Author helps black girls to love their hair
A BOOK has been published to encourage black girls to take pride in their natural hair.
A storm erupted last year after a Pretoria school’s hair policy appeared to infringe on the dignity of a black child. The protest was triggered by a teacher who allegedly told a girl with a natural afro to comb her hair “because it looks like a bird’s nest”.
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi had to intervene to calm tempers after angry parents confronted the school over the issue.
Now, author Lebohang Masango wants girls to know there is nothing wrong with their hair and to take pride in it.
He has just published the book Mpumi’s Magic Beads.
Masango, who is a master’s candidate in social anthropology, poet and author, said she felt the need to write the book to raise hair politics in a way that children can understand.
The author started writing when she was 15 and says this book is an intimate portrayal of friendship and Joburg.
“The story is about friendship, love and self-esteem. Mpumi and her two friends are in school and their school is on the second floor in the inner city. They are unable to play outside, so they get bored.
“The red beads on her head allow her and her friends to make wishes. During break they use the magic beads to make three wishes. They go to the zoo, planetarium and amusement park.”
While out on their excursion, someone makes fun of Mpumi’s braided hair.
Mpumi’s friends jump to her defence and help her build up her confidence.
The book is aimed at children in grades R to 4 and can be found at ethnikids.co.za, Xarra Books in Midrand and African Flavour book store in Braamfontein.
She also does readings for kids and can be contacted on www.lebohangmasango.com for bookings.
EMPOWERMENT: Poet and author Lebohang Masango wrote a children’s book on hair politics and other social issues.