Ad image

Tanzanian Woman MP In Tight Pants Kicked Out Of Parliament

3 Min Read

Defiant Condester Michael Sichlwe has hit local and regional media headlines for doing the unthinkable in Tanzania – she arrived at parliament wearing a very tight fitting trouser that forced the entire house to gaze wondering what had become of her.

In quick reaction to Sichlwe’s wardrobe, the Speaker of Parliament Job Ndugai threw her out for wearing ‘non-parliamentary attire’.

They called it “indecent attire” claiming parliamentarians (especially women) should uphold highest moral standards in their clothing. In specific, they said her trouser is “too tight” hence asked to leave the chamber and change.

Tanzania, including the island of Zanzibar, is a deeply conservative country. Wearing revealing clothing is disrespectful and it’s always best to dress modestly.

Traditionally, women wear long skirts, but it’s fine for visitors to wear trousers or jeans that aren’t too form-fitting. Both men and women should cover their knees and shoulders in public.

Tanzanians are a polite people and probably won’t point out when you make a cultural misstep, but that doesn’t stop them silently tsk-tsking when they see mzungu (foreign visitors) wearing inappropriate clothes, kissing in public, or committing other etiquette blunders.

In Zanzibar, you might be tempted to stroll around in shorts and swimwear, but remember the island is predominantly Muslim. On the beach, you can get away with skimpy attire, but as soon as you set foot in a village, be sure to cover up.

Make it simple and buy yourself a kanga – a colorfully printed wrap that local women use as skirts, headwraps, and baby slings. When wearing one, keep modesty in mind and don’t tie it so tightly around your waist; it’s better if your curves aren’t clearly outlined.

Touching other people, or food, with your left hand, is a no-no. Don’t shake hands, eat, or give money and gifts with this hand as it’s reserved for toilet business.

Use the right hand instead. If you’re invited to eat with a local family, don’t sniff your food or decline to taste a dish, or you risk insulting the chef.

You should also remember that Tanzania is a conservative country, so resist kissing or touching your significant other in public – even if you’re on your honeymoon in Zanzibar!