As a child growing up in the U.K I remember always wanting to fit into the so called “British culture”. This meant furthering myself from my roots and my inner “affness”. Affness being the slang term used by British youths to describe an African behaviour. Occasionally my parents would visit Africa and bring back “kitenge” clothing (traditional African clothing). But my fear of being portrayed as an “aff” by others always made me hesitant to wear them.
However, as I matured into my teens, I began to realise how unique and beautiful the African culture was; especially the colourful patterns found in our traditional clothing and accessories. There was definitely a missing market for traditional African clothing in the high street shops! This realisation took me back to my childhood moments when I would tuck my “kitenges” at the back of my closet hoping to forget about them. I deeply regret not being appreciative of them when I had the opportunity.
Today I’m the exact opposite. At every chance I get, I find myself writing a list of all the different clothing’s and accessories I want my parents to bring back from their visits to Africa. This summer along with my sister I want to spread the message of embracing your inner African. Rather than running from your roots and culture LIVE IT!