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Social Observations Why do Nigerian men wear sunglasses indoors?


I observe at least 30% of all males between the ages of 20 and 35years at a wedding with sunglasses on. IT IS AN EPIDEMIC!!! But nobody else seems to be worried. Am I the only one panicking…I want to go home!

Weddings, weddings, weddings: they are pretty much a permanent weekend agenda item for nearly everyone in Nigeria, all age groups and demographics included… and why not?

The Perks of Weddings.

Who could possibly say no to free food – including small chops and sometimes gelato; free drinks – including champagne; availability of hotties – with the promise of finding a future husband or wife (for the singles); and more popularly these days through destination weddings (if bank accounts are buoyant), the opportunity to travel?

…oh and of course, celebrating the happy couple.

Analysing Weddings.

In the past, attending  weddings and especially crashing them was a lot of fun. I enjoy “people-watching” and this always presented a great opportunity to observe different characters in over 500 people and interactions amongst them all together under one marquee in just a few hours. These days, weddings are a little more meaningful to me because more and more of my close friends and relatives are getting involved in them as the bride and/or groom or close friends or relatives of the bride and/or groom.The mystery of men who wear sunglasses indoors or in weather that does not require sunglasses.

The mystery of men who wear sunglasses indoors or in weather that does not require sunglasses.

 So it is definitely a more intimate set up. I actually make the effort to attend church ceremonies (even when I am not a member of the bridal party) and the traditional events. So yes, my attitude to weddings has changed, I see things from a different perspective…BUT one thing that has stayed the same is my inability to crack the mystery of men (especially those in the bridal party) who wear sunglasses indoors or in weather that does not require sunglasses.

I have been running this wedding circle for over 5 years now, so it is safe to say that I am a veteran. However this issue of wearing sunglasses indoors has remained quite a tough code to crack.

Understanding Sunglasses at Weddings

So here is the drill:

Before the church service, you see the groomsmen  looming around the venue in their tuxedosand sunglasses. At this point, even if the sun is not out, I try to build the theory that maybe, just maybe they might still be recovering from the activities of the previous night and might just be a little sleepy or hung-over and wouldn’t want that to show in the pictures.

The ceremony at church starts, and the sunglasses come off. Okay, the guys look pretty decent…not so bad (Gosh men really don’t need to do much to not look like they were in a car wreck after what I assume was a crazy night out).

Maybe they might still be recovering from the activities of the previous night.Maybe they might still be recovering from the activities of the previous night.

As soon as the people walk out of church, the sunglasses come on again. At this point, I think, “Well, this is mid-afternoon. It is really quite sunny.” But then it’s time for pictures, and the sunglasses stay on. “Don’t they want to be recognised in the pictures?” Out of my continued state of confusion, I start to build a theory “Is there an infection going around that nobody has told me about? Do I need to fetch some antibiotics?”

But then, I think that this theory is rather ridiculous until we arrive at the reception venue, where I observe at least 30% of all males between the ages of 20 and 35years with their sunglasses on. IT IS AN EPIDEMIC!!! But nobody else seems to be worried. Am I the only one panicking…I want to go home! But then I calm down when I realise that I might be overreacting…crazy hypochondriac.

Some Reasoning Behind the Sunglasses.

In order to make some sense of this, I reached out to some friends, and here is the general feedback I got, summarised in the following statements:

Maybe they think they are celebrities”

“They think it makes them look cool

“It adds to their swag

“They kind of look silly

“They think it creates an air of mystery that draws the ladies in”

BankyW and his Groomsmen.BankyW and his Groomsmen.

“It’s their own version of makeup

…quite a wide array of responses, so it is difficult to draw a conclusion.

I just don’t understand the concept of wearing sunglasses indoors at such events. But I might be biased because I have the peculiarity of having to wearing glasses or contact lenses and the thought alone of additional eye gear when it is not necessary brings me a lot of stress and discomfort. So I ask myself, “What exactly is the purpose of SUNglasses again?”

Then I remembered the lyrics of the song, Like to Party, by Burna Boy;  “You see my dark shades on like I can’t see you, but you know say me fancy you. Might say hello, don’t be surprised when I say hello…” Then it all started to make sense. To be honest, I have observed some guys staring at me through their sunglasses at weddings, but I always ignore a “staring gesture” if there is no follow up with a “talking gesture”.

In my opinion, men are better off without them!In my opinion, men are better off without them!

Potential Conclusions.

Additionally, I have to give it to women in Nigeria who make the effort and spend a great portion of their income on looking absolutely stunning when they attend such functions. So maybe men might find this a little intimidating and seek comfort through hiding behind their sunglasses in the presence of beautiful women so that they can stare at them discretely.

Maybe it is their way of attempting to look cool. Maybe they think it adds to their swag, creating that air of mystery that they think women are supposedly intrigued by. Or just maybe it is their own way of wearing makeup to hide facial defects.

I don’t know what the rule of thumb for wearing sunglasses at an indoor event is, but in my opinion, men are better off without them!


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