Lifestyle February 27, 2020 at 01:21 pm

Kanzu, the Arab dress accepted as the national men’s wear in Uganda

Uganda's Daniel Kaluuya in kanzu. Photo: Getty

A white tunic with a jacket. You are likely to see this blend of Arabian and British dress code for Ugandan men at any social function in the country.

Kanzu, which was adopted as traditional and sometimes ceremonial dresses by the traditional kingdoms of Buganda and Busoga, has so far moved to major cities and urban areas of Uganda.

Petronella Photography

Traditionally coming in white or cream with maroon embroidery at the front, kanzu has become one of Uganda’s signature dresses, alongside the gomesi, which is worn by women.

On special occasions such as coronation ceremonies, funerals, and weddings, many men in Uganda do come in their kanzus while the women rock the gomesi.

Photo: The Observer

Dubbed the Arab dress, Kabaka Ssuuna of the Buganda kingdom, who is said to have reigned between 1832 and 1856, was the first to wear the kanzu.

Arab traders introduced the tunic to the kingdom during the first half of the 19th Century. Made from cotton or linen, it became a dress of highly influential people, especially those living in the Kabaka’s court or the homes of chiefs, a report by New Vision said.

It later spread to the ordinary people and today the kanzu is made from linen, silk, cotton, and poplin, with linen kanzus being the most expensive.

Worn with a coat, a style the Baganda added in the 1930s and 1940s, men who wear kanzus now make sure they come with embroidery added around the abdomen, collar, and the sleeves.

Here are more photos of kanzu, which has become the unofficial national dress of Ugandan men.

Photo: Wikipedia


Photo: Wikimedia Commons


Photo: Satisfashion UG


Photo: BellaNaija




Photo: SoftPower News




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