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So What If the President Wears Ugly Shoes?
Just like everyone in the public eye, the President of Uganda has been on the receiving end of harsh criticism for his appearance. You know, he was in Kenya yesterday to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Uhuru Kenyatta. As usual, he sat next to his country neighbor Mr. Paul Kagame, president of Rwanda. When a photo of the two leaders’ footwear landed on social media, the internet wasn’t amused.
Surprisingly for me, this wasn’t anything close to amusing. And, you’ve got to consider that I come from a place where there’s a clear line between ‘ugly’ and ‘nice’ shoes. Let’s be honest, this is not the first time he has worn shoes that didn’t look so nice. Sitting next to the always impeccably dressed president of Rwanda made it even worse. These two men come from totally different generations. He is 73 years old while his Rwandan colleague is only 60. This age difference is enough to explain his choice in shoes.
Let’s look at their women, the part I hate to delve into. Usually women pick shoes for their men, and I believe the same happens to heads of state. Even when they don’t, I believe the First Lady has a huge impact on the appearance and sartorial choices of the president. Jeannette Kagame comes off as a woman who knows a thing and two about style. Her love for soft colours and bold prints should be the reason her husband is always well dressed. On the other hand, our own Janet Museveni’s style has often than not displayed an out-of-touch persona. She’ll wear a bold yellow dress with a giant hat and accessorize the look with white sporty sneakers. Whether women dress like this in 2017, that’s up to you to worry about. So, it’s not surprisingly that Mr. Kaguta loves his shoes ‘ugly’!
It is also important to note that people his age worry not about the style, appearance and durability of footwear. As long as it’s comfortable to wear, that’s enough. We all have those people back home. He’s going to own over 30 pairs of shoes, some designer pairs shipped from shoemakers in Europe, but he’ll ignore them all and stick to one pair that fits right. Yes, I want to believe that our president falls in that category. Not even Natasha Karugire, his daughter who is a formidable fashion designer can save that situation.
Ugly or not, let him wear the shoes he wants. Just like we wear shoes we want. When you get to his age, you’ll understand why such things don’t matter.