The Kigali fashion scene is, to put it lightly, interesting! When you go past the jeans and the top, you get to, well, the jeans and the top! I have noticed how hard it is to break out of the mould; whenever I am returning to Kigali, I put away all my articles that do not fit the Kigali dress code.
Try to walk down the street in a pair of shorts: if eyes could stab, you wouldn’t make it half a mile out of your house. I won’t pretend to be any different – I am a bona fide ‘KGL chick’, and by that I mean I stick to this two-word dress code.
But that doesn’t mean I want to… Who does not live in terror of being labeled negatively? Or better yet, how many aunties are you ready to knock out in your Pokemon world of seeking a fashion identity?
So what we have left is a hive of females that make us look like we have a country uniform that comes in different colors, mix-and-match.
Frankly speaking, this is boring…and am not calling females to arms so that they can squeeze their bodies into skimpy outfits that will quickly take those very aunties to their graves; I am talking about color, flair, a touch of individuality, breaking the rules! I do not know if it is part of our constitution, but someone needs to put the word out that you do not have to color-coordinate everything – being spontaneous, risqué and unpredictable is legal too.
I won’t lie; I like the new wave of Afrocentricity that is sweeping through Kigali. The edgy dresses tailored from waxed ‘kitenge’ material are beautiful. It is unfortunate that it took us this long to see that the ubiquitous ‘boubou’ does not have exclusive rights to that beautiful fabric. The same goes for the accessories that are hitting the market such as earrings, ties, belts, you name it.
We may be a few years behind our West African friends who cashed in on this brilliant idea some years back, but thank heavens something is breaking us out of the jean-top mould.
In the same way it is fantastic to see a potpourri of hairstyles that err from the way of straight, relaxed and swept up in a ponytail. Like I said, this is a rant, and not much else. The afros and dreadlocks and everything in between are good indicators that women are comfortable looking different.
I have experimented with numerous lengths, styles and colors over the years, and I know for a fact that there is gratification in knowing what your head looks like with something other than a ponytail.
When all is said and done, Rwandan ladies are some of the most gorgeous out there; maybe they would be too much to ingest if they came packaged with style and class as well. Any risk takers out there, lead the way – until then, let me fix myself into my jeans and throw on my top, I have a long day ahead.