The head wrap: An #African #Fashion

The two-day annual African fashion extravaganza that is Africa Fashion Week London 2015, celebrated its finale on Saturday.  Showcasing the talents of African and African-inspired designers from the continent and the diaspora. For a 5th year running this event was embraced by London once again. More than just a trend, there is no doubt that African fashion is here to stay. Owning the most colourful segment of the fashion industry, African designers can tell their stories through the woven threads of African print (and non-print) fabrics.

African fashion, headwrap, fashion
AFWL 2015
Photo: Mike Rolls

In addition to shows like this, the driving force behind the crescendo of popularity surrounding African fashion has been Africans themselves! In Africa and across the diaspora, social media has given African fashion a voice, with YouTube vloggers and fashion bloggers sharing their own favourite designs and fashion tips with the world, making African fashion accessible. One of the most notable elements of African fashion which has made a crowning comeback over the years within the diaspora is the head wrap.

african head wraps
On the streets of London people can’t resist a peak: Africa at Spitalfields 2015

Head warps were worn by Africans before slavery (where it was used a symbol of poverty and disgrace) illustrating the wealth and social status of men and the beauty, spirituality, marital and social status of women. As time has moved on, the head wrap has become a feminine accessory ubiquitous across Africa; and known by various names including dhuku  and Gele.

head wrap braided kinks tumblr
Picture: Braided kinks tumblr
head wraps
Picture: Bella Africana Digest

Although the head wrap has been a staple in African traditional culture for centuries, it’s becoming a coveted accessory for the young and old, at special occasions and for every day casual wear.

Celebrities wrapping it up! Solange, India Arie & Eva
Celebrities wrapping it up! Solange, India Arie & Eva

What do you think about the head wrap? Vote below!

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You must be #mental

The beauty of YouTube is that anyone can stumble across the funniest videos, whether old or new. Unlike the man with the red tie (in the video below), I didn’t have to suppress my laughter when I saw this. We all know that social media can create stars / one hit wonders; love it or hate it you can’t knock the hustle!

For those who have made money from YouTube videos (more power to ya), including Alika singing below, who got a modelling gig with JD Sports off the back of this video, singing on the London Underground!

Another beauty of YouTube is there are always links to related videos, some of which are not funny at all. If I had seen this video (below) first, I wouldn’t have found the one above funny at all! It made me rethink.  


Apparently, 25% of people in the UK are affected by mental illness. According to the Mental Health Foundation, people from black and ethnic minorities in the UK are more likely to:

Be diagnosed with mental health problems

Be diagnosed and admitted to hospital

Experience a poor outcome from treatment

Disengage from mainstream mental health services, leading to social exclusion and a deterioration in their mental health

There are various reasons for this, despite the prevalence of mental illness in black and ethnic communities it’s still a taboo subject. People from ethnic minorities are reluctant to seek help from mental health services, which have been criticised for not understanding particular cultural needs of non-white patients. The link between poverty and mental health is also something that cannot be ignored.

Alika Samuel Timothy Agidi-Jeffs | London, United Kingdom | Actor, Model, Musician
Alika: Model Man – who knows what goes on in ones head?

Mental health issues are real; I’m sure many of us know someone young, old, tall, short, skinny, fat, that has or is suffering from a mental illness. Like most illnesses those of the mind don’t discriminate either; anyone can be affected. The more these issues are discussed among families / communities, the easier it will be for those affected not to suffer in silence.

“The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.” 

Marcus Aurelius (Roman Emperor)

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