Vale Nelson Mandela and long live the Madiba shirt

Owning a great collection of shirts is hardly an accomplishment when compared to the late Nelson Mandela’s long list of other achievements and general overwhelming greatness. But as the world mourns the passing of the anti-apartheid revolutionary, Nobel Laureate, politician and philanthropist, I think it’s only right to pay homage to his trademark shirt ‘The Madiba’. It’s a look that is close to the hearts of many silver and non-silver haired men across Freetown, and as we farewell Mandela, let’s take a look at some of Mandela’s finest fashion moments.

Matching smiles and matching shirts, Madiba coordinates in classic Madiba on official duties with his third wife Graca Machel. Nelson Mandela dies at 95

Madiba on the election campaign trail in Johannesburg wearing embroidered tie dye – I’m not sure if this counts as ‘A Madiba’ but it’s a winning look that got Madiba across the line at the first all-race democratic election in 1995.

Madiba cosies up with international fashion plate, virtual saint and mobile phone thrower Naomi Campbell (remember she did not have dinner with Charles Taylor THANKYOUVERYMUCH)  in an Indonesian style

What is Madiba pondering as he takes The Madiba in a new direction, this time with polka dots.
Mandela At Ninety

Little Africana Dress

The silly season has well and truly arrived and what every girl’s wardrobe needs is a Little Africana Dress (LAD). Unlike its less vibrant sister the LBD, the LAD is not afraid to punch you in the face with a whole heap of colour and print. LAD devotee and Fourah Bay College student Patricia was off to some Friday afternoon drinks when we met.Patricia_low_res
This colour block and print combo is nipped at the waist with a thin belt giving the whole thing structure. It’s a look that can travel from the office to a Chrissy party and home again. Patricia’s Rihanna style ‘do turns up the sexy vibe a notch, leaving heads turning and ladies all over Freetown screaming out for their own version of the LAD.