Malaika Maoh Eyoh – confronting school authorities
Pretoria, South Africa 2016
In September 2016 at AfroShe® we have been celebrating Malaika Maoh Eyoh – a seventeen year old schoolgirl living in Pretoria, South Africa, for the way she has bravely stood up to the authorities at her school – Parktown High School for Girls.
Reportedly, Malaika’s teacher told her that her natural African hair – which, as you can see, is beautiful – was “distracting others from learning”!! And it was not a casual slip of the tongue either! Investigation by Panyaza Lesufi, head of education in Gauteng province, has since brought some scrutiny to the constitution of Parktown High School for Girls. Mr.Lesufi’s report concluded that the school’s written Code of Conduct “discriminates badly against black pupils as it asks them to straighten their hair”!!
So we now understand that as a seventeen year-old schoolgirl Malaika had to face the full force of the school’s constitution bearing down on her for the grave offence of turning up to a South African school with natural African Hair!! This is in 2016!
So as a gesture of admiration and solidarity with Malaika, and to say thank you for being such an inspiration, we have sent a package of AfroShe® products – via Parktown High School for Girls – to help Malaika celebrate her Fabulous Fro. Parktown High School refused to pass our gift on to Malaika and returned it unopened.
It is exciting to see the tide turning all around the world and to join with a new generation of Black Women who are courageously celebrating their God-given beauty, rejecting all the old narratives of shame and inferiority. Malaika we think your natural hair is beautiful and we at AfroShe® wish you every joy and blessing and success in your education and in your life and career to come.
And sisters and brothers, if are you blessed with natural Afro hair let me encourage you to celebrate your God-given gift and let AfroShe grow your Fro!