The American First Lady Melania Trump has completed her first-round trip without husband Donald, through Africa. Melania visited four countries, but it was her visit to a Kenyan nature park that gave her criticism. The reason? Her uncommon headgear…
Kenya, after Ghana and Malawi, was the third stop on Melania’s tour of the African continent, paying particular attention to child welfare, education, tourism and nature conservation. The trip, which ended yesterday, went smoothly, but the first lady also received criticism.
During a safari tour in Kenya, Melania appeared in an immaculate outfit: knee-high brown boots, cream coloured trousers, white shirt, and an even white hat. But it is just that tropic hat that is sensitive in Africa. The headgear, made from the fabric of a certain plant, is sometimes connected to 19th-century colonialism by European superpowers and the brutality that accompanied it.
In those days, the light and white tropic hat was mainly worn by Europeans who came to explore the continent and wanted to protect themselves from the heat and the sun. The hat soon became very popular with tourists, but also with the real rulers. Also, in the army it became an everyday headgear for soldiers and officers.
Symbol for colonialism
This is why the tropical helmet became a symbol of colonialism, and the hat gradually disappeared during the 20th century. Today, some army divisions of a number of countries only use them at ceremonies.
Melania Trump received a lot of criticism on Twitter. “The tropical helmet you wear was used by colonialists during the dark period. Does not fall well with us. Who, for God’s sake, advised you?”, Someone asked himself. According to someone else, the first lady looked “as if she is going to exploit the Belgian Congo”.
“Do not always agree with his tweets”
In Egypt, the last stop of her first trip abroad, Melania told the press that she does not always agree with her husband. “I do not always agree with his tweets,” she said.
“I have my own opinion and sometimes give him advice. But he does not always listen to that,” she said. “I think it’s important to express my feelings.”
When a journalist asks if the First Lady sometimes asks Trump to put away his mobile phone, she replies laughing “yes”, after which the press starts to laugh.