Style plays a key role in our society. What we wear seems to define who we are and what we stand for. It can also elicit various reactions, whether amazement or fear or even anger, depending on what we wear.
Meet James Maina Mwangi, a man from Nairobi, Kenya who became well known for his unique sense of style. The man has hundreds of bright and vibrant outfits that he wears on a daily basis, effectively covering the entire color palette. Everything from his suits, hats, and ties to phone cases and other accessories are color-coordinated, and it’s mesmerizing to watch.
Bored Panda invites you to check out some of the best outfits that Mr. Mwangi sports when on the streets of Nairobi. And while you’re scrolling, why not vote and comment on the ones that you liked the most?
“My name is James Maina Mwangi, I was born in Central Kenya, living in Nairobi, and born again Christian. I love Jesus Christ of Nazareth, who brought me from nothing to something from nowhere to somewhere,” said Mwangi in an interview with Bored Panda.
Back in 2018, James Maina Mwangi did a short interview with BBC where he explained that he owns over 160 suits with 300 plus caps and 200 pairs of shoes. All of this is besides the shirts, ties, and numerous other accessories like phone cases, pens, and watches that are also all color coordinated to make him look extremely stylish. He went as far as to claim that he's the smartest looking man in Africa, if not the whole world.
The bright and vibrant colors make him stand out in the crowd. In fact, his outfits are so out there that he’d probably stand out regardless of whether it’s in Nairobi, London, New York or Beijing. Who wouldn’t notice a man wearing a green suit with green shoes, green shirt, green cap, green handkerchief, green pen, green phone cover, green face mask (since the pandemic started), and green underwear, though the last of these is not something people would notice in this case.
Because of his choice of style, Mr. Mwangi said he might be the smartest looking man in all of Africa, if not the world. They say that such matters ought to be left to the eye of the beholder, but regardless he has drawn the attention of many.
Mr. Mwangi explained that Nairobi locals would laugh at how he dressed because they knew his father - a freedom fighter who was poor - which makes it a rather stark contrast, not just visually but contextually. Mr. Mwangi always wanted to be different from other people, and his unique fashion was an answer that God provided him with.
“I left school when I was 12 years old. I decided to go to Nairobi to hustle because my father was a freedom fighter there. When they finished building the walls, the government didn't recognize them with no options, no money, no land, or jobs. I became a street child for about 5 years before I get a job in a kiosk,” explained Mwangi his origins.
He continued: “So, I was praying to Jesus Christ to give me wisdom. I had just one shirt, one pair of trouser, washed it with water only. Many people we're showing love to me because of this, but others were abusive. I had a vision that one day I will be a star in Jesus’ name. And he delivered. He blessed me with three different gifts: Test, Choice and Wisdom—gifts that you can't buy with money.”
Others, on the other hand, found his style full of swag. Twitter user luvthispayne recently shared a handful of Mr. Mwangi’s photos explaining how “drip” (an adjective to describe one’s outfit similar to swag, sauce, steez, or swank, according to the Urban Dictionary) he was.
In just a day, the thread got over 370,000 likes and 75,000 retweets, with people saying that he’s on a completely different level when it comes to style. Mr. Mwangi’s meticulous attention to detail and passionate dedication to his style has swayed many on the internet.
“You have to ask God for three things to be like who I am today: taste, choice, and wisdom,” said James Maina Mwangi in a video showcasing his style.
Afterwards, Mwangi got a break as he was elected as a youth coordinator and took care of youth projects that he launched: car washes, flowers and nursery planting, exhibitions, matatu transport routes management, rural electrification and many more. He created more than 6.4 millions youth jobs by the year 2006, leading to further success, and establishing his signature fashion more than 25 years ago.
“Some of my clothes were made by my tailor and the materials were imported. You won’t find these in the general clothing stores. I have about 300 caps, 200 pairs of shoes, and 160 suits. Every week, I prepare 10 suits which I decided on the spot.”
“I want the world to know that if you want to be blessed and be honest, serve your people and community. We need leaders with dignity who can deliver on their word, without leaving the youth without a choice. If they don’t have one, they turn to robbery, drug dealing, trafficking, and whatnot.”