At AfroShe® we are so proud of Malaika Maoh Eyoh – a seventeen year old schoolgirl, for the way she has bravely stood up to the authorities at Parktown High School for Girls at Pretoria in South Africa. Growing up with Afro hair, a lot of us become too familiar with the constant, subtle messages from commerical images, TV, film, music industry and society in general, teaching us to believe that natural Afro hair is basically inferior to other types of human hair. It is an undertone that is so familiar and so believed by so many that we almost stop noticing. Of course the message is just a subtle way of putting black people down, making us out as inferior to other races. Our hair proves it!
In the case of Malaika’s experience as a 17 year old schoolgirl the message was not so subtle. Her teacher told her that her natural African hair – which as you can see is beautiful – was “distracting others from learning”!! And don’t think this was just a casual slip of the tongue. Investigation by Panyaza Lesufi, head of education in Gauteng province, has shone light on the constitution of Parktown High School for Girls. He says that the school’s written Code of Conduct “discriminates badly against black pupils as it asks them to straighten their hair”!!
So Malaika had the full force of the school’s constitution bearing down on her for the offence of turning up to a South African school with natural African Hair!! In 2016!
So as a gesture of admiration and solidarity with Malaika, and to say thank you for being such an inspiration, I am sending a package of AfroShe® products – via Parktown High School for Girls – to help Malaika celebrate her Fabulous Fro. It is exciting to see the tide turning all around the world and to join with a new generation of Black Women who are courageously celebrating their God-given beauty, rejecting all the old narratives of shame and inferiority. Malaika we think your natural hair is beautiful and we at AfroShe® wish you every joy and blessing and success in your education and in your life and career to come.