Wodaabe men make-up to attract female attention

Wodaabe men make-up to attract female attention


How to woo a woman in Wodaabe Culture

The Wodaabe are cattle-herders and traders in the Sahel, with migrations stretching from southern Niger, through northern Nigeria, northeastern Cameroon, southwestern Chad, western region of the Central African Republic and the northeastern of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The number of Wodaabe was estimated in 2001 to be 100,000.They are known for their elaborate attire and rich cultural ceremonies.

The Wodaabe speak the Fula language and don’t use a written language. In the Fula language, woɗa means “taboo“, and Woɗaaɓe means “people of the taboo. This is sometimes translated as “those who respect taboos”, a reference to the Wodaabe isolation from broader Fula/Fulani culture, and their contention that they retain “older” traditions than their Fula neighbors.

The men of the Wodaabe tribe dress elaborately and wear make-up and jewelry during the Gerewol festival to impress women and get their attention.

Among the Wodaabe tribe, beauty is believed to be the whiteness of the eye, the firm straight bridge of the nose, and white teeth. Therefore, the make-up done by the men accentuates these features.

However, these men are allowed to attract the attention of not only single women but also married ones.

So if a man successfully steals a wife without being caught, the man automatically becomes her husband and the union is accepted.


Editorial Chief, Nigerian Bureau

Kings UBA is a Nigerian journalist and writer. I have reported for major local and international news organisations. I write satire. In 2017, I started contributing stories primarily to Discover Africa News Network. I can be reached on editorkingsuba@gmail.com. I currently manage Discover Africa News social media handles