Together Always Worked

Fashion and Culture: On togetherness that was our custom.

By Rogers Wanambwa

As we conclude the Fashion and Culture week, it is important to visit a common aspect of our cultures that helped our forefathers survive.

That is to say, togetherness.

Across the world, the only way people survived the harsh realities of this world was together.

Growing up, children depended on the whole community. For protection, clothing, feeding, and even discipline. It was a collective duty to raise them.

I bring this up first because we are in the middle of yet another lockdown in Uganda and people have never been more divided.

It is rather marvelous how little we have learnt from this whole ordeal!

Children are being preyed upon by their would-be protectors and it simply sad to know!

UGANET is an NGO that fights for the rights of women, girls and key populations.

Even the community itself can not be trusted!

The figures above have since gone up to over 7,000. Note: This is one district out of over 100.

We can not go on like this, living individual lives if we are to get through this.

Only when we go back to communal togetherness and reliance will we see progress.

Even in business, working with others gets you far. Alliances and mergers are always happening in the business world on a daily. This is more common than you would think.

We need to be more trustworthy and honest with each other as it was. This can only be achieved by holding each other accountable.

When did we start praising corruption and debauchery in this land?

When did the wrong thing get to a grey area when debate must first occur to determine how wrong something is?

We need to do better. For our forefathers, for ourselves, for our children, and the future of this, our motherland.

Imbalu (Rite to Manhood)

Fashion and Culture: On Imbalu, one of the last standing customary rites in Uganda

For some reason, I have spent the better part of this week castigating us as Africans for ditching something wonderful.

However, I wrote about something that one of my tribes holds dear and esteemed.

Please check out the article from last year’s #WinterABC2020 even as we come closer to finishing this year’s #WinterABC2021.

Imbalu (Rite to Manhood)

The Price of What we Forsook

Culture and Fashion: On the Price of What we Forsook

By Rogers Wanambwa

Culture is basically defined as the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society.

Additionally, it is also defined as the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively.

If I asked you what it means to be African (or American, British, Indian, or Brazilian, depending on where you are reading this from), are you able to tell me that is?

More than ever, globalization seems to blur the lines of what individuality and community means.

Now it’s a ‘global village’ talk everywhere and we appear to be losing ourselves in all the flair.

Perhaps we need to slow down a little to increase our speed in a better way.

We need to layout who we are as Africans. We need to develop a distinct culture of our own.

We need to answer questions as these:

  • What do we believe in?
  • What defines us?
  • What are we not willing to give up at all costs?
  • What do we want to keep from our past? And what are we taking forward?
  • What won’t we copy from other cultures? (We have copied a lot already as it is)
  • What does culture really mean to us?
  • How important is our culture to us? Can we do away with it?
  • And so on.

It is not enough to remember our cultural dressing at that function, or for a photoshoot. This is why it’s foreigners seeing what we have and how beautiful it is.

We can’t appreciate what we have no use for.

It is only when we answer those questions and start appreciating what we have and had that we will realize the price of what we forsook along the way.

Versions of Africa pt 2 (What we Sold)

Fashion and Culture: What we Sold

By Rogers Wanambwa

The truth is, however much we all talk about our love for African fashion, we are all hypocrites.

For example, how many African point clothes, especially those made from African material, do you have in your closet?

I’m sure you are going to come up with excuses, please keep them to yourself. Lol.

To keep up with the western world, we have sold our fashion to the highest bidder to the extent that now we have to watch it in Hollywood movies and read about it in books written by whites.

Isn’t that a shame?

But it’s not too late. We can still salvage what we had, this time making it even better.

We must be grounded in our own fashion, culture, and history if we to progress.

There’s a reason why Asia is now dominating the world economic stage.

By the way, I am not saying that all that we embraced is bad, nor am I saying that all that we ditched is good.

What I’m simply advocating for is that we must have something to bind us together.

Fashion is a strong binding factor.

There’s an economic component to this too. The global apparel market was worth $1.46 trillion in 2020, and it’s expected to increase to roughly $2.25 trillion by 2025.

Africa gets a small portion of that. Why? Well, because we don’t really have what to offer!

Check out this article I did sometime back on clothes as a business too.

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