Kufuor's Suit At Ghana@50 Parade


Wed, 14 Mar 2007 Source: Bottah, Eric Kwasi


I was taken aback when I saw the president in western suit. Yes of course if you are going to be on the world stage at such an important milestone, you have got to show the world what your country has got to give, but let us not also forget, we couldn't have accepted the embarrassment the president could have caused the nation, with at least a billion people watching us through television sets, the probability of his cloth wrapper slipping and exposing his RIGHT NIPPLE.

Our cloth attire or wrapper is entangling and constantly slipping, so what do we do, we hold it in place with one hand. If you have to attend to state functions, walk among the crowds, raise your hands and risk exposing your armpit to wave at the masses, hold state dinners, and shake hands with thousands of people all day long, the traditional cloth, kente or otherwise, is not the best garb to be in. So I accept the president's position on not wearing kente cloth for that epic momentous parade. What I don't accept is that, he seems to think kente wrapper cloth is all there is, as to wearing Ghanaian traditional cloth. He could have copied from his predecessor President Hilla Limann who wore kente cloth but had it sewn in Abgada style. More so he could have worn something like the northern smock - fugu- just like Nkrumah did, or gone the JJ style, the type he wore when Clinton and Queen Elizabeth visited Ghana. You have to admire JJ Rawlings for his high sense of culture and fashion taste. I always admired him in the choices he made when it came to dressing on important national occasions. He just was fabulous, even though I don't buy his political soups and medicine one bit. Jake Obetsebi Lamptey showed how. To me he was the best-dressed guy on this occasion.

I personally don't feel comfortable wearing wax print wrapper (cloth) all day long or for an extended period of time. For it exposes your nasty nipple, with sweat dripping down your armpit and two, it demobilizes your left hand. I would hope by now we would have moved on from what some kids call bed sheets to something that would be machine sewn to keep things in place. Our women folk have moved on since the days when they used to be bare-chested and have wrappers around their bodies from their armpits down. Today the kaba style is gone international and has become elegant in many styles. President Kufour, you flopped on this one. Ghanaians love their culture. On this occasion, northern smock, otherwise called fugu, would have been most befitting, rather than the Akan clothe wrap-around. Let us modify the cloth to suit the changing times. Culture is not constant and I don’t believe being stuck in bed-sheet style wrappers is the best way to preserve our culture. Can you imagine walking on almost wooden-like sandals called chaw-chaw or whatever and wrapped around in cloth for 10 to 12 twelve hours. That is torture and craziness right there. Our fore fathers started with raffia skirts and moved on to clothes, especially kente cloth. They didn’t have any choice; there were no sewing machines when Dan Diego Azanbuya visited the Gold Coast in times gone by. Today we have high couture and machines to convert the wax prints to properly befitting attire that would reflect our Africanness.

Come on let’s move it. Some would argue Kufour could have gone the Nkrumah style, inserting a shirt, inside a kente cloth. For me it still does not free your left hand and two, it makes you look over dressed, having a cloth wrapper (bed sheet) over khaki short and a white jumper shirt. Let’s follow our women and come up with something more unique but certainly an improvement over walking in bed sheets on Broadway.

Presented by,
Eric Kwasi Bottah, alias Oyokoba
Philadelphia, PA USA

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Columnist: Bottah, Eric Kwasi