By Elizabeth Adegbesan
Two sets of people are always present in a typical Nigerian party, known in local Yoruba parlance as owambe. They are the invited guests and uninvited ones popularly known as gate crashers.
While the invited guests come with pride to show off elegance, luxury and perhaps modern dance steps, the gate crashers mainly come for food.
Ordinarily, the way a guest is served speaks volumes in such parties.
For invited guests, hosts prepare and serve various delicacies in beautiful dishes and plastic takeaway packs on decorated tables.
Some guests are even allowed to make orders for whatever meals they desire without stepping out of their seats. This lifestyle not only shows the class of the hosts but also the importance of the guests.
Even gate crashers are sometimes lucky to get a better treatment even though they were not invited. But this depends on the financial power of the host.
However, with the economic downturn, things have changed drastically. This is not a good time to be a gate crasher, as the treatment they get in owambes now are shabby and to say the least, very demeaning.
Today, many of them end up going home with their food in a small polythene bags.
This is due to the high cost of renting plates and increased prices of plastic take-away packs.
Economy&Lifestyle discovered that most hosts now package food for their special guests in paper take-away packs. Those who still want to show off class manage to buy a few plastic take-aways for just a few guests, while the gate crashers are left at the mercy of taking their food home in nylons.