Name: Siima Kyakuhaire Kyomuhendo Sabiti a.k.a Kanyindo
Dream Job: Flute-playing, dog-rearing farmer
Fave spots In Kampala: My gazebo. Anywhere my dogs are. Tamarai Restaurant. My kitchen (lol). Anywhere where they have found a way to make it peaceful and still.
Passionate about: In no particular order. Music. Creativity. My dogs. My family.
Currently listening to: Lemonade- Beyonce. Ill Manors- Plan B. Katy B. Adele. The Best Classical Album In The World EVER! (That’s actually what it’s called lol!)
Hi, tell us a little bit about yourself and your natural hair journey so far?
I’d been relaxing my hair from when I was about 13 years old. I’ve always been a very practical, hands-on person, and there’s very little in my beauty regime that I do not do myself, from my hair to my nails etc. Anyway, about 4 years ago, I had just washed my hair and was standing in my bathroom, staring at the growth on my head and dreading having to go for a retouch because it was always torture. My hair has always been tough but I have a super-sensitive scalp and got burned every single time! I couldn’t face it. Before I could change my mind, I grabbed the scissors off the shelf and cut a swath of hair right down the middle of my head. And kept going.
My natural hair journey so far hasn’t been that bad! And I have enjoyed learning about my hair, getting to understand it and LOVE IT. YouTube tutorials have saved my life, as well as natural hair blogs. From learning how to use flexi rods, to my favourite bantu knots, the sheer GIFT of coconut oil and shea butter, homemade flaxseed gel… I could go on and on! Going natural is the best decision I’ve ever made.
What are your top tips for someone looking to do their big chop?
Do it for the right reasons. Some people do it because they think it’s the trendy thing right now, going natural. And much as I’d support any of my sistas who are choosing to wear their crowns with pride, do some research first. And be prepared to put in some hard work! Love your hair and it will love you right back.
What’s something you’ve been looking forward to doing in 2016?
Travelling more. It can be really difficult with work and everything, but I’m hoping I’ll get to get out and about.
Were there any influences that pushed you towards your big chop?
Not really. To be honest, I’d reached an age where I am so comfortable in my own skin. I’m a grown-ass woman, and was tired of pouring money into a salon and coming out crispy-scalped and in pain.
Right now I can’t stop using…
COCONUT OIL!! OH MY GOODNESS I LOOOOOOOOVE IT! And I use it everywhere- my hair, my body. Shea butter rocks my world too. And flaxseed gel?! Mama nyabo. Curl definition for daaaaaaaays!
I love your edgy look! Do you have anything or anyone that has been influencing your style lately?
Erm… not entirely, to be honest. I wake up very early to get to work, so I always try to go for a nice simple quick style that won’t go haywire by the end of the day.
Can you tell us about a place you’ve recently discovered and loved?
I can’t say it was recent, but I was lucky enough to meet and be styled by Afros and Mo at the last Bride and Groom Expo. I haven’t been able to get to their salon yet, but their stall and customer care was top notch.
What to you is the perception of natural hair in Uganda?
I think it’s a mixed bag. Some women would love to do it, but can’t be arsed with putting the effort in. Some hairdressers give you a major side eye like, why can’t you just relax this stuff? I’ve had women at work ask me about it- I guess they’re just not ready to take the plunge. My boyfriend loves it!
What are some of the cool and not-so-cool remarks you’ve gotten regarding your hair?
Oh, there have been some classics.
‘Oh hi Siima. So it’s true. I’d heard you’ve decided to stop combing your hair.’ Or
‘Eh, look at this woman, she doesn’t comb her hair.’
Such comments just bounce off my beautiful curls!
Photos by; Zahara Abdul