Tuesday, April 23, 2024

UK Parliament discarded Speaker’s wig Moatlhodi wants Botswana’s to keep

If anyone in parliament is variously qualified to analyse hairstyles, it is Tumisang Mangwegape-Healy, the sharp-dressing, youthful MP of an urban constituency under which State House, the official presidential residence, falls. Since 2019 when he was seated, Mangwegape-Healy has consistently sported his signature low-fade, sponge-twists faux mohawk.

“Variously qualified” riffs on his entry for “academic qualifications” in a personal profile that he submitted to the National Assembly staff upon becoming MP. The profile was subsequently published in newspapers and, at least on social media, that entry (“various qualifications”) has now congealed into some kind of meme around his identity. On account of one particular qualification, it came as no surprise that when he obtained the floor, the Gaborone Central MP fashion-policed the speaker, Phandu Skelemani, about a hairstyle which has been the mainstay of the Botswana parliament since 1965.

“Maybe we should also discard the white people’s hair,” said Mangwegape-Healy, referring to the white horse-hair wig that successive Parliament speakers, from Dr. Alfred Merriweather Lock to Skelemani, have worn.

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