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SUDAN FINES WOMAN FOR WEARING CLASHING PANTS IN PUBLIC
September 8 2009
Nairobi, Kenya – Fashion, it has been said, is much like beauty; in the eye of the beholder. Throughout the twentieth century the increasing dominance of the fashion industry and its impact on the world of not only the rich and famous but also the
average joe has fundamentally altered the way in which we view one another. Fashion trends throughout the decade changed as often as the years themselves and different countries have inevitably added their own pieces to the puzzle. That diversity has led to much excitement in the fashion world and not a few controversies as well.
Nowhere is that juxtaposition between fashion trends more evident than in the developing world. Though fashion trends throughout continents such as Africa receive little attention compared to other areas a recent outrage has suddenly focused the world’s attention on the nation of Kenya. It is there that an outspoken journalist, Lubna Hussein, was arrested and ultimately fined for wearing a pair of pants in public. The woman faced the possibility of up to forty lashes for violating the country’s decency laws. Though police officials claimed the charges were a result of Hussein not dressing modestly enough, new information has come to light indicating that it in fact was a violation of fashion trends in action across the country.
“Like every country how a person dresses affects the way someone is viewed in Kenya. In recent years fashion has become more important across the country, especially as necessities such as clean drinking water and food has declined in importance. That’s the real issue here. Many in the Kenyan government didn’t want a well known person wearing such appalling clothing in public,” said a police insider. “This is a person who has a great deal of prominence throughout the country and even on the world stage and people simply don’t want to see her going around wearing such ugly pants. It sets a bad example for young girls and lets the rest of the world know just how far behind we are in terms of fashion trends, something deeply embarrassing to the powers that be.”
Hussein was arrested wearing loose fitting green slacks. Green has historically had limited appeal in Africa and is currently on the outs across the fashion spectrum.
“No one can ever account for taste and fashion often is a product of taste. That is true across the world but when you are in the public you have a greater responsibility. Especially in a developing fashion country such as Kenya violating basic fashion trends can have a seriously detrimental effect on the nation as a whole,” said Scrape TV Fashion analyst Fiona Dollak. “Young children look up to adults in the public eye and such indiscretions could seriously harm the chances for the nation to move into the modern world, never mind become a
fashion Mecca. Of course this trial has brought more attention to her poor choices but it has also brought up a debate that hopefully will push the nation towards a much clearer vision of its fashion future.”
Nairobi has in recent years laid claim to the title of the fashion capital of Africa, something hotly contested with other cities such as Djibouti and Kinshasa.
“One has to applaud Hussein for stepping out and making a an effort to accomplish
something different but sometimes, especially in an emerging fashion nation you have to think things through a little more carefully. There are many throughout Kenya who are undoubtedly still a little insecure about their status and such flagrant displays of individuality can cause issues for them,” continued Dollak. “I don’t think this will hurt their long term chances at becoming a great fashion nation but they are going to have to be very careful in navigating this incident.”
Kenyan officials have reportedly raided Hussein’s home and confiscated a number of outdated pieces of clothing.