Now can we please start with that big Afro you twitpic’d on Twitter (for those who aren’t familiar with twitter language). How long have you been growing it? We most certainly didn’t see that one coming.lol
I think it’s about 5 years now.
How are you loving natural journey so far?
I am hey. Although I do not keep my afro for long in between braids, I have no desire to relax my hair again at all.
If your Twitter avatars are anything to go by, you hardly ever wear it out. Is that your way of protecting it?
Partly protecting it but I must admit, I mostly don’t wear it out because it is immensely high-maintenance. I tried to master the wash-and-go but find myself blowdrying it out because it looks so good that way. Plus, I can comb it!
Have you always been natural? If not, when & why did you decide to go for it?
Nope. I decided about 5 years ago. First I went natural and started locks. My locks were doing okay, I spent a bit over a year with them but it just wasn’t me. I need variety and my afro helps me do that. I can switch up braids and still keep my afro. So I spent a weekend painstakingly combing my dreads out. They hadn’t completely locked yet so a whole lot of conditioner helped me out.
What products do you swear by?
Organic Root Stimulator’s Olive Oil Sheen Spray & Organic Root Stimulator’s Tea Tree Oil.
From your working experience, have you had any challenges in the workplace regarding your hair?
Not at all. As long as I keep it professional and neat, there really is nothing for anyone to complain about. Do things like that still happen?? Wow.
Do you always wear it in a polished, blowdried manner or sometimes rock your wash ‘n go’s?
Wash-and-go only when I don’t have a choice (I don’t have time or energy to blow it dry). But what I have now learnt is to blow it dry and then I can go two weeks without having to blow it dry again, if I plait it into 6 small plaits every night before I go to bed. See what I said about high-maintenance? SMH.
Are you planning on locking it in the future?
Nope, I’ve gotten that curiosity out of my system. You never know what the future may hold though.
Your hair regimen?
With my afro, see above. With my braids, I wash them once every two weeks, base my scalp and from there I can go on with spraying every third day.
And your favourite hairstylist or salon?
The lady who does my hair is Gift. She co-owns Ethnic Hair Masters Unisex Hair Salon at Fourways Gardens shopping centre.
Ok on to some serious business now…your book, The Reality Of Our Freedom
You’re one of the youngest authors in SA. How did the idea of writing a book (this one in particular) come about?
I’ve always loved reading, writing and books in general. It was really the culmination of my life-long dream.
I’m sure there were negative thoughts, doubts, unsupportive friends & family. How did you deal with that?
The negative thoughts and doubts were mostly mine. My friends and family were, as always, very supportive. I dealt with my fear by deciding to stop thinking and start doing. I just thought “Eff it, I’ll never know until I try”, stopped talking about it and just started writing. After that, it simply poured out of me. There was no stopping myself once I got started.
South Africa is seen as a country that doesn’t have much interest in reading. What is your perception, do you think this is true? How has your experience been so far in terms of readership?
For the most part, yes, I think as a nation we don’t read nearly enough but this is changing slowly by surely due to the efforts of writers, authors, publishers and organisations such as ReadSA and the National Library of South Africa. I’ve been fortunate to be able to reach the target market I was aiming for with The Reality of Our Freedom – young and Black. Charity starts at home.
How’s the book doing so far, in terms of sales?
It’s doing quite well. They always say the first book is not for money, the first book is to get your name out there and to hone your craft as an author – mission accomplished!
Are you planning on becoming a full-time author one day?
Hmmm, not at the moment but I would love to… one day.
How would you encourage those young women out there who have a lot to write about, but don’t have the courage to pick up a pen and paper (or sit in front of that computer) and run with it?
Just do it. You’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the things you did. That’s not license to get reckless – do your best, get someone who is unbiased and has a good track record in writing to look at your material but whatever you do, just write. Do it. You have the opportunity and right to express yourself.
Any words for the youth of SA?
In our journey to finding ourselves and fulfilling our destinies as individuals, let’s not let that deter us from putting back into our communities and making our country a better place to live. We all have different talents and passions, let’s make those work for our country and continent as a whole.