must come your way. We are in a conservative society. Why must we copy wrong things? This is a trend in our society. We should condemn it before the coming generation will copy it. My worry is that of the parents who have this liberal view, they’ve passed it on.
Thumbs up, indecent dressing is the major act that promotes immorality today in the world.