It is incredible to witness the evolution of the natural hair scene in Kenya. As someone who has grown up being natural all her life and in search of fellow Kenyan women owning and embracing their kinky, curly hair, I find it refreshing to see the normalization of the afro-textured hair aesthetic.
With the help of social media, I’ve been able to come across certain individuals that I believe are continuously and immensely contributing and influencing the thriving Kenyan natural hair community. That, in itself, is something commendable because the following women are consciously participating in undoing the narrative that natural hair is “unmanageable” or “shaggy.”
Here they are:
Tabitha Tongoi a.k.a Craving Yellow
Tabitha Tongoi is a Kenyan-born blogger who is currently based in Melbourne, Australia. Not only does she share her acquired knowledge of caring for kinky, coily natural hair on her personal blog, Craving Yellow, but she also touches on matters that affect many young women, such as heartbreak, studying abroad, and falling in love. All of her content has been more than enough to garner her a nomination for the OLX Kenya Social Media Awards.
Diana Opoti is the groundbreaking fashion consultant behind “100 Days of African Fashion,” a campaign which aims to promote and provide access to African fashion brands. Recently, she took to Instagram to share her new beginning of embracing her natural hair, and this is what she had to say:
For five years I’ve hidden my natural hair under extensions which I’d wear for 6-8 weeks at a time…undo, treat, and redo. The extensions added to my beauty (I thought). The length I imagined gave me a more feminine…or acceptable look for someone in fashion. Looking at the world today, children and younger women growing up I realize identity is much more than conforming to the world. It is accepting who you are, learning and connecting with yourself in such an intimate way — not for the others…but for yourself…so now my journey begins.
Sheila Ndinda has graced the Internet with dope selfies that prove her photogenicity, and it is no surprise why she went from having a viral Instagram post where she is spotted slaying a Bantu knot out, to ending up as the cover girl of “It’s My Hair!” magazine. She also runs a personal blog, African Tresses and Treats, where she shares her own natural journey and makes an effort of promoting local products best suited for afro-textured hair.
Michelle Ntalami is the Founder and CEO of Marini Naturals, Kenya’s first organic hair care line. Not only have the products catered to afro-textured hair been a hit nationwide, but also across Africa in countries such as Rwanda and Tanzania. There’s no doubt in my mind that this groundbreaking entrepreneur is one of Kenya’s Top 40 Under 40 Women.
Evelyn Ngugi a.k.a Evelyn From The Internets
Evelyn Ngugi is a Kenyan-American YouTube personality and social media manager at Naturally Curly. Earlier this year, she was part of Beyonce’s Formation world tour.
Having watched Beyonce’s hit album Lemonade, Evelyn comically expressed her thoughts on the video and unbeknownst to her, Queen Bey herself got a hold of the footage and decided to feature it on her world tour. If you can’t catch her somewhere around the Internet, you can certainly find her rocking her signature short, tapered look with a hint of color.