So during my visit to Nigeria in 2013, I met some of my little cousins who were born while so was away for about 8 years. I had to do a lot to try gain their trust and love too.
By the end of that trip, I was no longer “Aunty Kangyang’s sister,” I was their cousin/aunt ( you call anyone older than you Aunty/uncle)
It wasn’t only the time we spent together that helped; it was my natural hair.
One afternoon, me, my aunties and a few older female cousins were gathered in my grandmother’s bedroom when one Aunty rushed into the room looking for me.
Apparently, shortly after she arrived, she was dragged by one of the little cousins saying “Aunty Sarah, come see Ngovou with the round head.”
I rocked my Afro most of the time during that trip, so that became a distinct mark of identifying me, especially since at that time, there weren’t as many natural Nigerians.
Since then, one of them always calls my phone and all she says is “Aunty Ngovou with the round head.”
I’ll always cherish those moments. I was touched by that description, but what touched me the most was a conversation they had with another cousin a few months ago.
Last year when I visited, I took some hair products as gift to another cousin, who happens to be called Ngovou as well.
After my trip in 2013, a few of my cousins were inspired to return natural. Even the little cousins (well, their moms made that decision)
Ngovou visited the cousin who began calling me Aunty Ngovou with the round head.
While Ngovou was twisting her hair, she and her sister both ambushed Ngovou demanding she did their hair too!
” Ngovou, please put that thing on my hair. I want my hair to look like Aunty Ngovou with the round head.”
That comment there, taught me to always be careful what I say and how I carry myself. No matter how imperfect or confused I am sometimes, I have a lot of girls looking up to me.
I had no plans of straightening my hair before that comment, but hearing my baby cousins say that, just cement my love for natural hair. I’m glad I was able to light a candle within them; a candle that’ll enable them and keep them loving themselves naturally.
Smile often, love more, stress less, fart out loud, life is too short.