Showing posts with label Africa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Africa. Show all posts

Thursday, 21 May 2015

The African Hair Movement

Photo by Sebastien Conejo on Mixkit 

The low cut makes me happy and its quite easy to maintain, so it's easy to blob on and on about it.

A few weeks after cutting my hair, a good friend asked me as a matter of fact, "really, do you want to take that hair out of the house like that?" to which I responded also, "No way!! when I'm not drunk!". 

My hair was not only low, but it was also African natural and sincerely I did not want to go out without a wig on. 

We all know the African kinky hair is usually permed, tucked in under weaves and wigs, or totally transplanted. Well, I just guess the last is possible, not that I've seen girls do it; but why won't African hair transplant be possible when bald hair transplant and receding forehead hair transplant is now very possible.

A few weeks down the line of the Q and A with my friend, I mustered enough courage to go out with my low hair without a wig! It was liberating. I felt freedom from wigs, weaves, and hair relaxers. I could feel the warm embrace of each wave of breeze at the root of the short hair strands. 

This step also unlocked some settings in my default such as the silent beliefs that as a grown girl, my African hair should be relaxed, worn long either with a wig or a weave.

I normally do not give this a thought because it's quite uneasy carrying my thick Afro without a perm. But this time, I allowed myself to think about it. Could this be a part of the self-objectification I wrote so much about in Law school last fall?

I started drawing links between African slavery, colonization, civilization, and how it has toyed with our minds. Have we been made to believe that the African hair is to be hidden from view or at least straightened in some ways to look presentable? The modern African girl should have a weave on for dinners, job interviews, etc. to look presentable? 

Some weaves such as the Brazilian weaves are so expensive, treating them is equally expensive, more expensive than treating our natural Afro. Is something wrong with us or am I just a relentless deep thinker?

In my natural hair journey, I've learned the African natural hair is manageable, with organic products here and there, you can have comb-able, style-able, and fashionable hair. 

This does not stop us from changing hairstyles and doing what we want with our hair definitely, its just a few thoughts that crossed my mind while thinking of the effects of slavery and colonization in Africa. 

Some of the effects include our fading languages and lovely traditions. 

I once again thank the leaders of the natural African hair movement! You brought some light! 

We definitely have to embrace our roots more and celebrate what we've been given. We sell it to the world till they want what we've got. 

The amazing fun fact about the African hair is that we can relax our hair and wear weaves, unfortunately, non-Africans can't make an Afro from their hair. Well, except they wear an Afro weave.

Again, mere random thoughts.

Jumoke Eniola-Odepe
Toronto, 2015

Thursday, 14 May 2015

My African Hair Cut (From my list of random thoughts)


I cut my hair low! The type of low that makes you look like a boy.

Now my mom does not know about this, she might pass out and then get revived, then pass out again when she comes visiting this summer but I can handle that. I sure can.

So, why did I go for the big chop like my African sisters call it?

I wanted to! 

While I have some other alibi, such as a winter beaten hair, expensively useless salons, and more, I have always wanted the look of a short rough natural African curly hair and now that it is in vogue, am I rocking it? I bet I am!! 

Thanks to whoever started the natural African hair vogue! 

I have mastered the art of maintaining a very low hair cut from the hundreds of YouTube postings by my African natural hair proponents. 

From using eco styling gel to using a piece of rough cloth to roughen my hair and give that daring and contemporary look!!Thanks, ladies!

I have also learned a thing or two about self-confidence and carriage. I mean, you must be self-confident and carry yourself tall to wear short natural African hair in the midst of both naturally and artificially enhanced long hair. I'm quite obvious now. Not that I mind.

The morale of my big chop natural African hair story? Love yourself, be confident in who you are, love your hair and enjoy it anyhow you like it. 

Jumoke Eniola Odepe
Random thoughts.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Eru Iyawo list (Yoruba Traditional Wedding Items)

By Jumoke Eniola-Odepe
Eru Iyawo List

Eru iyawo (Bridal luggage) is a vital part of the Yoruba traditional engagement/wedding. The eru iyawo is the gift(s) that the groom and his family bring to the bride and her family on the traditional wedding day. 

Historically, there was no fun-fair with the eru-iyawo packaging, however, in modern times, we have vendors who package eru iyawo professionally and well-spaced event halls to entertain your guests!

That is one item off your to-do-list. Both the bride and groom's families meet a fork in the road when the appropriate list can not be provided. The list below is quite comprehensive, you can tweak it to your choice.

Eru Iyawo List

Engagement rings for bride and groom
1 or more briefcase (s) of clothes, shoes, and handbags including Yoruba traditional aso-oke fabric, 2 sets of lace+matching gele and 2 sets of Ankara
42 Tubers of yam (Isu)
42 Bitter kolas (Orogbo)
42 Kolanuts (Obi Tabata)
42 Alligator Peppers (Atare)
42 pieces of dried fish (Eja Osan)
1 Dish of peppered corn  meal (Aadun)
1 Pack of Sugar
2 Baskets of Fruit
2 Decanters
4 Crates of canned or bottled soft drinks
4 Crates assorted drinks
2 Cartons of bottled water
2 Bottles of non alcoholic wine
2 Cartons of fruit juice
1 Bag of salt
1 Bag of rice
1 Umbrella
1 She Goat
1 Keg of palm wine
1 Keg of groundnut oil
Packs of Biscuits and Sweets

Monetary Gifts (Modify)

Owo Ori Iyawo (Bride Price) – N2,000
Owo Ijoko Agba (Money for elder's consent) – N1,000
Owo Baba Gbo (Money for the bride’s father’s consent) – N2,000
Owo Iya Gbo (Money for the bride’s mother’s consent) – N2,000
Owo Ikanlekun (Door knocking fee) – N500
Owo Isiju Iyawo (Fee for unveiling the bride) – N500
Owo Aeroplane (Bride Aeroplane fee) – N1,000
Owo Iyawo Ile (Money for the Housewives in the family) - N500
Owo Omo Ile (Money for the Children in the family) – N500
Owo letter kika (Letter reading fee) - N500
Owo Telephone (Fee to call the bride out) – N500
Owo Isigba iyawo (Engagement gifts unveiling fee) – N500
Owo Alaga Ijoko (Master of Ceremony's fee) – N500

Eru Iyawo list