She’s been wowing the world with glamorous outfits on her first solo international trip in Africa, although First Lady Melania Trump has sparked debate with her latest outfit choice.
The 48-year-old, who has been visiting four African nations to discuss issues surrounding children as part of her ‘Be Best’ campaign, has raised eyebrows with her latest attire.
During a visit to an animal sanctuary in Nairobi in Kenya, the mother-of-one opted for riding pants, boots a pith helmet, commonly known as a safari hat.
While harmless to some, the pith helmet is still associated with the exploitation of Africans and was commonly worn by armed forces as a symbol of status and oppression.
Because of their controversial role in history, many soldiers, guides and wildlife specialists no longer wear pith helmets, instead opting for other forms of headgear.
As photographs of the First Lady quickly made their way online, the backlash quickly began.
One African lady took to Twitter to condemn Melania’s choice. She wrote: “That Pith helmet you have carried was used by colonialists during dark days. Doesn’t sit well with us Africans. Who advised you?”
Another comment read: “A half a world away from the spectacle of #Washington, #MelaniaTrump still managed to create one of her own during a Kenyan safari on Friday, riding out into the grassland wearing a crisp white pith helmet — a common symbol of European colonial rule.”
A half a world away from the spectacle of #Washington, #MelaniaTrump still managed to create one of her own during a Kenyan safari on Friday, riding out into the grassland wearing a crisp white pith helmet — a common symbol of European colonial rule. https://t.co/8QKDAwTO1d
— Francisco Taveira (@jftaveira1993) October 5, 2018
A third added: “Melania wore a *pith helmet* today in Kenya. I saw pix [SIC] of her earlier in the day with the colonial look going strong — white blouse and khaki pants — but to add *that hat*… she may as well have worn an upturned middle finger on her forehead.”
A Twitter hashtag, #FLOTUSinAfricaBingo, has also being going viral online, where users have been poking fun at Melania’s questionable choices while visiting Ghana, Egypt, Kenya and Malawi.
Melania has been criticised for everything from her outfit choices to reading to African children and even visiting elephants. Speaking of, the wife of Donald Trump was nearly knocked over by an excited elephant during her visit to the animal sanctuary. In footage captured on video, Melania could be seen approaching the animal to give it a pat, when it unexpectedly shoved her. Thankfully, she was able to laugh off the incident and wasn’t injured.
Melania began her African adventure earlier this week when she touched down in Ghana. She was treated to a welcoming ceremony and met children and their carers at a nearby child health facility.
During that visit, the former model was snapped cuddling a small child and couldn’t stop smiling as she comforted the youngster. In Malawi, she greeted school children at Chipala Primary School.
Despite the backlash she has received online, Melania has taken to Twitter with a series of videos and messages to update her followers of her time in Africa.
“Day two in #Ghana was so impactful,” she said in one tweet. “My visit to Cape Coast castle was a solemn reminder of a time in our history that should never be forgotten.”
In another, she shared footage of some of the children she had met.