This Photo Series Captures The Performative Nature Of Nigerian Weddings

Given the great jamboree that surrounds Nigerian weddings, we seem to forget that marriage imminently follows for the couple, and with it the evolution of identity for both the bride and groom, but in our rather sexist culture, most of the onus is placed on the bride.

It is this impact on the bride after this momentous step in life that inspired Lakin Ogunbanwo to create the captivating series, e wá wo mi. 

(Photo: Lakin Ogunbanwo/Vogue)

32 years old this year, Lakin Ogunbanwo has not only witnessed many of his female friends take the emotional walk down the aisle, but he has also watched as his former single gal pals morphed into dutiful wives, and the journey has not always been rosy.

Capturing multiple brides on their traditional wedding day, the catalyst for the change in identity women undergo, Ogunbanwo hopes to expand existing representations of Nigerian women by drawing attention to the varying impacts marriage has on the bride's life. 

(Photo: Lakin Ogunbanwo/Vogue)

e wá wo mi is Ogunbanwo's first time using women as his subject, and he excels, predominantly calling attention to the attire the women melancholically model, with vibrant colours and the contrasting textures highlighting the performative nature of the wedding. 

Speaking at length on his perception of weddings, Ogunbanwo divulges:

"From how she dresses, to how she carries herself, to what she is told. She will be fertile, she should be submissive and supportive: These are the things she hears on that day.

I’ve found weddings to be very performative, and most of the performance generally rests on the bride."

The narrative Ogunbanwo explores in e wá wo mi is rather taboo, however, his sentiments are shared by many. It is refreshing to see him break out of the Nigerian bubble that glorifies marriage, highlighting the effects it might have, for one demographic in particular. 

Check out the rest of the series here

(Photo: Lakin Ogunbanwo/Vogue)

(Photo: Lakin Ogunbanwo/Vogue)