The South African Natural Hair Protest

I think it's important for us here on African Naturalistas to stay informed on natural hair issues. If you watched, listened or read to news outlets this week, there was a story about discrimination against natural hair in a school in South Africa.

On Monday about 200 students at Pretoria High School For Girls protested school policies that prevented them from wearing their hair in it's natural state. According to them, the school code mandated that hair must be "brushed and worn in conservative styles." Some of the styles that were allegedly banned include afros, bantu knots, locs, box braids and more! One of the protesters said that a teacher once told her that her natural hair should be combed because it looks like a bird's nest!!! Can you imagine the audacity?!?!?!

I'm immensely proud of those young women who boldly stood up for their rights. This reminds me of when I first moved back to Nigeria and would go to work with my natural hair out. As much as people were wowed that I was brave enough to do it (I don't know how that's bravery), I also got rude comments. I clearly remember my friend telling me that my hair was yucky and that guys would NEVER talk to me. Lol, anyone seen my wedding photos yet? Oh and guess what, the same girl is natural now.

It saddens me that there is discrimination against natural hair IN AFRICA! Again, kudos to the young women for not allowing it!

Did you hear about the story? What did you think about it?

Berry Dakara.


  1. This really breaks my heart. 22 years into democracy and this is still happening. It only shows that our leaders have failed us. on the one hand i applaud the girls for their bravery to do what we couldn't because these rules aren't exclusive to white led and/ or private school but on the other hand, this is not fair on black children. at such a young they have to understand racism,systematic oppression and silencing of black people and be thrust into the role of being a revolutionary while her white peers can just exist. . . unconditionally, unpoliced and enjoy their childhood.
    you know, Its a;ways interesting how conservatives talk about decolonising our institutions but call us all sorts of names when its time to do so. this is what decolonisation looks like. It surprises me that the ladies were able to articulate themselves so well given this poisonous indoctrination we call education in this country. thanks for the feature on this story though.

    Mvumikazi | Urban Mnguni |

  2. When I first saw this on the gram I was like, "You go girls! " Why should they stop them from wearing their hair in its natural state, and that teacher needs to be fired. It's her natural hair for goodness sakes. It's never going to be always perfectly combed. The hair does what the hair wants to do.

  3. This was an emotionally exhausting week for us (black south african women). Nasty comments came from white women and black men. You should go through the political debates on Facebook and Twitter. I love my "UnKept/ UnTidy hair. My not so professional look". This 13yrs old has our support. A lot of racism issues are now coming out. Our kids endure a lot at school.

  4. Why are Bantu knots not allowed? It's not obstructing anyone's face naa, and it doesn't involve extensions.

  5. I was so wouldnt allow us africans to carry our hair in its natural state??? It's just pure racist.


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