When we look at the variety of presidents that have spanned the African continent since the early days of independence in the 1950’s, we can confidently say that some of them rocked it when it came to fashion.
1. Jean Bedel Bokassa
This despot ruled The Central African Republic for over 10 years by coming into rule via a military coup. Although he did bring some positive changes to the country like banning genital mutilation and building a more robust public transport system, his ego ultimately hindered any real progress in the C.A.R. The photo below shows him at his presidential inauguration in 1966 lavishly adorned in gold, sitting on a gold throne, wearing a gold crown, with a gold eagle in the backdrop. This whole ceremony cost the state over $400 million!
2. Haile Selassie
The kings of kings, Jah Rastafari, and Emperor of Ethiopia, there is no doubting that the forefather of Rastafari had style. Below is a picture of him with his lion cubs at his palace in Addis Ababa.
3. Hastings Banda
This suave southern African ruled Malawi for over 30 years, but during that time always made sure he looked sharp.
4. Jerry Rawlings
This flight lieutenant became president of Ghana via a coup d’tat in 1979, but always stayed looking cool whether it was in military attire or national dress.
5. Olusegan Obasanjo
Arguably Nigeria’s most successful president, he served two terms in office, and in that time bolstered sustained growth in Nigeria’s economy via large-scale reform in both industry and education. Below we see him wearing Yoruba national dress when meeting US president, Jimmy Carter.
6. Nelson Mandela
One of the most influential figures of the 20th century, period. His flamboyant shirts only enhanced his global popularity even more.
7. Goodluck Jonathan
Perhaps not the most popular Nigerian president to have been in office, but certainly one of the coolest dressers around.