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Kavinya in Kenya

Avatar • Oct 22, 2011

Introduce yourself!
K:
I am a native Bantu of Kenya, and live in Nairobi, which is the capital city. I’m currently a student starting my A‑levels (equivalent of junior-senior year high school) which is a British system of schooling, not local. I mostly study music and art, since it is what I’m interested in doing as a career. I do many mural jobs for people, and write and record alot of music, vocal and piano.

What’s interesting about Kenya?
K:
The breathtaking nature of the masaai mara, the capital city (where I live) with a national park (so I see baboons on the road, sometimes you get hyenas in your backyard, cheetahs), the most beautiful beaches in Mombasa, Lamu, Malindi, Turtle Bay, rock climbing at Hell’s gate in Naivasha, the people and the culture, which has alot of Indian, Arab, and tribal inluence. I love that probably every Kenyan has tea (chai) for one meal, or ugali. On the negative, however, 70% kenyans live in poverty, and the margin of wealth between the 30% and 70% is huge. Cities are now becoming realy developed, with the influence of pop culture. Kenya is also recovering from post election violence from 2008, and many still die of starvation.

What is the natural hair scene like in Kenya?
K:
Most children have natural hair. It’s mostly common outside of the cities, also in primary school that are Kenyan system, your hair mst be in cornrows, or shaved. But each time I go to a hairdresser, they tell me how good my hair would look with a perm, and I’m always advised to perm my hair. Some people, however, admire that I went natural on my own, but they say their hair is tougher than mine, and that being natural would not suit them. People generally respond positively to my hair though, especialy many of my Indian friends, or other races with straight hair. Initially my school had a problem with my hair even though it was short and I was told to stop ‘seeking attention’. I understood that people who do not have kinky hair did not understand it or why I couldnt just get a perm, but they find it okay when I braid it.

Why did you go natural?
K:
I was natural when I was young but each time I wanted to do something with my hair I would be told “but you have natural hair”. I was made to think I had limited styling options with my hair. Also when I was 10 many of my friends began to perm their hair. My mum was against it, but my parents allowed me to do it. My mum has damaged hair, and she told me my hair was becoming damaged and I believed her. I stopped perming for 3 years, tried to put dreadlocks, but ended up shaving it into a mowhawk, then shaving all my hair off. I was inspired by girls from rural areas with natural hair down to their backs. I kept my hair short because of the styles I like, but I’d like longer hair now.

What’s your regimen?
K:
I used to leave my hair out like my grandmother did, and her hair would grow and look amazing, but I realized I had a different type of hair than hers and my father’s — their hair is more curly — so I had to do what worked for me (what my mum did for me when I was younger).

I don’t go to hairdressers much, I do my own hair or my mum does it for me. I usually wear protective styles and I wash and treat my hair once a week. I oil my hair regularly. I rarely ever straighten it with heat, I’ve only done that twice in this past year. Previously I’d straighten it every time I left it unbraided or once every 2 weeks.

I’m not very specific about the products I use, Head and Shoulders shampoo or Motions Products for oil, whatever is available that’s good for my hair. Even stuff in the kitchen like olive oil or coconut oil.

What would you like to see in Kenya in terms of natural haircare?
K:
I’d like for Kenyans to be more proud of their hair. I wish many of my black friends who have brittle hair (and don’t know how to care of it) would not perm it as much and would stop telling people of other races how terrible African hair is.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
K:
I have a channel on youtube kenyagal101. There I’ve put up a video of my song “Losing You”.…but I could take requests for covers 🙂

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rrstyles4u
9 years ago

What a beautiful young lady. It is so nice to hear a story from a sista so far away. Please continue to be proud of your hair because we are a very unique and beautiful race of people.….Believe Dat!!
[img]http://bglhonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/naturallyme7.jpg[/img]

nyekundu
nyekundu
9 years ago

bantu represent!

Masuka.M
9 years ago

Jambo! From Zambia with love. Great to see the continent represented. Awesome hair

Sieta
9 years ago

Very beautiful young lady! Nice to see my neighbour =)

Diana
Diana
9 years ago

Beautiful!!

inspired
inspired
9 years ago

Beautiful girl and a beautiful story! You are an inspitation!

Curly Film Chick
9 years ago

awesome hair! She looks lovely

adaku
adaku
9 years ago

you are beautiful. I want to visit kenya one day. Africans are in the habit of not exploring their continent. and your song…“losing you”. wow! heartfelt and your voice is a gem

Dani
Dani
9 years ago

Lovely girl with lovely hair.

I really really enjoy these naturals from around the world posts particularly those from Africa, Europe, and Oceania (I don’t think we’ve seen any from Asia yet).

anastasia
anastasia
9 years ago
Reply to  Dani

+1 for every word stated!

Lin
Lin
9 years ago

Gorgeous everything! And I loved the descriptions of your homeland, both the positive and the negative.

foxyr
foxyr
9 years ago

Beautiful girl! It is nice to hear from natural-haired women from around the globe, especially Africa! Please keep finding more international naturals to share their story with us. I find it interesting that even though Africans and African-Americans live so far away, the general consensus about our natural hair is still the same. I’m glad that Kavinya is rocking her own god-given natural hair like it is the best thing in the world. Good for you! Hopefully, you will inspire some of your fellow Kenyans to follow your lead.

APRIL
9 years ago

Gorgeous! I just subscribed to you channel your voice is amazing!!!

Charlene
Charlene
9 years ago

I am Kenyan too. I remember I had to shave my hair for the first five years of Primary School. Then I got my first relaxer when I was thirteen and ten years later I did a BC (two months ago).. I did not know any better and I am glad that I can finally have healthy hair. Keep up the good work missy. 🙂

Nimo
9 years ago

Hear hear! Being a natural in Kenya takes some serious guts and esteem, it’s kinda sad. But Kavinya’s representing! 😀 I like, I like

BlackOnyx03
BlackOnyx03
9 years ago

Hello!!!!! I spent a summer volunteering in Kenya back in college — and I lived in Naivasha, right down the road from Hell’s Gate! Thanks for representing Kenya!!!!!!

krenea
krenea
9 years ago

What a beautiful young lady! You should model! I’m going to subscribe to your channel, too! Thank you for submitting pictures and the post! Blessings!

Viv
Viv
9 years ago

Everything about you is beautiful-your hair, your face, your voice, your intelligence. You are a phenomenal inspiration, and, if there are more out there like you, our future will be in good hands.

nelle
nelle
9 years ago

lovely voice, hair, everything. I subscribed to your page, looking forward to new songs.

Antoinette Stewart
9 years ago

Simply beautiful! And I agree with your statement about the misconceptions of African hair — it irks my bones! I was recently braiding one of my friend’s hair, and her hair is extremely porous and coarse naturally, she was putting down our own Nigerian people… I couldn’t understand this self hate all because of hair!

Dot
Dot
9 years ago

Um… Cheetahs in your backyard? Yeah, I live in Nai too, not buying it. Love the ‘fro, though. Natural girls here get far too little support!

Rose
Rose
8 years ago
Reply to  Dot

Not buying the cheater ish neither. In Africa, animals are found in National parks,not in people’s backyards, not even in rural areas smh.

khanyi
khanyi
7 years ago
Reply to  Rose

Hahaha I know I’m late with this reply but I will say it..I live in Africa , In Zimbabwe in a town called Kariba where Man and Beast co Exist. I was not surprised by her story only we dont have cheetas but LIONS and NO in Africa wild life roams free and not In only Parkss. My home town is Africa Untamed its the home of one of the Largest Man Made lakes in teh worls so naturally we have animal life in the forests and also in where people live..Its an everyday thing to see a Zebra walking… Read more »

Nelly
Nelly
9 years ago

I have natural hair. I really need to have a TWA hairstyle. Could you have an idea which salons I can visit and how much will it cost.As in I need information on the TWA hairstyle in Kenya.

URBANUS
URBANUS
7 years ago

I have overheard someone talking about KENLIGHT HAIR SHAMPOO and another one called MARCIA but I could not get enough details. Could you please be having some details and where to find them since I am not getting them in the supermarket?

sarah k
sarah k
7 years ago

Hello. I, too, am from Kenya and agree that I would love to see more women rocking natural hair in the streets of Nairobi. Additionally, I think if salons were better trained in caring for clients with natural hair.

Go Girl!
7 years ago

(so I see baboons on the road, sometimes you get hyenas in your backyard, cheetahs) <—-The lies Africans perpetuate. I am from Kenya, not I nor anyone in my family has had these animals in their backyards whether they live in Nairobi, Kisumu, Ushago or wherever.

Nice hair though!

Sabrina black
Sabrina black
5 years ago

That’s some real 4c hair. I can’t go on no more. Go Kenya! I like your guys culture.

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