Earlier this month, President Uhuru Kenyatta presented Team Kenya participating in Tokyo Olympics 2021 with their official Kit.
Team Kenya’s Kit draws varied reactions on social media
The choice and design of Team Kenya’s Kit had Kenyans divided.
While a section of Kenyans on social media heavily criticized the look and design of the attires, some lauded the fits.
Eric Njiru Tweeted; “Next Olympics Kenya needs to move away from these Maasai Shukas. Have a bit of swag, modern-day-ish feel, young and trendy (maybe). Pretty sure there are like 1000 designers in Nairobi.”
Many Kenyans seemed to express the same sentiment.
On Instagram, fashion designer John Kaveke in response to Team Kenya’s ceremonial kit posted on KenyanVibe’s page had this to say:
“This idea of Maasai looks is sooo overated!!! This is why such forums to create designs, National, or anything National, should be given the seriousness it needs. Those resposible for the process should not be happy watching this!!! Very sad watching how the team looks!
However, not everyone is against the Maasai-themed look. Trey Gunz reacted to Njiru’s opinion on Twitter: “Cultural identity has nothing to do with current trends and modern look. Why don’t you try selling Scots to loose their Kilts to “conform” to your idea of what national dress should be.”
Way forward for team Kenya’s kits
So should Kenya – National Olympics Committee ditch the Maasai-themed kits?
It is understandable why K-NOC is drawn to Maasai Shukas.
Due to Maasai’s distinct traditions, customs, dress code, and close proximity to game parks, they are among the foremost Kenyan ethnic group.
The Maasai’s are known Internationally because of their links to National parks and reserves.
But K-NOC can also explore other cultures’ rich attires. For instance, the traditional Kikuyu attire, which is inspired by the use of Animal skin.
Or, perhaps incorporate designs inspired by accessories worn traditionally by the Kalenjins on their neck. Alternatively, creatively use the sisal-themed skirts by Luos. The options are simply endless…
In conclusion, this tweet by Warothe Kiru should be looked into: