Hairitage talks kinks & kontroversies
On Sunday 5th August 2018, Little Theatre at the National Museum hosted a discussion about Natural Hair, organised by Hairitage Botswana, a brand and movement that aims to help women of African descent accept and embrace their natural hair and culture.
Same Seisa is a 25 year old who has previously struggled with maintaining and keeping healthy, her own natural hair. “There were no products for African natural hair in 2010,” she says. She therefore conformed and allowed her hair to be straightened, the norm and acceptable thing to do at the time.
However, later down the years, Seisa reverted to her roots, and grew her hair natural . This time was different. She could now go into a store and buy products suited for her hair, and have conversations, however isolated, about her growth journey with others, thanks to social media. “I have always been passionate about hair,” she says. “I decided that I would focus and share my passion by beginning Hairitage, a combination of the words Hair and Heritage, and a true reflection of its cause,” Seisa adds.
This Sunday, Seisa and her team assembled some notable panellists to have discussions and engage the audience on issues surrounding the Kinks and Kontroversies of natural African Hair. One of the topics, which resounded with many of the attendees was the issue of natural hair in the workplace. “It is not common to see a woman going to the boardroom wearing an afro” one young lady said. She continued, “We need to accept ourselves as we are, as African women, and believe that the kinks in our hair are beautiful and have no impact whatsoever on the content of our brains. The same thing I would say and present with a weave on, I could do in my natural hair.”
Hairitage has successfully facilitated one of the more difficult conversations that African women and men engage regularly. Recently, a private school in Gaborone purported to set up a rule that natural African hair was not neat nor fitting with the schoo’s uniform regulations. This led to online uproar of empowered African students and parents standing in unison against the discriminatory practice. “My Afro is not a hairstyle, it is simply my hair,” is something that Seisa reiterates at every given opportunity. She hopes that Hairitage will influence and encourage Batswana and other African women to realise the beauty in not just their hair, but their cultures and heritage, and to promote these all over the world, wherever they leave their footprints.X