Anyssa.

Anyssa.

AFTER I CUT MY HAIR, EVERYONE SAID I WOULD FEEL FREE; INSTEAD, I JUST FELT EMPTY.
— Anyssa

 

It wasn’t that you disliked natural hair (How could you dislike the thing that grow out of a black woman’s scalp?). In fact there was a time where natural hair reminded you of scented candles and the black woman defiance inscribed on your palms. Power. Just the idea summoned out of you a boldness that you were yet to be acquainted with. And so for a while you had imagined that this was your destiny. You had endowed your hair with the power to explore your heart; to discover and invent parts of your mind that you hadn’t thought to look for.  You had reimagined it as a healer, comforter and affirmer. So for some time you even prayed that the growth on your scalp would multiply. When you finally cut your hair you were elated. But as your fingers ran through your freshly cut afro, the emptiness became overwhelming; it left you feeling disappointed in yourself and how you had wanted so badly to find yourself in those  short curls. You forced excitement into you and tried to scold the emptiness out. And so when the calm stillness in your fingers confirmed that you were just as empty then as you were before the cut, you promised that you would learn yourself from the inside out. So these days, when you feel hopelessness looming, you tell yourself over and over that you are a woman worth learning.

WORDS BY MUMBI KANYOGO

Closing.

Closing.

Nagwa.

Nagwa.