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N atural hair seems to be the trend among African female writers. Chibundu Onuzo, Taiye Selasie, Chimamanda Adichie, Chinelo Okparanta and others are all rocking natural hair and are all the more stylish for it. To be honest, I would not have noticed if there hadn’t been that whole controversy surrounding Adichie’s hair campaign. Adichie has been dubbed “hair fundamentalist” ever since she expressed her preference for hair that has not been chemically processed and encouraged African women to stay away from relaxers and straight-hair extensions. But why are most our female writers spotting the natural look? Silly question or worthy of reflection?

Check out the different looks.

Chinelo Okparanta. Caine Prize shortlistee and author of Happiness, Like Water. Nigeria.

Chinelo Okparanta. Caine Prize shortlistee and author of Happiness, Like Water. Nigeria.

Chibundu Onuzo. Author of Spider King's Dauther. Nigeria.

Chibundu Onuzo. Author of Spider King’s Dauther. Nigeria.

NoViolet Bulawayo. Author of We Need New Names. Zimbabwe.

NoViolet Bulawayo. Author of We Need New Names. Zimbabwe.

Sarah Ladipo Manyika. Author of Independence. Angola/Nigeria

Sarah Ladipo Manyika. Author of Independence. Angola/Nigeria

Beatrice Lamwaka. Author of "Butterfly Dreams." Uganda.

Beatrice Lamwaka. Author of “Butterfly Dreams.” Uganda.

Chimamanda Adichie. Author of Americanah. Nigeria.

Chimamanda Adichie. Author of Americanah. Nigeria.

Taiye Selasie. Author of Ghana Must Go. Ghana/nigeria.

Taiye Selasie. Author of Ghana Must Go. Ghana/nigeria.

Aminatta Forna. Author of The Hired Man. Scotland/Sierra Leone

Aminatta Forna. Author of The Hired Man. Scotland/Sierra Leone

Nnedi Okoroafor. Author of Kabu-Kabu. Nigeria/US

Nnedi Okoroafor. Author of Kabu-Kabu. Nigeria/US

Chika Unigwe. Author of Night Dancer. Nigeria.

Chika Unigwe. Author of Night Dancer. Nigeria.

 

 

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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