Posted by trae_z on 15th June 2011
In the main this is a rant on hair, many thanks to the “go-natural movement” I’ve immersed myself in of late like my brother rightly pointed out. I was inspired to put this up after a the-last-straw-that-broke-the-camel’s-back moment from an incident slightly similar prompted me to get stuff off my chest. All in all the theme of this write up is that Black people should learn to love their own…themselves.
Firstly I know we’re hooked to the American culture and all but make we dey try for ourselves now! I’m sick of Nigerian radio and TV presenters reeling out “today in history” facts full of American and Western incidences. Didn’t shit happen in our own past? Let’s go the extra mile to learn about them!
It has always been a thing of joy to me when I discover Nigerian stuff from way back online, be it old pictures, audio and video clips, and articles throwing light on historical high points which I hitherto knew next to nothing about. Sadly a good number of these discoveries have been courtesy websites managed by non-Nigerians.
I accept that a major cause of this minus our piss poor record keeping is the fact that formal education was very late to reach our parts but this excuse is no longer tenable in our past 50 years or thereabouts. Like the Noah’s Ark example if we don’t preserve we face the option of destruction.
And what easier way to start a rebirth than to sensibly populate the Wikipedia articles of concepts that we’re very familiar with. No longer should lack of information undermine us; additionally with this we should be spoilt for choices whenever we want to cite historical references and quotes.
There’s nothing more beautiful or cute then beholding a natural hair wearing sister, more so one whom you can appreciate without the need for all that make up stuff. (For those wondering none of the girls in this picture ”attached”. I repeat none. You can get your hair to look like this if you educate yourself. The picture was taken at a natural hair meet-up in Kenya.)
Secondly and in the main: hair. True words as my good friend Miss Bennie pointed out it’s all a matter of choice. That is, the decision by Black women to engage in the heavy use of chemicals, weaves and extensions as against wearing their hair naturally. But the glaring thing is that many Black/Nigerian women today make this choice based on an ill informed premise. It’s like being born into Christianity and having your whole reasoning shaped by the Bible, never taking the chance to criticize your beliefs and thus holding a condescending view of Non Christians and proclaiming like my colleagues Nsikan and Adeleke are want to often do that “if you’re not born again then you’re not smart enough”.
For me the choice I’ve made is that as much as possible wifey should be seriously pro natural hair. Braids are cool but wigs and weaves reduced to the barest minimal. On my own tip I’m dreaming locks and braids if ish permits. This ain’t no fad; all the girls I’ve ever been close to can bear me witness that I’ve always been an admirer of the natural hair and facial look. And if I ever was different then it had got to be road kill. Road kill is road kill, no strings attached.
Colonialism and globalization have condition Black people to accept Western Standards of beauty from birth and adopt the defeatist attitude that their hair is inferior. Consequently they style their hair after their Westerners with a great majority wearing artificial/other people’s hair to feel complete. Sadly a lot of them repeatedly turn down the chance to go natural not understanding that as hair textures are different so also should hair care be. It’s like being a sportsperson; you don’t apply the exact same set of skills you use in a rugby game to play American football.
Sadly the same people who cry out that all men are created equal and decry racism as per economic opportunities then turn around to bitch that their Creator created them with inferior hair. What irony! Don’t tell me you don’t see nothing wrong in our grandmothers going strong on 70 still rocking weaves and wigs all the way to the grave. Or in 95% of our young ladies fresh outta secondary school taking part in The Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN) beauty pageant condemning themselves to carry other people’s hair in order to be called beautiful. As some wise chick once put it “Natural hair is better for the SAME reason your OWN skin colour is better. Because you shouldn’t have to modify the colour of your skin by bleaching it before you can be called beautiful.”
For those interested in the natural hair movement there are abundance of materials online to help you when you google. The website “Black Girl Long Hair” is a nice starting point. ‘Nuff said, love your own people, I rest my case!