By Akeem Lasisi
The way executives in Lagos State wear Yoruba caps defies the myth about whether one is single or married
This photograph is not the youngest in town. It hit the limelight about a week ago, coming with a post by the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, as he welcomed the judgement of the Supreme Court which affirmed his re-election.
Even the most sincere toddler in Lagos believes he won the election and fulfilled the substantial righteousness. But, because politicians seem to live in their own unfathomable world, the opposition yet went ahead to challenge the victory up to the apex level. While the battle has finally become history as the supreme sages have given their final word, this reflection is not about politics. Rather, it is about the very beautiful photos in which the Governor and his Deputy, Obafemi Hamzat, look radiant and radiate the harmony that has so far defined their relationship. More importantly, the positions of their caps, in terms of where each tilts, is instructive. While the governor’s cap faces his left, Hamzat’s faces the right.
This seems to question the myth some keep about where Yoruba people culturally turn their caps. Some have said that youths typically direct theirs rightwards to show that they are still single while the old choose right to indicate that they have moved past the wedding bell. In a chat with a veteran Yoruba Scholar and culture promoter, Chief Dipo Ogungbenro, however, he says although some folks have indeed raised the age-difference question, their claims have no established base in Yoruba tradition and culture.
“I have heard some people theorise about how you should shape your cap, depending on whether you are single or married. But there is actually no rule or taboo about this. People’s choices of style are what matter in practical sense”, Ogungbenro, a former lecturer at the Oyo/Osun State College of Education, Ila-Orangun, says.’
Otedola and Adenuga
A peep through the photo libraries of some dignitaries indeed reveals that taste and style dictate where people generally make their caps to face – not any rule. Mood may also be a factor as only few people maintain a fixed pattern. Consider the example of Lagos-born billionaire, Femi Otedola. His cap usually faces the right but he does the right style too at times. Globacom’s founder, Dr Mike Adenuga, is a rightist in this wise.
From Jakande to Sanwo-Olu
Because Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat are the cause of this ranting, it may not be a bad idea to see how Lagos governors have, since 1999, handled their caps. We will also further excurse into time past. President Bola Tinubu, who was governor between 1999 and 2007, occupies a unique position for two reasons: he has almost always had his branded, now very popular Asiwaju/Jagaban cap. Secondly, the cap arguably always goes left of his stubborn head. His presidency is, at least, a product of stubborn stubbornness!
While Fashola typically flaunts the right style too – as if he is looking for babes to court, going by the myth that only bachelors wear caps facing the left side – Ambode and Sanwo-Olu often turn their caps right, but they occasionally make them (caps) face the left. Interestingly, the late Michael Otedola habitually had his cap facing the left side; but the late Lateef Jakande rotated his caps right, left and front!
The Deputy Governor, Obafemi, is also a man of right and left.
| Lasisi is a Lagos-based public affairs analyst