Kaunda Selisho
Lifestyle Journalist
2 minute read
15 Sep 2021
6:14 pm

World Afro Day: celebrating the many faces of natural hair in South Africa

Kaunda Selisho

World Afro Day is aimed at celebrating natural hairstyles of black and mixed-race people and embracing their curls and kinks.

World Afro Day was founded to celebrate the natural hairstyles of black and mixed-race people, embracing the curls and kinks that are unique to this culture | Picture: Instagram

We bet you didn’t know that today is World Afro Day.

According to the global Days of The Year website, today is World Afro Day and the day was declared as part of a movement towards positivity in the black and mixed-race community. 

The afro, a hairstyle that has become a cultural symbol and has also been part of various ethnic groups’ cultural history for hundreds of years, is the focus of the day. 

“In an effort to remove the biases that may be associated with the afro, this day is all about making the afro beautiful and accepted in everyone’s eyes,” explains the website. 

History of World Afro Day 

World Afro Day was founded in America by Michelle De Leon and is aimed at celebrating the natural hairstyles of black and mixed-race people, embracing the curls and kinks that are unique to this culture. 

De Leon believed in the importance of heritage and history and saw an opportunity to change the way people view the afro and find pride in wearing their hair in its most natural form. 

According to the Days of The Year website, De Leon founded the holiday back in 2017 and achieved a lot of attention for her efforts. 

The day was even recognised by the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as the London Mayor’s Office. 

World Afro Day’s founder has since been invited to speak at the United Nations in Geneva about her efforts to make it more widely accepted and celebrated. 

World Afro Day has evolved into an event that acts as an education programme that teaches children about afro hair and society so that they can learn to appreciate it from a young age. 

There are numerous ways to celebrate this day, including sponsoring an Afro Day in schools, joining a World Afro Day event and sending a positive message to people with afros. 

We at The Citizen have decided to go with the latter by highlighting our favourite kinky-haired celebrities in an effort to show society the many faces of natural hair in South Africa. 

Azania Mosaka

Qiniso Van Damme

Khosi Ngema

Boity Thulo

Jo-Ann Strauss