I have not been able to put my clothes or dishes away since I switched rooms. A couple days ago I walked out and shoved a dress skirt over jeans. One of the home based carers called me out on my frumpy fashion choice, and gave me permission to wear jeans or a skirt but not both! When will I ever learn, wearing jeans is okay in Southern Africa (in some areas pants are not okay I was also called out for a fashion violations in Botswana). Regardless, I live in a tribal authority and I have only seen my Zulu supervisor done jeans once. If I am working with gogos, I build more rapport with skirts.
Yesterday we had special visitors (more later), but the home based carers generously waited an all day for a high school to show up. While we were waiting I tried to do a small activity for the needs assessment. We finished the activity and the same carer who gave me permission commented on that day’s outfit.
Carer: Zama you are wearing Jeans. Just jeans!
Zama: Yebo, I have not had a chance to put all my clothes away since I moved rooms. Jeans were what I could find this morning.
Carer: You should wear Jeans more often.
Zama: But if I am working with gogos I feel more comfortable in my pinafore (a gift from my Ndebele family).
Carer: Haibo Zama if you wear you pinafore you will look like a Gogo!
Zama: My mother has called me a Gogo since I was 15! (truth)
Carer: Zama you only wear the pinafore if you are married.
Zama: Well good! If people think I am married then they will not bother me! Laughter ensues
Carer: I still want you to wear jeans.
Zama: Sure but where are your Jeans! Why are you not wearing them?
Carer: No response
That concludes this round of “Katey Could Dress Better in the Eyes of AmaZulu.” I am sure there will be other options to tune in!