Fashion as a weapon: Kenneth Kaunda

2012-04-01 10:28

This is Malema as Kenneth Kaunda, Zambia’s founding statesman and still a leading figure on the continent.

His sunglasses have changed from the bling pairs he wears on the grass-roots trail. The open neck says man of the people, but the sharp style also says a cut above.

Kaunda is used as a reference of his recent support for Thabo Mbeki. How should we read this new adulation for Mbeki? As Frank Chikane points out in his book Eight Days in September, Mbeki got almost 40% of the ANC vote at the 2007 Polokwane conference.

He is still popular and Malema hopes to capitalise on this support base as he fights back to retain his place in the ANC.

The Zambian statesman was a regular visitor to South Africa under Mbeki and is a figure of enormous stature in the ANC because of the support he lent to the governing party when it was banned.

Malema knows this and makes a symbolic link with this era by wearing a style so symbolic of Kaunda. All he needs next time to complete the look is a silk cravat.

Or, perhaps his tailor decided that the Barney-coloured burgundy suit and matching trilby Malema wore to businessman David Mabilu’s wedding in Mauritius was a touch too camp for our macho man.

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