Men in black are a curse

Mfana Ka Msuthu

Mfana Ka Msuthu

I recently made a startling discovery: most men, especially African politicians and business leaders, who wear black Armani suits are tame.

Of course, their dress sense makes them look like very important people who are making it in the world, whatever that means.

But on closer scrutiny their black Giorgio Armani suits reveal people who are not only trying to make a statement about themselves as individuals but want to hide a deep-seated inferiority complex and self-doubt.

In the world of high-flyers and other super-achievers, a black Armani suit is a must-have. It is supposed to symbolise personal class, success and individual achievement.

But anyone who believes that the clothes you wear on your back make you a somebody is a fool.

Even if you have made it the world will not recognise or acknowledge you for the clothes you wear because any wolf can wear sheep's clothing.

Perhaps it is unfair to generalise.

Yes, there are serious people who are distinctive despite the fact that they have developed a hedonistic taste for Armani suits.

But in many instances those who are seen in Armani suits are crude people who think they are God's gift to the hoi polloi and as a result are above everybody simply because they can afford a black suit that costs more than R20000.

When you get closer to these people at high-profile functions, where they chat to gossip columnists and others on the social scene and pose for the paparazzi, you'll soon be disappointed to learn that they are just empty barrels who try to talk in very soft tones.

Apparently talking in soft tones makes you sound very important and enhances your sophisticated social image.

Much as men in these black suits might look like important leaders, they lack humility and are not troubled by the poverty and unemployment that bedevils this country.

What is most striking is that they pepper their conversation with epithets such as "our people" or "the masses" when they refer to fellow South Africans whose blood, sweat and tears makes it possible for them to live off the fat of the land.

When they hear of the xenophobic explosions or hear that some refugees have been moved into areas very close to suburbia, they explode with impatience and anger.

They don't want any "smelly Africans" roaming anywhere near their expensive homes or streets.

One gets the impression that people in black Armani suits do not care for anybody but themselves.

In fact, they are surprised that anyone could get angry with them for spending R20 000 on a single suit while the majority of people are jobless, homeless and without food.

When you think about it, it's men and women in black Armani suits who fuel the resentment, anger and frustration that finally explodes into an orgy of violence, destruction and death.

Men in black Armani suits are people hungry for status, recognition and the smell of success.

And when you engage them about what this success is, their dysfunctional minds fall into muddled thinking and they can't give a well thought out answer. They are actors who perform to be noticed by drawing attention to their labels rather than what lies beneath expensive clothes.

Ironically, it's only when men in black Armani suits, especially, decide to do something about the scourge of poverty, unemployment and crime that these problems can be solved.

Yes, if they were to stand on rooftops to tell everyone that black Armani suits are NOT a measure of success and achievement, even the cash-in-transit heist thugs might stop their violence, which is motivated by a desire to wear black Armani suits.

The black Armani suits seem to be the curse of our times in the new South Africa.

For us to get anywhere, men and women will have to stop squandering money just to be seen in these labels.

The pervasive worship of material things in our society can be easily seen in men and women who love black Armani suits and clothes.

But these suits do not make anyone happier. In fact, they are not a sign of leadership rooted in the needs and aspirations of the people, especially the poor and marginalised.