Being in Kenya, in the very large city of Nairobi affords me a glimpse into Kenyan women.
It is superficial at the most, but I find it fascinating the way women in general migrate to beauty and making themselves attractive and feminine
I asked a few Kenyan women if they would let me take photos of them. I found them unique and stylistic in their own unique way.
The women in the office where I worked gladly ‘posed’ for me. They were not shy, but at the same time had never really been asked for photos taken of just them, as opposed to a group of them.
I had seen these ladies back in December 2015, but as I walked into the office May five months later, I greeted each one of them, but almost did not know who they were! Many of them in December had short hair, cropped closely to their heads or perhaps a bit longer. Now they all had luxurious long plaits of braids or heads full of braids or big curls.
I asked why? What had happened? And the answer was-The rainy season. Evidently during the rainy season, one’s hair turns to frizz and the best way to solve this is by plaiting it with hair extensions.
I’d see women with lovely curls, braids, screw curls and such, and every time I asked one of them, is this your hair, they would reply no, “it’s extensions.” Now, I’ll not pretend to know a lot about African hair, but one thing they have over us Mzungu’s (white people) is they will show up looking entirely different than they were the day before. It’s fun.
African women care about their appearance, their clothes. Clothes made in Africa or sold at retails stores are evidently not as fashionable as American or European clothing, so they don’t shop there. Instead, there are open markets where scads of American clothing is available.
I was explained that all the clothes donated to African Aid is actually resold (not given) to Africans. They can be quite fashionable with their Areopostale T-shirts, Gap jeans, and converse sneakers. Perhaps we should all take a lesson about buying recycled clothes. Shoes are bit more difficult. Shoes are not made well and to have a good pair-brand new takes money.
So, I enjoy seeing women in Kenya and the different styles they carry off. Is it New York hipster or LA cool? No. But they express themselves through their clothes, their hair in much the same way as any woman does.
I’ve included a few of these beautiful women.
Next week, I am off to Ethiopia, where I hear the women are amazing beautiful. I’ll report back!