Melania Trump’s white hat in Africa lands her in ‘colonial’ controversy

Sergio Conner
October 6, 2018

First lady Melania Trump played with orphaned elephants in Kenya on Friday, providing a contrast with her stepson, Donald Trump Jr., who was photographed holding a severed elephant tail in one hand and a knife in the other during a big game hunting trip in Africa.

Melania was due to meet President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Egypt's First Lady, Entissar El-Sisi, and tour the Pyramids and the Great Sphinx, her spokeswoman said.

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In Egypt, tight security was in place across the capital for her visit which comes as security forces face a persistent jihadist insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula across the Suez Canal to the northeast. However, her choice of headgear has been questioned. During a safari in Kenya, Trump donned a crisp white shirt, khaki trousers and high-boots and paired her outfit with a white pith helmet which many claimed is "evocative of colonialists", something that did not go down well on social media.

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Melania Trump, in Africa to promote her children's welfare programme, began her trip in Ghana, where she visited mothers and their newborns, and toured a former slave trading fort. And the FLOTUS has riled people with her choice of clothing.

Kim Yi Dionne, a political science professor at the University of California, who specialises in African politics, told New York Times that Melania's understanding of Africa did not keep pace with time. "It's a attractive thing to see", he tweeted.

A day earlier at a primary school in Malawi, Mrs. Trump highlighted work done by the U.S. Agency for International Development to help improve child literacy in the country.

The report showed 70 percent of Kenyans have a favourable view of the United States and 56 percent have confidence in Trump.

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