Columbia event celebrates Yoruba fashion as a cultural expression

Tuesday, July 23, 2013 | 12:04 p.m. CDT; updated 4:54 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 23, 2013

COLUMBIA — Nigerians across mid-Missouri will gather this Saturday in Columbia to celebrate their heritage and showcase Yoruba fashion by exploring its cultural implications.

"We value inner beauty," said Femi Ogungbade, the president of Egbe Omo Oduduwa of Mid Missouri, a Nigerian cultural organization. "We believe our thinking affects the way we dress, and we want to use our appearance to project a positive image."

If you go

What: Egbe Omo Oduduwa of Mid Missouri's 14th anniversary celebration

When: 7 p.m. Saturday

Where: Howard Johnson Inn, 3100 Interstate 70 Drive SE

Admission: Free

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Egbe Omo Oduduwa will celebrate its 14th anniversary at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Howard Johnson Inn. The public is invited to the free, annual event, which will feature traditional West African food and live Yoruba music.

This year’s theme is "Fashion Aspect of Yoruba Cultural Heritage." A guest speaker will discuss what Yoruba people wear, why they wear it and what fashion means to Yoruba people. Members of Egbe Omo Oduduwa will showcase traditional Yoruba fashion.

The Yoruba are a nationality of about 40 million people who primarily reside in south western Nigeria in West Africa, according to the National Association of Yoruba Descendants in North America.

The nonprofit Egbe Omo Oduduwa is made up of 13 families from Columbia, Kansas City, Jefferson City, Moberly and other communities. It holds a monthly meeting to pray, talk about community outreach and discuss local issues and issues of their native countries.

In addition to educational forums, members participate in Columbia’s Adopt-a-Spot program, teach Yoruba language classes, promote health awareness, sponsor an African music radio program, volunteer for the Red Cross, Cleanup Columbia and the food bank.

Ogungbade said the people of Egbe Omo Oduduwa believe it is important to give back to the community through education and volunteer service.

More information about Egbe Omo Oduduwa of Mid Missouri can be found at

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.

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