Seun Kuti, prodigious son of Afro legend, starts off a rant about expensive clothes on his Instagram. But he is not just out for talking about the costly price of clothes, he also talks about the price of a baby cloth he had bought for his cute daughter and people who are doing things the “Gucci way”. Gucci Gang is a popular song by Lil Pump that led to the formation of many memes by people. A little familiarity with the lyrics and a person comes to realize that it denotes the class of people who spend expensively on their clothes and accessories. The word rightly fits the likes of celebrities and rich people who can afford to “spend ten racks on a chain” and a whole lot more on clothing that is identified with popular brand names.
Seun Kuti, son of legendary Fela Kuti, hinged on this when he wanted to describe how much subscribing to expensive trendy fashion was still very much meant ascribing to the slavery of the past. The Chief Executive Officer of Jazz band Egypt 80 who just returned from touring France started off with how he had bought an expensive dress for his four-year-old daughter Adara Kuti only for him to ask about it and be told she had outgrown the wear.
While the Nigerian artist swore never to buy any expensive cloth for his kid unless it was going to grow with her, he also made a point of saying that making a choice of what to buy and how much to spend on our attires based on brands and their branding still has the same implications as slavery: “The attachment to the ‘brand’ and ‘branding’ still has the same effect as slavery trust me. Gucci gang naaaah more like Gucci’s slave. Well back to my personal rant. Now I asked @chefyeide for it and she says. Haba she is four now she can’t fit in it anymore, whaaaaaaat really? For that price this dress should grow with @adarakuti if that’s not the case GET THE SAX.” He drew a line between slavery and the Gucci gang by making the assertion that joining the Gucci gang is more like being a slave again. The line Seun drew between these two was not far from the truth as shown in the comment of one of his followers @vanessawaltersb who narrated how touring the old Badagry and its antiquities made her feel how clothes were very much part of slave relics.
According to her, humans particularly children were sold for clothes and other valuables that were not even really needed. This was why she considered attachment to certain status-bearing designer items very dangerous:
“I definitely felt that when I visited Badagry. The attachment to having certain perceived ‘status bearing’ items is dangerous. Humans (children!) were sold for cloth, umbrellas and plates, things that were never even really used because they are still there in Badagry’s Museum. That is why I don’t post ‘designer’ items on my Instagram. It’s a slippery slope that starts with self. Thank you for sharing.”
However, it is a norm for parents to show off their children in expensive designer clothes that flaunt their rich social class and make people give any attention to their children. Fashion houses like Fendi, Gucci, Chanel and the likes determine what certain people wear and whether what they wear is worth any respect or accolade. For Seun Kuti, this attachment is very much a ring of slavery to it.