The mystery of Mnangagwa’s scarf


There is no doubt that one of the most talked about fashion accessory is the ED scarf.

The scarf has taken global diplomacy and the internet by storm giving birth to a multitude of imitations, jokes and memes.

Six months ago this scarf would not have meant much to the ordinary person but now due to its Presidential seal of approval it is the most discussed scarf.

From whatsapp chat groups to global diplomacy, the ED scarf has become a hot topic.

There have been mixed feelings about the scarf. Some people have absolutely loved it and are asking where to get their hands on one. Others are not so fond of it and are pointing out the fact that the colours do not follow the sequence of the Zimbabwe flag. But, without knowing the intent of the designer, who is to say what is wrong or right?

Political commentators Mr Richard Mahovha and Brian Mudumi view the scarf as a symbol that carries the definition of President Emmerson Mnangagwa as a fluid, flexible character, a people’s person who is redefining the political personhood of a president.

Britain’s ambassador to Zimbabwe Catriona Laing donning Mnangagwa scarf

“The redefining process has also been captured by his visibility on social media where he has created a new level of accessibility to all age groups,” said Mr Mudumi.

In the media storm that followed the scarf, it is important to note that every organisational change demands a symbol and the ED scarf has become the symbol most visible of Zimbabwe’s new position as a country open for business.

Whether it is the British ambassador looking trendy in the scarf or Chinese journalists showing off the scarf, there is no doubt that a single item of clothing has become much more than a symbol of fashion accessory.

There is consensus that the scarf speaks of a President disseminating a social ambiance of accepting and promoting a plural culture, a statement that has even been endorsed by his open invitation to political parties for an indaba at the State House which analysts say is a statement highlighting that the State House is a site of political actualisation where social interactiveness of political leaders can take place.


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