Monday, June 3, 2013

SoPro Pride

You gotta have some hometown pride, even when it’s for your adopted hometown, or home state, or home province.

When I first arrived in Zambia, there were so few Peace Corps Volunteers in placed in Southern Province, we were grouped in with Central Province, under Central’s Peace Corps Volunteer Leader (PCVL) and reporting to Serenje in Central Province for information from headquarters.  By my second year, the organization had expanded in Southern Province and we had enough Volunteers to truly be our own province.  So naturally, we needed something to show our province-pride.

Central Province had t-shirts with CP/PC and a lightening bolt on them for Central Province Peace Corps and their lightening bolt tattoos.  Northwestern province had their branding (an attempt to compete with the tattoos), which I can’t really say what it was supposed to represent because none of them turned out right.  I think Northern and Eastern province had some t-shirts, too.  But us down in Southern Province, we needed something better than a t-shirt.  After all, this was the era of Southern Hip Hop’s international prominence and we were in the dirty dirty.

So we got together and had our own special garments hand-painted.  Jumpsuits!

They had our province on the front: So Pro, our names – mine says “Nchimunya”, and “The Dirty South” on the back.  We loved them and our Zambian counterparts found them highly amusing.   They weren’t very cimbuzi-practical, but they were great fun when we were in town.

I still have mine, though I don’t really have anywhere to wear it.  It’s a jumpsuit, so it’s meant to be worn when you might get dirty.  But if I get it dirty, I’ll have to wash it, and the hand-painted lettering might come off.  I’ll have to host a janitor-themed costume party or something.

Dirty South jumpsuits (4)

And the back:Dirty South jumpsuits (3)

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