With his music video having a whopping 64 and a half million views, I believe many people know Jidenna is a popular classic man. Jidenna also has over a half a million likes on his video which leads me to think that people not only like the song, but the video as well. If we dive deeper into the music video itself, we can see that there are many influences to his cinematic point of view that can be looked over in a quick glance. One such thing about the video is its sense of fashion. Throughout the course of the music video, you can see that everyone is dressed up in their best outfits. People at the party are in formal wear, people walking down the street are in formal wear, and even the barbers are in formal wear. The barbers in formal wear shocked me because why would a barber risk getting hair on such nice and expensive clothes? Jidenna also switched between three really good looking suits throughout the video. What is the meaning of this? Is Jidenna just trying to show that he can look nice in a music video or is there a deeper meaning to his fashion? As we can speculate, of course there is a deeper meaning into his fashion sense because it roots itself back to the culture of the Nigerian Dandies.
The origin of the Dandian culture has a rough history because it is based on the racism of Europeans (specifically the French) in Africa. When France had colonies in Africa, they had a policy known as “assimilation” that had a primary goal of changing the “natives” of Africa into Frenchmen (Sarvan, 1985). In this policy, French culture, institutions, and language was to be transported down to Africa so the Africans could become Frenchmen (except for their race and color of course) (Sarvan, 1985). The importation of European tailored clothes down to Africa was also included in this system and it helped signify the emergence of a European civilization (De Stefani, 2017). This policy was enacted until the slave trade was finally abolished and the colonies were liberated in 1960 (Chafer, 2017). This liberation from France now allowed the West African men to create a unique fashion style that was different from the French. Thus the style of the dandies were born.
The first dandies were began in the cities of Brazzaville and Kinshasa and then quickly spread its influence through Africa and Europe. The Nigerian Dandies is a subculture of the extraordinarily dressed dandies. These men had a dress code that typically consisted of three-piece suits paired with leather shoes, but they also wore sports and casual clothes (De Stefani, 2017). The dandian culture also expressed more than just fashion, they had a way of living that pushed for an apolitical, peaceful way of living (De Stefani, 2017). The culture of the Dandies has been able to grow away from its racist origins and has now influenced many fashion icons such as Andre 3000, Pharrell Williams, and Jidenna. Through these men and others like them, the Dandian culture has spread its influence in fashion to millions of people around the world.
Chafer, Tony. “Decolonization in French West Africa.” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of
African History, 2017, africanhistory.oxfordre.com/.
De Stefani, Lucia. “The Eccentric Lifestyle of La Sape Dandies.” A Curated Platform for
Contemporary Photography | PHmuseum, 2017, phmuseum.com/.
Sarvan, C. P. “French Colonialism in Africa: The Early Novels of Ferdinand Oyono.” World Literature
Today, vol. 59, no. 3, 1985, pp. 333–337. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/40140837.