Today marks 31 years of the NRM rule in Uganda. And while not much has not changed politically, the big main man on the hand has been enjoying quite the evolution, wardrobe wise. Over the years, His Excellency President Yoweri Museveni has turned into somewhat of a fashionista. I mean dude even has signature looks!
However, things may not have always been as rosy, from the start. And while he can now afford himself some dapper accessories here and there, it is a far cry from his bush days in Luweero.
In the beginning………
On January 26, 1986, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni stepped in as president of this great nation. And I don’t know whether to blame it on his previous hustle (he had been in the bush fighting for over five years) but his excellency was short on his wardrobe game.
He often stepped out in his army fatigue, and that became his wardrobe staple of sorts. He wore it to all public sightings, and even to his swearing in ceremony as president in 1986. Then there was the matching cap and his gold wrist watch to complete. He did make an effort to have the ensemble pressed and tucked in, but that did little to save the situation.
This look went on for quite a while, and just when we were about to give up on all style hope in our dear leader, the Kaunda suit took over.
The ‘90s were the era of the famous Kaunda suit. Every fashion conscious man owned one. And it’s all thanks to Kenneth Kaunda, first president of Zambia. He is what we would call the patron of this look.
It however gained more popularity with the politicians. And the big man wasn’t missing out on this fun. And who can blame him? The guy had started falling in things, so it’s only right that he pampered himself a little.
Mr.Kaguta wore his kaundas in majorly grays and off whites, and the matching dressing shoes to complete. That was the time when the stylists’ mania hadn’t hit Kampala yet, so we need to give Kaguta props for the effort.
In comes the dapper presdo
By 2001, when he came back for his second term as president, he had always picked on the suits fashion. I mean, by this time he had full access to the coffers of this third world country, and boy did he transform! I bet he made a stop by Giorgio Armani and Tom Ford on his numerous official trips.
His wardrobe had grown through a major transformation. He wasn’t the same young man that came into power with just his gun, and his one set of combat wear that he seemed to be recycling.
He had suits (rather ill fitting), ties and dress shoes. I, personally think the president has two pairs of black shoes possibly the same make. I mean, those shoes look the same each time I see them.
The man in the hat
That aside Mr. Kaguta was now turning into quite the style pro by his second term in office. He even mastered the art of creating a signature look; with his famous round brim hat. He later came to be known as omusajja we kyikofila all thanks to his famous accessory. If it had its own passport, that hat would have way more passport stamps than some of our socialites and celebrities!
Fast forward to 2017, and 31years later (yes, we are still counting), Museveni’s style has transformed from ill fitting suits to the now famous Yellow linen shirts, numerous and quite occasional yellow ties, and the hat that has stuck over the years.
The yellow shirt, complete with an undershirt and the customary black dress pants is what he steps out in lately especially on his upcountry activity.
Remember that staged scene when he was photographed on a bicycle supposedly heading to the well, he was in that same yellow shirt. And his military style green boots, chino pants, and the signature were the perfect way to complete the look. Talk of a fashion conscious president who knows that the yellow and green colour block work magic on any look!
Then there was the State Dinner at Munyonyo that all socialites were scrambling to get invited to? The big man made his appearance in a yellow shirt. After all, the memo read, “a touch of yellow”.
And he does love his prints as well. Camouflage to be specific. He is often seen covered up in his camouflage puffer jacket and black scarf.
And from the look of things, he always has a wardrobe revamp with each coming presidential term.
Hopefully for his eighth term in office, he can adopt the “fitting” trend. Skinny jeans, resized shirts and all!
Happy anniversary your Excellency.