My name is Akona Carol lali I was born and bred in the eastern Cape in a small town called Queenstown. My mom is Xhosa and my dad is a mix of colored and Sotho my hair is very course at tightly coiled. Growing up it was difficult for my mom to take care of my hair and her only option was to relax my hair, at some point when I was in primary school she decided to let my hair grow naturally, but I got hair lice and she had to wash my hair with paraffin, I was honestly embarrassed as other kids made fun of me and said my hair was dirty, I felt dirty as well I would look in the mirror and cry, I couldn’t even interact with the other kids my self esteem was very low.
I asked my mother to relax my hair or cut it , she refused even though she was struggling to manage it, the other kids at school continued teasing me, saying more mean things like my hair looked like a dirty steel wool, I got home from school one afternoon after and cut a small section in the front of my head, when I was asked what happened I said the bat had shaved off my hair and the only other person who knew what really Happened was my cousin, she told my family that I cut my hair deliberately because I wanted my mom to shave my whole hair off, well she took scissors and cut it all off, I felt freed from the “Dirty disgraceful hair” I didn’t mind that the hair cut was shady and uneven, I was happy because at least the other kids at school would stop teasing me and that my hair looked normal.
Fast forward to high school, I decided to go back to growing my natural hair, now this time it was different because I was dealing with a more mature crowd who admired my Afro, I became confident and popular. I created a trend many girls started growing their Afro, but my teachers bothered me, I was told my hair was unacceptable, I had to either relax it or cut it, one black female teacher Said to me ” Lali you know wigs are not allowed at school take off ” my classmates burst out laughing, I was confused that a black person didn’t know the difference between real hair and wig , so I told her it was my own hair, she couldn’t believe she came rushing to me to “pull the wig out” I screamed ” you’re hurting me ma’am ”
I guess that’s when she realized it was my own hair. Either way she chased me out of her class because I refused to ” relax” my Afro Eventually I got tired of being chased around because of the Afro, I thought to myself ” seemingly this hair is unacceptable and ugly and straight long hair is beautiful and acceptable so I gave in and relaxed my hair
2015 my hair started falling and thinning so I decided to cut it all off and started over, in the process I thought about many other women who could be struggling with the same challenge as me, I decided to share my journey and show women of colour that our kinks and coils Are beautiful and we need to embrace them, learn to take care of them, and be comfortable in our own skin! Honour your crown is aimed at the woman who is transitioning from relaxed hair to natural hair, the natural one , the one who wishes to go natural, the young girls growing up to learn to take care of her hair from a young age.
We are blacknificent , we are beautiful!
Miss Acalaca with the good hair