Marissa Brassfield in her article “The Brief History of Fashion Trends” described fashion as the most popular mode of expression that describes the ever-changing style of clothes worn by those with cultural status. Growing up, I was told that presentation was key to success, something I have come to appreciate. Let’s say two people go for the same job interview, one person is dressed smartly and he is on point whereas the other is dressed in a “To whom It may concern” manner, who do you think the interviewer will be eager to interview first?
I was amazed at how the fashion culture in Uganda has grown over the years ever since I left. During the early 2000s, stores such as Sylvia’s Boutique and Woolworth came to Kampala city and tried to introduce Ugandans to a speck of fashion. But just like me, most Ugandans didn’t care much about fashion except for a few that had travelled to foreign countries and therefore had been exposed to the sense of style and fashion and also for some few artists that were beginning to make a name for themselves at the time. Today, that speck of fashion has grown into a culture that has blanketed the Ugandans were you even have fashion designers and stylists in great numbers. Parties are held on a dress code theme like Zari’s all white party that is held in Guvnor every year. Ugandans are now more informed about fashion than ever before and a case in point is the Abryanz Style Fashion Awards that will be held on December 12th in Kampala where Ugandan celebrities that stand out in fashion will be rewarded and in my opinion, they need not to look further than Eddy Kenzo in Male artists and Desire Luzinda for female artists, they always pay attention to what they wear at any given time and that takes a lot of dedication, something that needs to be rewarded.
A look into the Ugandan community in Boston will also show how evolved we are in fashion especially for the ladies. The guys do a somewhat good job at looking their best but I got to give it to our ladies. For the few events I have attended, be it at the popular Ugandan club in Boston, club Rendezvous, the ladies do represent. They may not coordinate the outfits quite well sometimes but at least you see that they have a clear cut intention as opposed to the guys who won’t mind showing up in flip flops (read slippers) in Rendezvous just because its summer time! The times have changed and we as people need to evolve. Dressing in a nice fashionable and sexy way doesn’t have to be for the big name artists or for those that are making lots of money. You will be surprised that some of the Ugandan artists that come here to perform in Boston do shop in stores you would normally despise, they also pick out cheap clothes, the key is to find something trendy and be able to match it with a nice shoe. I understand some people may not have the slightest clue on what trends or what outfit goes where, and to them I say this, pay attention to your surroundings. There is always someone who will dress in a way you like and try to learn a thing or two. There is also a channel that focuses on fashion here in the US. Also on our Radio, our presenters do mention pointers on fashion. A case in point is Connection time, a program that airs on Radio Uganda Boston every Thursday 8–10:30pm, my colleague Anisha hosts this program with Mpagi of the Batabazi crew and they always discuss a range of issues that even include fashion. My point, if you want something, you will find it so don’t be left behind in the 20th century, wake up because we are in the 21st century and America has a black president. Let’s dress like we live in the United States because here, you can find anything for half the price and you will look fabulous.
To those that always make an effort to dress fashionably every night, hats off for you and I hope Radio Uganda Boston management will come up with an award for the most fashionable people in Boston next year and I hope to see nominees on that list such as Matilda, Zainah, Alvin, Mark all of whom I have featured in my story picture and am sure there a few others that dress nicely and sexy on a night to night basis. Going to a party and people are fashionably dressed is a great feeling, life is what you make of it, we all have responsibilities and problems but we still try to dress our best. So what’s your excuse?