Cameroonian author Nana Nkweti’s debut book Walking On Cowrie Shells is still hot off the press and is raking in rave reviews, including one on Brittle Paper and a New York Times feature. Her success is undeniable, but she is also dressing the part. She’s been sharing photos titled “Book Tour Lewks” on her Instagram timeline. These photos, featuring hairdos, beautiful make up, and stunning nail designs, caught our eyes, so we asked her to tell us more about the photo series and the inspiration behind her personal style. Read on because you would want to find out how she gets those killer nails!
The debut of Walking on Cowrie Shells has blessed me with much-needed moments of joy in these uncertain times. My Book Tour Lewks are a chance for me to revel in the occasion, to celebrate years of hard work. Like the rest of the world, for months I’ve been hermetically sealed in a pandemic pod and privileging the comfort of Snuggies and soft tees. Now, I relish getting gussied up for my virtual events – picking ‘fits and playing with new hair and makeup.
My personal style, much like my writing, is an eclectic mix of colors and textures with maximalist motifs. I’m an African woman so I go big! You’ll see blazers with bold brush strokes, braided Princess Leia buns with cowrie shell hair baubles, and bling galore. The bespoke nails are designed and handcrafted by my sister, Numbisi, proprietress of NawettiNails. They’ve been my talismans, part of an ongoing tradition of creations she has gifted me for job interviews, literary award ceremonies, and now for my book launch. We’re sharing the love and selling the custom WOCS set in her online boutique along with these other beauties – one Toghu cloth-inspired and one WRITER initial set – that I’ll gleefully be sporting at upcoming events.
COMMENTS ( 16 ) -
Afrikan Bee August 30, 2022 08:19
I'm sure Nana was in Africa thinking she was passing as a semi White woman. This story is more interesting that any of the crap she's put out there. I'm especially interested in knowing when the reality check came for her and by who. When is Brittle Paper interviewing Nana?
PoysonYvee August 29, 2022 05:24
But where is her so called lightskinned privilege then? She was riding hard to place herself on a higher social tier, by attempting to be white adjacent in Cameroon and beyond, without any gain. Zakiya Dalila Harris a darkskinned girl, released her book, ironically entitled "The Other Black Girl", on the same day as Nana and she is a bluetick with a film deal today. Nana has more or less faded into oblivion with her brown paper bag.
Kamair August 24, 2022 01:44
I remember her, she was fond of telling people she looked like Lisa Bonet. But on what planet? Honestly.
Anonymous Too February 12, 2022 07:08
In West Africa you also have Fulani and Hausa, but Nana Nkweti doesn't look like she belongs to either of those tribes. And in America she looks like a regula ole Black girl who wants to differentiate herself from the rest of the crowd by claiming her heritage. But there are so many performative Africans around these days that she ends up looking just like them.
Anonymous January 01, 2022 07:01
She looks 100 % West African. Negroid as opposed to Caucasoid. But I guess that isn't exotic enough hence the attempt to be "other".
Annett December 15, 2021 12:19
Also, Nana looks very Black. Different shades of black skin exist all over Cameroon without it being mixed. No one ever thought she was anything but Black, except Nana herself of course. But because her then ideology didn't serve her one bit she's now gone full Africa costume mode. That's how she wears the culture.
Annett December 15, 2021 12:13
@Chopper, there are people who know Nana from back in her days living in Cameroon who can confirm she was telling people while there she was American and that she looked half white and would pass the brown paper bag test anywhere she went.. Brittle Paper can have her come on and answer for herself.
Chopper December 14, 2021 19:18
Nana nkweti is as black as you can get. Both of her parents are black, Her parents are straight from the African continent. I think what kills us black folks is that we never know how to support our own. I bet if it was the usual white person who spent a few months in Africa, made themselves an expert. And then wrote a book, we will all be applauding. Please let's stop the self hate. We of African decent around the world are better than that. We have enough haters against us out there by just being black. Read the story about how Black/ African kids are mocked in schools, on playgrounds in " Schoolyard Cannival" . It's for real. Now you know.. Protect your children. Long live Cameroon!!!
Annett September 16, 2021 14:41
I don't understand your logic. So being a colorist when it serves your low self esteem is fine, then pro Black and African when you want to sell your book and be more African than anyone else? M'Kay.
Ainehi Edoro September 16, 2021 11:10
Please, stop the negativity. What is the point of tearing someone down, when all they are doing is inspiring love for African stories?
Jenefa September 16, 2021 02:16
So she literally had to convince people herself that she was attractive.
Realist August 27, 2021 06:25
@Pragmatist - Nana Nkweti was a big colorist during the time she spent living on the African continent. She was fond of telling people she was light skinned and looked mixed with white and therefore considered more attractive than some of her peers as an American Woman. Whatever she's trying to spin now is pure BS and purely for commercial reasons. Or, featurism finally made her understand Caucasians would not own her.
Deeh August 25, 2021 04:39
And Nkweti's contribution to the Caine Prize competition was yet another prostitution saga involving Africans. It's all Lena Waithe level buffoonery. I can't.
Pragmatist August 25, 2021 01:56
"I am an African woman so I go for big" WTH does that even mean? Chile...I am tired. Tired.
Pragmatist August 25, 2021 01:54
Stella August 21, 2021 14:53
This author seems completely oblivious to the reigning Anglophone crisis in Cameroon. She appears to be receieving a ton of PR driven publicity but who is REALLY reading her book? Also, Cameroon seem to neither care or know she exists.