Here’s a clip from the BBC about Martha Makuena, an African woman from the Congo who emigrated to Beijing more than a decade ago. She operates the city’s first official African hair salon – and look who her clientele includes! What does it say about the appeal of black women when so many people want to emulate our style?
There’s a video interview at BBC you can view, but the embed links didn’t work to post. Here are some excerpts:
“We have customers come in from all around China, they catch their train at night, they arrive in Beijing early in the morning. They come here and get their hair done and they catch their train back home at night. The other time we had one, she saw a Chinese artist that braided her hair and she wanted her hair braided the same way. For them they say, ‘I want to look cool.’”
“When I’m with [my kids] we speak Chinese. When doing business in China, the most important thing is the language. When you understand the language, you understand the person.”
“People when they look at Africans, they mostly they think about bad things….but now people are seeing that I’m here, so they respect me. They don’t look at me as an African, they look at me as a person doing business.”
Did you notice she stated her fluency in that she speaks Chinese (at home) to her children?
She left her war-torn, strife-filled environment and moved to a place where she could thrive. So can you.
The Voice (UK) also has an article about a London-based hairstylist who conducts trainings in Bulgaria to meet the beauty needs of the growing black population there. If you’re surprised about Bulgaria being a hotbed of ex-pat living, I can guarantee there are other places where the adventurous woman can go to seek out new experiences.
I wonder if the fact that native-born black women in the United States are more reluctant to branch out compared to our African and Caribbean sisters (from moving abroad to interracial marriage) because we’re US citizens and arguably have it so good here. I’m not going to debate the intricacies of the benefits and the pitfalls of the current status quo, but as always it is something worthy of further review. The great thing about our living abroad is that we have the option of returning.
Black women are any/everywhere they choose to be!