So I am militia!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Mungiki members taking an oath
Hello there!

Hope you are all having a good week so far! I have just received a comment from a colleague that has thrown me. So picture this...I am grabbing my first cup of coffee when I meet two colleagues in the kitchen, a woman and a man. So I happily say Good Morning and the first thing they say is "Nyachomba, your hair looks nice" I say thanks and continue on my quest to wake up via caffeine.My hair is currently in braids tied up in a high ponytail.

The man says "Eish, Nyachomba its better than the way you normally look like a Mungiki" then the lady retorts "Its true Nyash, your hair normally looks..shaking head" and doesn't finish what she was going to say. Anyone who has met me knows that I am very bubbly and always happy so I just smiled, grabbed my wake up coffee and went back to my desk, started fuming and then told Mary the story via chat. For anyone out of Kenya, Mungiki is an aggressive politico-religious group that claim to the the true sons of the Mau Mau. They reject the trapping of western culture and grow their hair without combing which looks dirty and unkempt. This is different to free forming locs which have been discussed in this blog because they are washed and taken care of unlike those of the mungiki culture. They are a very strong force who are against alcohol and smoking, against women wearing short skirts and trousers and run cartels in small towns.

I have had time to think about this and to be honest at the beginning I was pretty sad by that statement, actually on the verge of tears (must be pms). Then I realised that, only a very insecure person who does not love themselves and their hair would say that. Whenever I go to work I always have my hair neatly in a bun or a neat twist out so why would anyone attack my hair. I never come to work with my hair unkempt or even closely resembling Mungiki locs (not that they are ugly btw). Calling me a member of Mungiki is not only rude but an attack on my culture and my hair.

I sincerely wish that Africans would stop thinking and believing that their hair is unkempt, ugly or undesirable. We have beautiful hair, whether wavy, curly, tightly coiled, kinky, locd. Stop attacking people, do not attack anyone's hair, skin colour or creed. I shall not make any apologies for my hair or how I keep it! I just needed to rant but I am sure you guys have a few comments that have made your angry, sad or disappointed maybe even a mixture of all three..please feel free to share in the comment section.

Nyachomba

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gosh! Some people are just so flippin rude. First off, your hair is gorgeous, so I have no clue what those two were talking about. Secondly, even if it wasn't...didn't their mothers teach them that if you don't have anything nice to say, keep your pie-hole shut? Sheesh...
Don't pay them any mind hun, you and your hair are just beautiful :)

Mary said...

Nyash hun, you have such lovely hair, it's beautiful and healthy and most importantly it's YOURS!

These are crazy times for naturalistas because there is still so much RESISTANCE and IGNORANCE when it comes to natural hair. Your not just dealing with two individuals, you're dealing with a great majority of society who are still disillusioned over the concept of beauty and self acceptance.

Don't ever let them get to you hun, so long as you love who you are and what your working with, keep your crown up...

much love!

Nyachomba Kariuki said...

@Anonymous...Gosh is the perfect word for this!!! Its amazing how rude people are! I shall defo pay them no mind and Thank you
@Mary...Cheers luvie, crazy times I tell you. Guess its why we started this blog...to make people appreciate themselves be it hair or how you look...Viva La Revolution. We gotta do this

nyardaddy said...

Nyachomba first and foremost isn't it your hair that inspired me to go natural and going through the blog many of us want that hair. Secondly darling always keep this in mind OPINIONS ARE NOT FACTS!nyash humanbeings just love to talk just to be heard and you have to remember we group some people in the class of verbal diarrhoea and lack of social intelligence. As long as you feel good about yourself hater talking should not make you mad."If ni99as aint hating u aint doing something right"riley freeman!You have beautiful hair and keep doing your thing girl your blessed!and my natural hair is doing well pics uploaded soon!

Nyachomba Kariuki said...

@Nyardaddy...Damn thats my wall post for the day If Niggas aint hating then you aint doing something right...Totally made my day. I think I decided to post about this to bring out the ignorance that we Kenyans and Africans as a whole have. We have a long way to go .

Thanks so much..you sure do know how to make a girl feel amazing...and we are waiting on your pictures.Much love!!

Anonymous said...

am so pissed i could explode! Y'know, I had to deal with such ignorance the other day..been rocking a TWA for like 2 months so i decided to stretch it out into a bigger fro and i must say, I lurrrrrved it! Then some mallet headed hoochie (pls excuse the term) had the nerve to ask whether i was having a bad hair day!!! Mind you, she was spotting the tackiest cheapest multicoloured weave to ever violate my eyes-if you could un-see something....
Anyways Nyash, those are just haters who do not have the guts to rock the beautiful mane that God gave them and they probably hate your guts...what they need is pity and am glad you did not acknowledge their ignorant insult with a comment....keep rocking it, you and your hair are absolutely bee-you-tiful!

Nyachomba Kariuki said...

@PissedoffAnonymous....Ha!!! WTF...How could she say that...she was just jealous of that afro you were rocking..Rock it Loud and Proud!! We gotta be militant with this fros...Pity is all we can give this people I think...No need wasting pure emotion on them lol

Anonymous said...

Ah! I just shake it off. My mum told me this when I came home natural a few years ago. Something like; 'if there was a commotion in town between the Mungiki and the police...no one would be able to tell which side you are on'. I was wearing my hair natural, and a Dedan Kimathi t-shirt and a few red/black/green bracelets. I let it slide. A few comments later, I caved in and went to the salon to get my hair blow-dried and then braided :-( my mum totally did not get the natural thing despite her being the one who kept my hair natural till I was fourteen. Our neighbours kept mentioning how I looked like I never left for 'majuu' because of my hair I guess...I don't know if that was supposed to make me feel bad...it didn't, I took it as a compliment.

It saddens me so much when these comments are hurled at people. It makes no sense to me when people believe that a relaxer makes you more...um well put together. It is such a farce. Go ahead and rock your beautiful hair Nyachomba, I am so, so, proud of you guys and I hope more and more Kenyan girls embrace their natural locks. Our hair is beautiful :)

Chilli Mango said...

You are one of the most gorgeous Naturalistas I know Miss, you and Mary are my hair idols and for someone to talk to you like that, especially a woman...speaks a lot to her own lack of self acceptance and probably envy that she is not able to rock the confidence to sport her natural hair as is.

Since I braided my hair, I've had some people tell me that it looks much neater, and better and I smile, and don't pay them any mind because I just think of how glorious the fro will be after every protective style I put on. Plus I just love the diversity that I have....I can wear my hair anyway I want...(And that just serves my Multi-personality inclinations!!)

I can bet you that many wish they had hair like yours, a face like yours, style like yours....everything...but you know what, Arrogance or Rudeness, is a weak persons bad imitation of strength, #imjussayin

I respect everybody's preference, whether it's a weave, relaxer...whatever, and no one has the right to talk down to anybody regarding anything that pertains to their preferences.


Cheers Mami.

Mama Violet said...

I'm glad this blog has arrived to show the beauty of our hair.

While visiting Nairobi with my husband (we both have locs), we were warned about our locs and looking like Mungiki. I hope things will have changed when we visit again with our beautiful baby girl (at 5 months locs are already sprouting).

Muthoni said...

Well that certainly wasn't very nice of them *insert tirade about people who should really just learnt to keep their mouths shut sometimes*...Just did the big chop less than a month ago..I'm hoping that once my hair grows out I don't get to meat such 'lovely' people

Njeri said...

That was really rude of them but don't be discouraged your hair is fantastic. Next time just strike back with a sarcastic retort, don't put up with snarky comments. I know an eye for an eye makes the world blind but sometimes you gotta look out for yourself.

Nyachomba Kariuki said...

@ChilliMangi, Mama Violet, Muthoni and Njeri...Thanks for all the positivity....makes a girl feel tres special. Onward and upwards.

Anonymous said...

Lol.........!! Sorry Nyash but the story cracked me up. I always knew this was coming! I can relate because I've been there. I worked in Nairobi a couple years ago and someone told me I needed to "straighten my hair". Mind you the hair was blowdried, but I have thick hair so it kinda puffs up after a while, at the time it was in a bun. I also let it slide because the offender was in a huge afro wig/weave and her hairline was barely there from over-processing, weaves and braids. You have to pick your battles, this one was not worth it!

On the real though,people have come to believe that sleek straight hair is more presentable. It's a deep social conditioning, someone called it the "Your Africa is showing" on another blog. And there's nothing as unique to Africans as the hair texture, but very few want to be associated with it.

Just be glad this pair said it out loud, there are others who'll think it but won't say anything. However we choose to wear our hair it's a reminder that it always has to be on point especially at work.

S

chyiku said...

like anonymous above i found this story really funny (but also sad)...those two have absolutely no business speaking to you that way.

after ''my incident'' (told you about where the woman just chopped off a huge chunk in the middle of my head coz i refused to blowdry my hair before braiding it) and my dads constant attempts to get me to perm my hair again i learnt that you just have to believe in yourself and continue with what your doing. it makes you happy, it boosts your self esteem, its a healthy way to live and it absolutely hurts no one else.

when i came back to nairobi in 2009 and there were all these ladies(some complete strangers) who have barely-there hairlines, sparse thinning-out hair, hair damaged by too much colouring and ugly cheap looking weaves telling me how i look shaggy or unkempt or shady i would ask them what happened to their hair-line or how much their weave cost.that usually shut them up.

these days i never bother to get into debates and discussions about natural vs chemical because i dont care about how other people choose to wear their hair.if u weave it....get a good weave, if you braid it....get the right braids and keep them clean, if you have a perm, curly perm, texturised...take the time and money to go to the salon and to take care of it etc etc.

for that man at your office to tell you that you normally look like mungiki is so beyond insulting when you think about the horrid acts theyve committed against kenyans (and in particular the violence meted out against women they deem to be 'indecent').i would have had so many not so nice things to say to him.

whatever kind of hair we have (and in addition however we look) the most important thing should be to be healthy and to up;ift the people around us by being kind. and if we really have nothing nice to say we just keep quiet and get on with things

SugarPuss said...

dear miss nyash and the rest of your followers who inspire me everyday, ya'll are beautiful! and not just on the outside. When i started reading your blog the most common feeling i got from all ur experiences was contentment, like you found something everyone else knows about but can't quite reach it.
I then doubted if i could keep up with all the regimens, the patience required, the hateration expected, if the joy would be real...up until i washed my hair (it's in braids, am doing mary's 3month protective styling marathon...still in transition, i have like half an inch of curls, which i used to refer before as "unwanted growth") and i took the time to study my curls and i have to say i saw God(my manfriend says i talk abt it like i had an orgasm), ok fine am stretching it but i had the time of my life...
am finding my contentment one strand at a time, and i find that i give not even a gram of fuck days. And it's all thanks to you guys so keep ur pretty curly heads up!!

Nyachomba Kariuki said...

@Chyiku and Sugarpuss, I think Mary put it very well "These are crazy times for naturalistas because there is still so much RESISTANCE and IGNORANCE when it comes to natural hair. Your not just dealing with two individuals, you're dealing with a great majority of society who are still disillusioned over the concept of beauty and self acceptance.Its absolutely ridiculous.
I am also glad Chyiku that you brought up the whole issue of insulting my culture...after all the Mungiki have done in our country you go ahead calling me one...its hilarious I tell you...sooo funyy.

@Sugarpuss Thanks for sharing, Its so amazing that something like hair can cause such animosity and insecurity...I do agree that everyone is allowed to their opinions especially when it comes to hair...so rock that fro like you never rocked it before. I am also in braids and sometimes I feel like taking them out...cowashing my fro, combing it out..donning a Che Guevara T-shirt and walking around giving everyone a stankface....maybe another day. But as you said we all have to find contentment one strand at a time..

Love you guys so much!!!

Its sad that you can have your cut @Chyiku at a salon because the hairdresser who you have paid by the way does not want to deal with natural hair. Who does that? Then goes on to complain that your hair is too tangled.

NM said...

I usually lurk quietly through but this story....hmmm....when I was in Kenya, I had a colleague ask me what was wrong with my hair. At the time I had a small twa in a twist out.She had a perm with "three" long hairs and a receding hairline that I guess she considered the epitome of perfect hair. Like you I just smiled and walked away. These days I am not so polite.People need to be told when they are being rude.
You have lovely hair, next time take the opportunity to educate those ignorant people on the beauty of natural hair.

Faith said...

Never ceases to amaze me the ignorant remarks/comments people actually let out of their mouths. Reminds me of the comment Methodman made saying he likeS a woman who gets her hair did & doesn't look like she just got out of bed & left the house(paraphrasing of course)but then again he did say get her hair "did" so that right there says ALOT.

carenskita said...

that was just uncalled for.