Hail fashionable First Lady

Good people, First Lady Gertrude Mutharika will grace Buy Malawian Fashion Show slated for next month at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe.

This is a perfect surprise!

My brother, President Peter Mutharika, must know that his wife is the darling this column wanted to make a move when we asked State House to shine brighter light on the allure of traditional wear.

That the first lady will not only be garbed in locally made dress, but also unite with the models on the runway, is the greatest endorsement for local outfits that distinguish Malawians globally.

Clothes are not just about covering nudity.

They make an instant statement about the wearers—their nationality, culture, class, likes dislikes and what they are up to.

The First Lady, who is passionately using influence and Beautify Malawi Trust to tackle sanitation crisis in the country, is usually seen wearing her Sunday best when attending prayer sessions.

When accompanying her hubby to development rallies, she always makes it a point to dress like a queen—and the nation has surely lost count of the show-stoppers that define her fashion taste.

Hail Your Excellency Madame Dr….

The lengthy title does not sound cool, does it?

The politically correct layers she wears only conceal and weigh down the astonishing beauty which captivated the nation when she peeled off her office wear and joined the netball Queens at Blantyre Youth Centre.

That seemingly younger and bouncing Getrude, matching every push and shove from the muscular Queens, confirmed the saying that goes wakalamba wafuna!

The President’s better half is still young at heart—and in looks too.

The catwalk on September 2 demands more energy, tenderness, smiles and confidence than she needed to withstand the defy netball stars.

Of course, she is not expected to appear on the red carpet in a bikini, mini-skirt, see-through, bare-back, leggings, nothings and other revealing couture associated with fashion shows.

Her presence alone, not withstanding a small stint of solidarity stuff, is enough to underline the importance of her decision to open the presidential palace’s doors to fashionistas, models and designers.

By doing so, the First Lady is telling the world that Malawians have some worthwhile wear and must take pride in it.

This is a great gimmick.

Her endorsement is only rivalled by the President’s edict liberating civil servants to take a break from colonial suits and wear traditional garbs on Fridays.

Hail Your Excellency the President of the Republic of Malawi, Professor…

This too does not sound fashionable.

It will be more fashionable if the President and his sweetheart, clad in the best traditional wear in their wardrobes, walk hand in hand on the red rug to throw their weight behind clothes made by Malawians in Malawi.

The textile industry and things people wear are the first building blocks of numerous thriving economies globally.

The country, whose cotton farming is falling and dressing code largely comprises cheap imports, needs to go back to basics to rekindle the revolution which flickered off second-hand clothes and other paper-thin stuff came to stay.

When the first lady joins fashionistas to show she still has the swag, looks and passion for Malawian products, Buy Malawian fanatics must ask themselves: where on Earth will the fashion offerings on show be on sale?

It is a pity that those who grew up wearing Robin Bridge and other local brands can only find Malawian labels when they fly to various capitals on the continent and beyond.

Unsurprisingly, the nation has become a mass importer of anything from Italy’s Giorgio Amanis to Fong-Kong’s Z-listers.

This has to change.n

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