HomeTopicalCultureThe fattening rooms of Calabar (Nkugho): A Marriage rite

The fattening rooms of Calabar (Nkugho): A Marriage rite

The Efik people of Calabar, in the cross-river region of Nigeria, who practise the fattening room ritual for marriage preparation.

They are a highly educated population made up of legislators, professors, successful business people, educators, and industrialists. 

However, they have an odd wedding tradition that centres around gaining weight.

READ ALSO: Lady reveals how she saved her marriage after she caught her husband cheating with his colleague

An Efik lady who is committed to follow custom must enter the fattening room even before the traditional marriage takes place. 

They would spend several months in isolation in the fattening room, where they would be fed a lot of rich, fatty food every day in order to put on weight and grow obese. 

The fattening rooms of Calabar (Nkugho)

The purpose of the fattening room 

An overweight woman brought to her husband in this manner represents wealth, prosperity, good fortune, and beauty in Calabar.

In the south-eastern part of Nigeria, which encompasses Akwa Ibom and local government areas like Ikot Ekpene, Abak, Ika, Obot Anam, among others, the fattening room is a prevalent practise. 

In the past, the fattening room were a very significant traditional and cultural occasion, marked by lavish celebrations when the lady finished the process.

The woman in the fattening room used to simply wear the most minimal clothing, such as a cloth around her waist and body paints that were typically made of clay.

Bride-to-be from the Efik tribe prepare themselves for marriage, family life, and motherhood in the fattening room. 

The fattening room: A significant part of culture

In the past, it was required, but today, only wealthy people and those who feel a need for tradition continue to engage in this practise.

The motivation for this intriguing tradition is to mark the passage from being a young, unmarried girl to becoming a lady. The symbolism that underlies it emphasises virtue, sexual purity, morality, and domesticity. 

After visiting the fattening chamber, becoming obese becomes a supporter of these ideals, particularly the attractiveness that comes with becoming obese.

Most African males, not only the Efik, view a well-rounded lady with ample flesh in the proper areas as attractive. 

Most African men find women to be quite attractive and enticing when they have good, rounded flesh.

READ ALSO: Non-virgins should be given out for free in marriage – Nigerian man shares his stance on bride price

Nigerian man make lists of women that are not happy in marriage

Meanwhile, a Nigerian man made a list of women who were not happy in marriage to the shock of netizens.

He shared the list of such women whom he suspected were unhappy in marriage.

In the list, women who paid bills in the home were seen to be the most unhappy.