I Am Not My Hair

I read a blog post about some smart men and the misconceptions, thanks to a link that @kurlykichana posted on twitter they had about women who cover their hair and what not, and it just drove me to write this piece.

Stereotypes. That’s what they are. Judging me by my hair, as if to compare, my behavior by the way I wear my hair. I like it Natural.
You know all nappy because it makes me happy. The spring curls making it bounce, my afro makes his eyes glow. So who are you to tell me how to act, that I should be poetic, listen to some floetic? I like my hair nappy because it makes me damn happy. I may listen to some neo soul; write some shit that’s too deep for the soul. But don’t give me an identity; the reality is I am not hair. Now I have to be all ethnic to confirm to my natural hairstyle? Damn! All a sista did was make the big chop, so drop the BS and let her be happy being nappy.

I like it Weaved.
You know, the nice long synthetic hair, the kind of hair I buy to cover my own natural hair? You call me fake because of it, telling me how much I should be proud of my natural roots. I didn’t ask you to run your fingers through my hair, did I? Or make love in the shower and ruin my expensive weave? It’s my prerogative after all. You say I would be prettier without it, but why should I believe you when you drool at the girl in the cover of the magazine, with her silicone breasts and weaves? So let me be, I am not the fake hair on my head..

I like it Wrapped.
You know the Badu look? The Nubian look that has you all thinking that I should be all spiritual? Wear free skirts, have birthstone ornaments on my hands and neck. Baptize myself with some Swahili names like Imani or Aminata. Walk around with a guitar on my back, spit some poetic lyrics for you, clench my fist and be all power to the people. I love my hair wrapped, I don’t need to explain to you what lies underneath my headscarf. Don’t expect me to snap my fingers every time Jill Scott plays in the background. I like my hair wrapped, so keep your bullshit under wraps when it comes to judging me. I am not my head wrap.

We like it bright, permed, bald or locked. Just because my hair color is red doesn’t mean I’m a wild child. Just because I love it soft and straight doesn’t mean I don’t adore the natural looks. Just because I shave it all, doesn’t mean I have cancer and going through chemotherapy. And another thing, quit with the I see you are joining the Amber Rose movement now comments. Just because I like it in corn rows and braids doesn’t mean I have no hair to show off. Just because I have it locked doesn’t mean I listen to Reggae and smoke weed all day everyday:) Like India Arie put it so well; I am not my hair, I am not this skin. I am a soul that lives within.
Peace and Blessings, Vionna

Of Blankets and Wine Cliches

So this is one topic that has been bugging me lately,first of all,I am not hating on Blankets and Wine.Its one of those amazing Sunday events that one can totally enjoy with family and friends for some relaxing Afro fusion music.With that I need to add a but to that comment.I went for the SawaSawa festival a few weeks back, and the moment I reached Carnivore grounds,I just felt like I was attending Blankets and Wine.What is it with all events going all cliché and having people carry blankets, food and the likes to every afro fusion event nowadays?I mean it’s just become too cliché,the usual crowd,the usual pretty ladies wearing their leso dresses and sunglasses that make their faces look like bug eyes and what not.You know the same crowd you will bump into in every Blankets and Wine event,the same musicians who always curtain raise for the events.What I’m trying to say is,this events have become so cliché lately,that after attending one, you could almost script the events blindfolded. I am a big fan of Blankets and Wine, don’t get me wrong,I’m just trying to say,we need more new ideas.That’s why this year I was disappointed when Blankets didn’t have their annual Easter Blankets and Wine in Diani. At least the beach, sand and pinnacoladas is still an original concept.With that off my chest, I need to point out a few fashion NO NOs women pull off at this events:

1.Condom Shoes and long dress tops with leggings.
Ladies please,i know they are comfy and all,but this shoes, are just annoying. And you will never miss seeing women rock this look at Blankets.

2.Leso Dresses:I love the fact that Kenyan women are really trying to dress for the occasion nowadays.You know,not pulling the skirt suit look to weddings and picnics and staying away from the kitenges and all,but some ladies are really abusing the leso, or some have blind designers who just make awful designs!The khanga free-flowing dresses are good for such occasions, but if you can’t get a good design, please just stick to a lovely sundress!

3.Overdoing it: I know there is this fad/phase that most Kenyan women are going through, the Ethnic all Natural Erykah Badu look
I’m going through it myself,with the afro and big rings and Masai bangles,but when it comes to over doing it,I think Nairobi mammas take the cake for that. The over exaggerated Afros, a million Masai bangles on one hand,the other hand with more big bangles,surely,less is more!We get that you are embracing the natural side of life, but you don’t have to overdo it much.

4.Puppies and Babies: Yes we know such events are perfect for families and all to get together and bond, but not one event passes without the MC having to announce a lost child being found!I remember during one recent event, the lady next to us came with a 6month old child, the loud music and the noise around just made the poor baby grumpy!She cried till eventually she managed to sleep amidst the noise.Why torture such a small child surely like that? And people who insist on coming with their puppies.What the hell do you think this is, a dog show? we get it you have a cute,cuddly puppy,but the next time it jumps on my blanket,I will pull a serious Kung fu Panga on it!Leave the dogs at home,take them for a walk or take them to the beach.Spare us having to move our blankets due to your hyper dogs or get that dog trained first before you decide to take it out to such events!

5.Jeans and Supras:I bet the men thought they would get away easily,huh? Most of the guys who come to such events have been dragged by their girlfriends, they are never there out of their own free will. But do you have to come dressed in some heavy jeans and those ugly supra shoes?For guys it’s so easy, shorts,nice tees or khaki trousers and you are good to go,why dress like you are going to a Swaggerific concert?

And with that,I know I have earned me a few enemies,but hey everyone is entitled to their own opinion..so next Blankets,Sawa Sawa and such like events,remember simplicity is always the best!
Peace and Blessing, Vionna