Home » Arts & Culture » Of Musicians, Their Stage Outfits

Lady Gaga is (in)famous for outrageous dress code that ranges from the bizarre, the odd, the indecorous to the weirdest. Those who have been following her career remember her at one time appearing on stage decked in the flesh of an animal as her dress, and this way that she presents herself on stage has also raised a lot of questions about how she lives her private and social life.

In Zimbabwe the same is also playing out with a myriad of artistes choosing to portray themselves through the choice of their dressing. While it is regarded as a crime to wear military regalia, or anything that bears a close resemblance to it, there is one Zimbabwean artiste, Jah Prayzah, who has adopted the military-like fatigues as his signature attire.

He always appears on stage, and even in public, donned in the camouflage attire, complete with a boots and beret to resemble a soldier.

The artiste himself confessed why he chose to adopt that outlook, saying that that he once harboured aspirations of becoming a soldier. His dress code is reflective of his mentality which he clearly expresses through some of his lyrics when he calls himself “musoja”.

Suluman Chimbetu is closer to Jah Prayzah in as far as the military mindset is concerned and nowadays, he has adopted the signature dress code of an air marshal, commander or captain while his band members dress like air hosts.

By taking this stance, Sulu is in a big way suggesting that they are on top of the music game, always flying high above the rest of the crop. It is also reflective of his previous career when he worked for the Airforce of Zimbabwe.

Alick Macheso is one artiste whose dress code is unpredictable, although he has been associated with the body-hugging tops and jean trousers.

Sometimes the sungura doyen appears in designer suits which reflect the image of a serious showbiz personnel who has matured like wine and is determined to project a picture of an inspirational replica to society.

If there is one artiste whose taste of dressing is as reflective of his passion for his motherland and continent just as his music, then it is none other Oliver Mtukudzi.

His attire is artistic, mainly leaning on the batik side, while the scull-cap has become his signature.

Tuku can choose to wear batik shirts that bear the big five animals of Zimbabwe or Africa, with his totem-animal, the elephant, figuring among these great and graceful giants of the wild.

That way, it tells the story of someone who is proud of home, Africa, someone who is a voice of his roots, someone who has chosen to express how Zimbabweans can be identified as wherever they go across the world.

Vibrant Sniper Storm is another contemporary artiste whose love for the military side is portrayed in his dress code.

His track “Love Yemusoja” is a hit and it tallies with his wardrobe on and off-stage. He caps it up with the military salute and he has even gone an extra mile by calling himself “The General”.

Soul Jah Love is a milder version of Sniper Storm and Jah Prayzah as he has chosen to tone down the military outlook by fusing it with connotations from Rastafarianism outfits while the beret is the prominent military feature on him.

One female gospel artiste once courted controversy through her dressing which some critics labelled as “unchristian”.

But the diva, Fungisai Zvakavapano-Mashavave, is unfazed and has gone her own way to present herself in attire that is ethnic, Afro centric and chic without taking anything away from her or her music. These days, she is even spotting a crop of dreadlocks and also plays the mbira! This is a statement of someone who is proud of she is, proud to be an African woman, an artiste whose appearance should make a bold statement, a woman who will not allow someone to dictate to her what her identity should be like.

She is someone who listens to her heart and obeys it. Olivia Charamba is a mother figure and she always sends that message through her dignified dress code which others have emulated.

Of course, the list is endless. Be known, make your own identity.

Source : The Herald

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