Friday, November 30, 2012

Adventures in Hair:An African's journey in Commitment


Interesting title huh?Sounds like some long treatise in an academic journal but I promise its anything but that.First let me say that this something quite personal and some of you may not agree with me, but its personal so that's to be expected.Secondly,enjoy reading and let me know what you think!
I was brought up like most Ghanaian girls of my generation with short cropped hair till I finished high school.During high school some of my class mates would keep their hair growing and tie it down at night so it looked short the next day,because it was required that we all have short cropped hair.In our final year some even did plaits and other things during vacations.As you may probably have guessed by now,I wasn't one of those.I was never particularly interested.All I wanted to do was just hide somewhere with a good novel.Who cared about hair when my heroine was getting swept off her feet by her dashing Prince Charming?
I should say though that I didn't have anything against those who liked long hair and stuff like that.I just wasn't interested.My mom however had long completely natural hair.Why do I mention this now?Because I enjoyed helping her remove her braids or corn rows( which she kept them in all the time) and I enjoyed the feel of the hair.I could run my fingers through her hair and play with her coils and that actually was something I did with my own kinky coils.I would be pulling and playing with them,especially the hair at my temples,till they fell out.I liked feeling the hair and it kind of became an absent minded/thinking/something to do with my hands kinda thing.
Its after high school.My mom started me off by plaiting my hair with thread(an African way of stretching natural hair called the tension method) because thats what she did with her hair.My hair was very healthy and plentiful, but it was too painful!On hair days I literally cried when my mom was fixing my hair and I just couldn't take it anymore.So I ran to my big sister for help, and she got me my first relaxer.I didn't really like my hair straight (wierdly).I preferred the rough kinky texture of my natural hair and the 'big hair' type look I had with my natural hair.However I kept at the relaxer cos I didn't really know any better alternative.I just kept my hair in pony-tails,braids and weaves most of the time and if I got a relaxer,I would curl my hair.My hair was fine,growing ok, and even started growing pretty well with the relaxer.I reconciled myself to that and decided to stay with it.Because I got bored very easily with my own hair,I always got other styles put in and every few months I would get a hair cut to try a different syle,but  it wasn't really working out.
Fast forward to after graduation from university.I was just browsing one day and found a video of a Black-American woman with lots of hair and it wasn't relaxed or weaved in.Apart from my mom and auntie I hadn't seen that before and she looked like she wasn't in any pain doing her hair.That's when I realised I could actually have my hair however I wanted it without it having to be painful.So I said to myself,'Hmm,I wonder how challenging it would be to try that?Ok!Challenge accepted!' lol.
When I cut off my relaxed hair,my auntie asked me why I did it because she didn't understand why anyone would want to cut off long hair when people were craving long hair.I said it was just to try something new.And that's why I stopped relaxing.
I have a lot of respect for those who have natural hair because they have issues with putting chemicals on their heads,or the gender stereotypes or racial issues or heat treatments, and I would like to say I have natural hair because of some noble reason,but its simply because I like it,and its something new.Its not because lots of people are doing it and its not because I think relaxers are 'evil',its simply because I want to learn to take care of my own hair and actually be commited to it.Till I cut off my hair I didn't even know I could do it, but its been fun.I enjoy learning hair styles and attempting them, and I like the fact that I can change my hair style everyday,by myself.Even more I like the fact that I haven't given up(thanks to encouragement from Annete of http://naturalistagh.blogspot.com/) even when my hair seemed completely unmanageable while in the past I would probably have got a relaxer.I like the fact that I stayed commited in hard times and now good times.Its what I playfully call commitment training 101 for marriage!(hahahaha!)
Image So there!That's why I have natural hair.If you have natural hair or considering it I hope this was interesting for you and I would love to know why you have natural hair.Thanks for reading and I hope this has been a fun read!I blog on my hair journey over at the Ghana Hair Chick blog so feel free to check it out.Cheers and remember change begins with Imageyou!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Studies,travelling,food and such

I have been conspicuously absent!Wow!Its been months since my last post and so I am sure some of you are tired of waiting for a new post!Well,here it is!
I have decided to write on something I'm sure a lot of you are interested in knowing more about:studying outside your home country.First though,before you get excited and start looking for links to scholarships,please take a minute to ask yourself a few questions.Top of the list would be what your plans/dreams for your life are.Depending on your answer you may not need to read any further because you may not need to undertake further education in certain areas.For example,if you want to be a businessman and you already have an MBA you may not need to do a PhD because a PhD is more or less an academic degree.If you don't plan to stay in academia or the research department of a big company, a PhD may not be for you.
The next question would be what you wanna study and for how long.That would determine which country you should pick because let's face it,some countries are better at certain programs than others.Also,your choice of country would depend on your personal ability to adjust to strange environments,source of funding and your need to have friends or family around.If for instance you have a difficulty in really cold environments,a Norwegian education may be particularly difficult for you.Also,if you can't live without buying food and your stomach revolts at every new dish, you probably need to go to a country that has a similar cuisine to your home country.
Just in case you have no preferences, you should consider how your choice of country will affect your future plans.If you want to live in a particular country for the rest of your life,it might be easier to go to school in that country since getting a job after that would be easier than moving from another country.

All the above being settled,the next question would be how do you plan to fund your studies?For an answer to that question,join me for part 2 of this article soon.Till then,have a fabulous day!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

So Long,Farewell!

Hmm!It has been quite the day.I was chatting with a friend on Whatsapp and he told me the President of the Republic of Ghana was dead.I was like "seriously do not play with this dude!Too many people have been talking about this issue of late oo!If you are playing a prank its not funny at all"!He still insisted that it was true so I decided to cross check.Lo and behold it was true!OMG!It was completely unbelievable to me.It is such sad sad news and I am still a little down.Its not because I am an NDC person but its simply because he was my president.
Its something I believe all of us Ghanaians need to learn.No matter the politics of whoever is our President,he/she is still our President and needs to be respected as such.Therefore regardless of our right to freedom of speech, we need to exercise that right very carefully when it comes to the President.If he was ill it behooved on all of us to simply pray for him that he gets better instead of sitting on radio saying all kinds of things and talking anyhow in our homes.Its quite unfortunate that we allow politics to cloud our judgement when it comes to this issue, but we need to understand that our words have power.If we want to see Ghana develop and have strong leaders, we need to speak such things into being instead of speaking negative things.
Well, that's my two cents on the matter.I hope we all learn from this and change our negative habits when it comes to talking about our leaders and our country.I pray that his family shall receive the comfort of the Lord and find peace in this trying time.I also pray for our just sworn in president that he can stand strong and do the work that lies ahead of him with excellence and love.
Rest in Peace His Excellency John Evans Atta Mills.

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Love Letter to my Mr.Perfect


Dear Mr. Lover Boy
I know this letter may come as a surprise to you because the last time we talked(which was just a few minutes ago) everything seemed perfect.I do not mean to hurt you or to make you feel bad in anyway.However I need to write this letter to let you know the truth.
You have been so awesome.All the calls,texts,dates, Facebook messages..it’s been like a dream come true for me.You are truly my Prince Charming come to rescue me from this castle of hum drum single loveless misery and I am so glad to have met you.Because you have been so good to me I feel obliged to point out some things to you.
Last night you said you loved me and wanted to spend the rest of your life with me.Hmm!I wonder if you really thought that one through because you might wanna take that back.Don’t worry.I won’t hold it against you if after reading this letter you decide to do just that.I am sure by now your heart is pounding in anticipation of some life changing revelations about me.Let’s get on with it then shall we?..(sigh).
So you think I am pretty and you like my hair.Well,my ‘hair’ is technically not my hair.You see, I have really short hair that refuses to grow.So in order to help my hair along I went to the salon and got hair extensions.Of course it’s mainly because you like long hair that I do it.When I take the extensions out I look very different.Remember that lady we saw on tv the other time?The one you thought was not pretty?Well I kinda look like that without the hair extensions.
Oh but that’s no big deal!I am sure you just thought that.Ok.You have never seen me in the morning before I shower and dress up.You came by the house yesterday morning before work to see me but I refused to see you because I wasn’t dressed.I am so sorry about that but you see my face is not at all the smooth one you see everyday.I have such a severe case of acne I have to wear concealer all the time.The black spots have really drawn a map of the world with my face and I have tried to fix it to no avail.Plus my morning breath is..you know what?Let’s just leave that for later.
I am sure none of the above is a big deal to you.I also wanted to point out that I will not stay this way forever contrary to what you expect.I mean the tight little body with all the curves in the right places?That’s just not gonna last.I know this because I will have kids and there will be some sagging here and there and even if I don’t become fat some things are gonna droop and not be tight anymore.You still with me?Good.Because I need for you to understand that this picture perfect beauty you see on the outside will fade.
But there’s my character and my good habits right?Well technically I am not a good housekeeper and I kinda suck at cooking.All the food you eat when you visit is bought(sorry!I know you dislike outside food!).As for my budgeting and money management skills the least said about them the better.I may look all clean and organized to you but my room is another story.On the average day it looks like a tornado came tearing through there(that tornado being me in search of something..lol).On a good day it’s just a hurricane.Not too bad yeah?And then there’s my cleaning and bathroom etiquette and the snoring and..oh!The list goes on.I hope I already mentioned the fake lashes and brown eyebrow pencil.
I know you might still be in shock but I needed to let you know these things so you can make your decision with all the information you need.I mean I don’t want you telling me I have changed after our wedding now do I?So after this if you are sure you still want me,well then you must be a better man than I am!
Sincerely With Love
Princess
(Well actually Afia Real Girl.Sorry you just found out my real name too)