I think we need to find a way to resolve some of the issues ourselves that have divided us for a long time- without even asking for government help. It’s just a matter of common sense. For example, If we agree on the national language as Luganda or national dress as Gomesi, then we can just go home and either implement it or encourage others to do so. We don’t need Museveni or anybody to tell us what to do on this one. Luganda is so widely spoken in the country and as such it qualifies to be our national language. Gomesi has become very popular in all tribes in Uganda such that it qualifies to be our national dress.However, it would be wrong for anybody to sing ‘Ekitibwa kya buganda’ on a national occasion instead of Uganda’s National anthem composed by Kakomo(RIP). The national language has got very good words in it and we should promote it along side the defacto dressing code and language.
As for Ugandans not wearing the national dress(in this case supposedly Gomesi) for dinner, I think this is just a matter of personal choice. Do I think that national dress should be encouraged? Yes, but it still remains a personal choice. Every body goes for dinner for different reasons and therefore telling people to put on traditionally or nationally may make some people miss out on their reasons for the dinner.
In Islam, we encourage women to dress in Hijjabu whatever the reasons for the dinner and probably this should be encouraged by all Muslim parents. Hijjabu refers to traditional Islamic dress, intended to encourage modesty, in which women often cover everything but the hands and face.
Gomesi is the de facto national dress of Uganda just like Luganda is the de facto national language. So it’s upon Ugandans to promote the national dress code or Gomesi in the fashion industry and to call upon their government to subsidize such products. Ugandans abroad can try to dress traditionally on their important occasions if possible.
The Kingdom of Swaziland today is composed of a homogeneous population who share language, culture and loyalty to their King and country. There are no tribal conflicts; the country is stable, orderly and at peace with her neighbors. Perhaps Swaziland’s greatest asset is her people, who are always happy, friendly, courteous and willing to assist visitors to their Kingdom. Swaziland has got a distinctive national dress which is regularly worn by men, women, and children in urban as well as rural areas. Probably, it makes sense if we also develop a few bits ourselves like: national language, national dress, national holidays like ‘Uganda day’,……… to somehow make us all feel like Ugandans. Honestly, why are we fighting over small things like national dressing and national language?
‘Busuti ‘or ‘kawunda’ (like those ones put on by some Makerere University lecturers and late Julius Nyerere of Tnaznia), or suits, have come to be accepted as official dressings in Uganda or East Africa. This is no surprise considering that English is already our official language. This explains why Kabaka Mutebi sometimes puts on suits on official businesses. On the other hand, Sabasajja normally puts on ‘eKanzu’ and ‘koti’ while on national or traditional businesses.
In England where I live, female Members of the Royal Family normally go for special clothes, hats or gloves. There is no requirement on the side of the general public for hats to be worn, though it is entirely acceptable to do so. Hats are not normally worn at functions after 6:30 p.m. Secondly, There is no requirement for gloves to be worn. However, if a woman wishes to wear gloves, they need not be white but should not be taken off before the wearer is presented.