Kudziwai (Kudzy) Mazhetese is a 24 year old naturalista from Zimbabwe. She is currently studying Economics and Finance at the Great Zimbabwe University. She has been natural for most of her life with the exception of a year she relaxed her hair which she big chopped almost 3 years ago.
She returned natural because natural is just who she is, it completes her. Kudzy is a content writer for her beauty blog, sheEmpire, where she shares information on natural hair and beauty.
"Girls with natural hair are broke"
Natural hair is looked at from many different perspectives in the Zimbabwean community. It is
challenging being natural in Zimbabwe. Natural hair is considered a sign of backwardness by others.
They think having natural hair means you can’t afford to buy trending expensive hair pieces. I once heard someone saying, ‘girls with natural hair are broke.’ It is still difficult for some Zimbabwean women to embrace their natural hair because they are worried it will affect their social status. The belief that was ingrained in us during the colonial error that people with kinky African hair are considered inferior to those with straight hair is still ruling most Zimbabweans.
With that being said, there is quite a big number of women who are or have returned natural in Zimbabwe. I think this is attributed to the fact that people are starting to see that natural hair is simply a part of one self. When you see someone rocking their natural hair proudly , you realize its beauty and you would want that for yourself. So, I can safely say there is definitely a natural hair movement taking place in Zimbabwe.
Natural hair strongly advocated
Wearing natural hair to work in Zimbabwe is not prohibited by any code or legislation because the Zimbabwean corporate is dominated by black people.
People can wear natural hair in all its forms to work both men and women in Zimbabwe. In most public schools students are required to crop their hair short but still in its natural state with no relaxers ,so everyone is natural at school.
The natural hair movement is being advocated strongly in Zimbabwe by many people who have been natural for quite a long time and have acquired skills and experience on how to care for and maintain their natural hair.
There are programmes airing on radio and television stations where natural hair workers and advocates come to share natural hair information and to answer questions people might have on natural hair. There are also bloggers like myself and you tubers who provide useful information that will help raise the African natural hair flag.
Personally , I consider being natural a journey where I learn and discover new things about my hair along the way and I love sharing that information with other people who love natural hair but find it difficult to maintain it.
There is something so original and beautiful about natural hair that attracts attention of others. More often than not ,I have been stopped by people asking how I manage to keep my hair healthy ,what I do to make it soft and the like ,which I take as an opportunity to encourage others to embrace the simplicity of natural hair and how to maintain it which actually helps them to embark on their own natural hair journeys.
I believe every natural in Zimbabwe is doing the same thing, and that makes the future of natural hair in Zimbabwe so bright because I see more and more people both men and women starting to grow their natural hair everyday in the whole country .The outside countries like South Africa(SA) for example have greatly benefited the Zimbabwean natural hair movement because they are rocking their natural hair confidently and in high places which motivates Zimbabwean women to see that you can have natural hair and it will not affect your social standing but rather enhances it.
Also, some SA you tubers and bloggers share information that is applicable in Zimbabwe, considering our climatic conditions are similar, and thus what affects natural hair in SA can have the same effect in Zimbabwe. In as much as influencers from the USA or London may have benefited the Zimbabwean natural hair movement , I think the movement was greatly driven by people realizing that being true to ourselves is more liberating than trying to be who we ain’t. People are going back to the simple way that was life back in the days of our ancestors.