Lessons: How To Dress Up in a Mushanana

After the outrage on Rema Namakula‘s mushanana outfit yesterday on many Ugandan blogs, we are set not to bash but educate and give benefits to you and many more who enjoy or wish to rock this Rwandese outfit.


Yes, some people are under the impression that you can only be fashionable in designer clothes. I give double thumbs up to any woman out there who has gracefully pulled off a tradition outfit.

Our forefather?s clothing was initially made from backcloth or animal skin but things have evolved and now, traditional wear is made out of silk and satin, and other beautiful materials.

The Rwandan traditional dress for females is called a mushanana. It consists of a wrapper piece (long) with a short piece of cloth that hangs over the shoulder worn with a tight strapless top or bustier.

Most young or older women in Rwanda wear it at introduction ceremonies or other official ceremonies.

If you want to bring out that stylish look, hold your hair up in a bun and place two ribbons across the forehead over the bun. In a Fashionista video, Malaika Nyanzi does in depth on what the Mushanana is, its origin, when to add what accessories for what kind of event. Watch and let’s follow on with the discussion.

You can also blend the traditional look with classy earrings or pearls and a beaded necklace which contains some of the colours that are in the mushanana or perhaps the colour of the bustier.

However, avoid different coloured accessories, for instance red earrings, a pink beaded necklace and possibly blue bangles just because those colours are in the mushanana. Honestly speaking you will look like a clown. Accessories bring out the best in an outfit. Do not overdo it though.