Boity Thulo rocking Bantu knots. Picture: Supplied.
Boity Thulo rocking Bantu knots. Picture: Supplied.

Celebrating World Afro Day with Boity and Janine Jellars

By Thobile Mazibuko Time of article published Sep 15, 2021

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On Wednesday, September 15, we are commemorating World Afro Day.

Afro is one of the most complex hair types that is still ridiculed in some parts of the world. However, on this World Afro Hair the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights focuses on change, education and the celebration of Afro hair.

“We work with families, schools and authorities to tackle discrimination against Afro hair. We carry out research, create events and produce resources to empower people with Afro hair and to raise awareness in wider society,” says Michelle De Leon, founder of World Afro Day.

To be in tune with this year’s theme: “Celebrating natural black hair, empowering people with Afro hair” natural hair authors like Janine Jellars have come forward to share their natural hair stories.

Jellars is the author of The Big South African Hair Book (2021) and the free-to-download e-book The Natural Newbie Guide (2017).

“I feel most myself when wearing my hair in its natural state. It’s taken a lot of work to actually love my hair, and also not to take it too seriously. Society teaches us so many negative things about our hair – that it’s untidy, unkempt or unmanageable. On the contrary, I think Afro-textured hair is incredibly versatile, resilient and beautiful. Changing how I speak about Afro-textured, curly and coily hair has gone a long way to changing how I feel about it,” says Jellars.

Janine Jellars. Picture: Supplied.

Boity Thulo, who partnered with Halo Heritage for her natural hair range, encourages people to be patient with their hair journey.

“The natural hair journey is often seen as long, difficult and daunting. There's always such negative connotations associated with it. It’s no wonder so many have lost their enthusiasm for it. Like with most things, natural hair requires consistency and attention, as you would with your skincare routine. Consistency allows for the ‘task’ to remain manageable and enjoyable once the results start to show.”

Boity Thulo. Picture: Supplied.

World Afro Day is a global day of change, education and celebration of Afro hair.

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