Fashionista advises on oversized suits and big bellies
Rules of Parliamentary Etiquette & Decorum are spelt out eloquently in the Parliament Standing Orders, but in most the way Members of Parliament present themselves in the form of fashion attracts responses from members of the public.
Across the globe, it has become ‘fashionable’ to scrutinise how lawmakers dress, and present themselves inside and outside Parliament – they are expected to be fashionable. The Log Raditlhokwa once cut former Botswana National Front (BNF) president, Otsweletse Moupo to pieces because of his perceived lack of taste when it comes to fashion and presentation of himself.
Tapping into Raditlhokwa’s jab on Moupo then, it has become part of the national discourse to discuss MPs’ clothes especially at the opening of Parliament or during the State of the Nation Address and Budget Sessions. Generally Botswana MPs observe Parliament rules when it comes to dressing, the biggest problem is taste.
We will miss Rre Phandu Skelemani’s suits of many colours and his unpleasant shirts and ties. He is not alone though, the problem persists! Oversize suits and funny colours continue to irk many at the National Assembly. As role models, MPs are judged every day.
The Parliamentary Decorum and Etiquette expected of Members of Parliament and the public is based on the Standing Orders of the Zambian Parliament and the Members’ Handbook and the traditions and practices of Commonwealth Parliaments. It is intended to serve as a quick reference guide on Parliamentary Decorum and Etiquette. On paper our MPs are following rules to the letter, but in the eyes of the public, many are missing the point on fashion tips.
We expect male Members of Parliament to put on a lounge suit, a pair of long trousers, a tie and jacket, with long or short sleeves and a scarf or tie. The official dress for female Members of Parliament will probably be a formal dress, dress suit or skirt suit, short or long sleeved and below the knee, or formal executive trouser suit (excluding khaki and denim). But the problem is that our MPs can bring any colour as long as it is not party regalia! And this is way we get laughing the whole day.
On the 2nd of February Minister Matambo presented his budget speech. Not everyone concentrated on crunching the numbers, others rather chose to focus on the finer things; fashion among them.
WeekendLife engaged fashion experts to provide a guide for our legislators. Fashion connoisseur, Taolo Taes Entaile has a few tips for male MPs: “Men should put on shoes matching with their belt, it is a standard policy of fashion,” he said.
He went on to indicate that men should not be in-denial about their body types so they can easily choose the kind of suit to wear. The fashion enthusiast added that net searching the kind of cuts to go for is not something to be ashamed of, rather it saves time and benefits the owner of the body.
“A plus size person cannot wear a skinny cut suit, it might just burst and create problems, so I say go for something comfortable, something that holds everything together,” he explains.
Some Batswana men have big bellies thus end up going for oversized suits as a way of trying to cover them. Baggy clothes don’t fool anyone and in fact draw more attention to your weight while downgrading your overall appearance, mood and the impression you make; fitting clothes makes everything look proportional, balanced, and neatly framed.
On the other hand, Entaile says skinny MPs should go for Italian cuts. Entaile expressed concern about men who leave suit labels hanging or visible to everyone! He says they should always remove the stitching on the vents and the label on the left sleeve before wearing a new suit.
Entaile explains that these MPs are in the public eye, therefore for them, image is everything. What they wear can send a wrong message but can also give people hope. The public analyses a person before they can even talk to them so a good fashion sense can pave way for many things.
Some men tend to think that button-down collars are for casual wear only, but they can work great with dressier looks as well. A tried-and-true pattern like herringbone or glen plaid in a muted shade makes an impression without crossing into the realm of brightness. Some say stitching in jacket pockets should not be cut, because putting objects in them will cause the jacket to lose its shape but fashion experts say it is pointless to have non-functional pockets and a business-card holder certainly won't do any damage.
According to Entaile, male MPs should know that when choosing a suit blazer to wear with a long sleeved shirt, the wrist end of the shirt should be visible. The sleeves of the blazer should not completely cover up those of the shirt.
Another thing to keep in mind is that there should be space between the suit trouser and the shoes, most men are seen with pants covering up the shoes, experts say it is a violation of fashion; unacceptable.
Tailoring your pants a little bit short will add distinctiveness to your simple look. As a man, they say one should know their suit’s length and waist size. Most people think three-pieces are stodgy, but when the waistcoat is cut close to the body and hemmed to the belt line, a man looks slim and modern.
Since there is more youth in the parliament this term, fashion experts hope that this will pave way for improved dress code.
Entaile says neutral colours are the right way to show up in public since they brighten up the mood while too much colour is loud for people and dull colours are not attractive. A dark, patterned pocket square provides a welcome visual anchor to a light-coloured suit. MPs and the rest of Batswana men are reminded to always unfasten their jacket buttons when they sit, it is a standard rule.
Men in parliament are advised to find power suits, that is to say, the perfect colour, not too bright not too dull, perfect size, perfect matching belt and socks. Do not forget to accessorise with quiet earth watches, save the bulky shock-resistant sports watch for the gym or your outdoor-adventure excursions, it really has no place with a suit. Keep in mind; Fit is everything, even the world's most expensive suit will look bad if it is not tailored to the contours of your body; note that a tie bar should never be wider than a tie.
Fastjet Zimbabwe, the award-winning value-based airline, this week announced that effective Thursday, 30 June 2022, the airline will introduce a new service between Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Maun in Botswana.
The new route is scheduled to operate four (4) times a week on a Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. Fastjet will operate the route using a 50-seater Embraer ERJ145 aircraft. This aircraft choice is known to provide the versatility to build a sustainable regional network with the right-size capacity while offering customers comfortable seating with generous legroom.
Fastjet Zimbabwe spokesperson, Nunurai Ndawana, said, “The airline is thrilled to introduce direct flights from Victoria Falls to Maun. Using our Embraer ERJ145 aircraft, we believe this route will facilitate more travel between these two tourism capitals of Zimbabwe and Botswana. This route has for many years been only available by private charter.
So, with the introduction of this direct connection, we believe it will be able to spur tourism development and growth in the region”. Fastjet Group Chief Operating Officer, Donahue Cortes commented, “The Victoria Falls – Maun flight is the second new route being added onto the fastjet regional network, with flights between Victoria Falls and Nelspruit Kruger Mpumalanga planned to launch ahead of the Easter travel period.
Despite the hard-wearing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Group remains dedicated to the recovery and growth of tourism in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Botswana, and to bringing further connectivity to the region”. The new route will operate 4 times a week on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday connecting two of Southern Africa’s most iconic tourist destinations.
Botswana has been approached to host the 73rd Miss World, expected in 2024. During the appreciation event for Miss Botswana, Palesa Molefe, by Southern Epic Cycling Challenge in collaboration with The High Commission of India, Miss Botswana Management Company Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Benjamin Raletsatsi, confirmed that they have been approached by Miss World to host 73rd Miss World.
Speaking at the same arena, Raletsatsi highlighted that it has been his dream to host Miss World in Botswana. “Miss Botswana is one of the difficult projects to run. There are days I just wake up and ask myself why I am doing what I am doing because everything about me from integrity is often times torn apart.
Then Palesa came along and validated and confirmed that what I am doing is right because it is setting an opportunity for young girls in this country to have an opportunity to express themselves. Four years ago, when I took over Miss Botswana I had a vision, in my vision I wanted the first year to just be us participating in Miss World, second year was for us to participate and ask Miss World to allow us to host Miss World in Botswana, and the third year was for us to elevate ourselves as a country; whilst in year four we wanted to win Miss World.
We could have won Miss World in our third year of office with Palesa, but unfortunately COVID-19 happened. The idea is that this coming year as Palesa will be handing over her Miss Botswana tittle, she will be there to guide the next Miss Botswana on how to prepare for Miss World.”
Raletsatsi pointed out that the reality that Palesa did not win Miss World does not mean she did not do well. “She did exceptionally well”. He said at the end of Miss World there were ten pictures of Miss World participants who had a huge impact auctioned, and out of ten pictures two of those pictures were of Palesa.
The Miss Botswana management CEO highlighted that after the Miss World competition, Miss World responded to their request to host the 73rd Miss World. “They responded and said we can host 73rd Miss World if we are still interested in hosting it.
The current Miss World will be the 71st this year and then followed by the 72nd which is next year and the 73rd which will be in 2024 which has been offered to Botswana. The bigger challenge for me now is how I will be able to convince Batswana to bring Miss World to Botswana.
The honest truth is that Palesa has done her part as a change agent, it is up to us to do our part as Batswana to ensure that Miss World comes to Botswana and is a success. I was joking with one of my friends the other day to say, what Palesa has achieved in one year can take some companies, three to four years to achieve.”
You choose a path to be better or bitter, why do you have to expose a person, what do you gain from that? We react rather than become proactive. Mothers need help! Some said as social media turned into a battlefield this past Father’s Day.
Baby mamas came all guns blazing, ventilating their frustrations against absent baby daddies through social media posts. “As for me I feel women will be applying a hurting heart or she is bitter to expose baby daddy.
There are channels one can follow to solve this issues rather than rushing to Facebook and exposing them, it’s reacting rather than solving the reality of the problem, it won’t help you, after all what will Facebook do to you? Would it give you the food, would it make the father to support the child, but there are channels one can follow like one can consult with the laws then this man will know the right thing to do”, said Obonye Obza Thapelo who is baby daddy of two daughters.
Thapelo further argued that if you seek for definition you will lose a father, “we have our fathers, it’s not about the responsibility, if we are talking about a father on happy father’s day don’t talk about the definition, talk about father’s day, it never say define or describe whose a father.
When you come back to family, we have family dynamics, family faults and family failures, so if you have family failures, for example, if I have been taking care of the child while we were together and it happens we break up and I stop taking care of the child, are you not going to call me a father just because of my failures?”
“If we are going to look for the faults we won’t be building fathers that we want. “It says happy father’s day, it ends there, and it’s not about the responsibilities. A responsible father depends on one, I can be a fathers because I am your mentor, I can be a father that am not supporting financially but I can just call and check on my child, I can be father that have money but still fails to support but am there physically but not economically, am there emotionally but still am a father.”
“Speaking from experience, my baby daddy have never been there in my kids life so in my own opinion I think happy father’s day means to acknowledge fathers who are present in their children lives, man who are there for their children, I don’t mean for the mothers, am saying their children.”, Norah Moloi mother of three cried.
“Women are reactive to this issues because it hurts to be left alone with children. Seeing other women praising their baby daddies and as for us not even knowing what to say to our children, they don’t even know if this day do exist hurts. I grew up without a father too, I didn’t even had a privilege to wish him that, even happy birthday to him too. I think this now seem like a trend, it’s like a culture now because it’s like everyone is abandoning their children,” Moloi explained.
“There is co-parenting, I mean if you have problem with me exclude the child from our problems. For us to have a healthy children who are mentally fit we ought to be in the same page. Let us hide our problems from our children. When two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers, that is why you saw on social media even kids venting out about their absent fathers.
“As for fathers who are not in their children’s life why should we wish them father’s day? It is like throwing a seed on rocks and expect it to germinate without proper soil, proper sunlight or even without water and expect to reap at the end of the day.
Do you expect such a planter to be praised that they have sowed anything? You are a planter yes but where is your seedlings, you just threw a seed and abandon it, as for me is a big NO! There is a mistake that men turn to make, they think children cannot see all the struggles mother goes through trying to made ends meets for them and later blame it on baby mamas for using children when tables turns.
“Ask yourself, are we to wish man who denied pregnancy father’s day? What of those who long abandoned their children? What is there to be wished? What is supposed to be happy about the day? We are not bitter, we are asking them to put themselves in our shoes,” Moloi expressed herself.
Adding on Calvin G Zacharia father of one daughter says that was a cry for help to single mothers, he said men who are not there for their children don’t deserve to be wished father’s day since they are not playing their role.
Zacharia urged mothers to involve the authority, “there is no use to pass remarks on social media without taking action. If the parents had messy break up they should find a common ground for the sake of their child/children”. It depresses the kids not having another party not playing the role on their lives.
“I think ladies are bitter, just because some man don’t give us money we start labelling them as deadbeat”, Boitshepho Gasefiwe mother of one. Men have their reasons for not being there for their children. There is always two sides of stories. Some kids I saw on Facebook I feel meddle in elder people’s issues without knowing the facts.
When giving his views, Thando Morgan, father of one daughter highlighted that he feels it depends on someone’s emotional intelligence, some act according to how their baby daddy treated them. “Baby mamas know their baby daddies better to find fit worthy a father title, some are venting out because they suffer alone in raising the kids alone.