Welcome to the second installment of Naturals International here on Google Hangout and YouTube. If you follow my blog and social media then you know that I'm all about promoting Natural Hair and travel, but I wanted to bring together those two topics, something like natural hair videos with an international influence and thats when I created this idea of “Naturals International”
The first episode was released in February and I talked to a natural hair/beauty blogger from The Netherlands and you can watch that episode HERE
Due to the fact that we have pre-selected questions we won’t have a question and answer section on Google Hangout but feel free to keep the conversation going on the written transcript version of this video.
Lets go ahead and get started. I am joined today with Brandi who lives in Botswana!
Where you are from?
I live in Botswana but I am originally from Malawi. I've lived in Botswana for almost 6 years
How far is Malawi from Botswana?
I'm not sure in terms of kilometers or miles but there is another country between Malawi and Botswana so it takes about 2 days if you are driving. I moved here because my dad got a job here so he moved me and my whole family here.
What languages are spoken in your country?
In Malawi English is the official language and Chichewa is the 2nd official local language that is spoken but there are numerous local languages that I don't even know.
In Botswana English and Setswana are the official languages but again there are numerous local langauges too.
I don't know much Setswana but I'm trying to learn. I know the basics
How do you say the following words in the Dutch language?
Chichewa: Hello is "Mulibwanji" and hair is "sisi"
Setswana: Hello is "Dumelang" and hair is "moriri"
Why did you decide to go natural?
I have been relaxed since the age of five or six. I don't remember my natural hair before that. I didn't know how to look after my hair. I was overlapping relaxers. I didn't know that at the time. My edges were really thin and I wasn't happy with how it looked. It wasn't thick enough. It wasn't long enough so I decided to try this natural thing and see how it goes. I have been natural for just over three years.
How is Natural hair viewed in your country?
In Botswana natural hair is generally accepted. A lot of people here have locs and TWAs. Having an afro is not odd nor does it stand out much. Growing it is the problem. We tend to not know what products to use, how to take care of it and styling. You find that a lot of women that have long afros tend to keep them braided or weaved.
Is it hard to find natural hair products in your country?
Yes it is, very hard! They are not always readily available here but we are able to find oils and some natural products here and there. I buy products anywhere! Pharmacies, supermarkets, Indian shops, health stores and sometimes I get friends to send me products from overseas. In the black hair care aisle you will find a lot of cheap products that are meant for relaxed hair. I've had to experiment.
What are your favorite products? Anything unique to Botswana?
I try out Pantene and Tresseme. I would have never looked at that side of the aisle before going natural. There is one lady that sells hair products from home. She gets a lot of her raw material from South Africa, Shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil and she makes moisturizers, hair butters and also sells castor oil. She helps a lot.
What hairstyles are considered “trendy” around you?
Braids are always in! I am a student so we tend to default to braids a lot. The current favored braid style is waist length thin or chunky braids. Weaves are also quite popular. I also see a lot of locs and dyed TWA's.
What is the toughest thing you’ve had to deal with when it comes to your natural hair?
Accepting that it's curl pattern will never look like Corrine Bailey Rae's (I have 4c texture), finding products and learning how to style it. I had expectations before I went natural. Thinking my hair would come out looking like a lot of these mixed race celebrities, you don't realize genetics play a part in your curl pattern.
Anything else/how can people connect with you?
Learn to love your hair no matter what state it's in whether its relaxed, loc'd, natural because there is nothing more liberating than being able to wear your own hair and feel gorgeous.
You can also find me on Instagram & Twitter: @MsBrandiP
Here is the recording from today's Live Event!