So Oct 31 marked the end of Black History Month (and Halloween) but this year I have taken myself down a discovery path. There is a sense of identity disconnect that comes with being the first generation British-born in an African household especially with the current political environment over here in the UK – people nowadays are not afraid to tell you that you are not a “true Brit” but I’m also ‘not African enough’ because we differ in opinions and moral values due to cultural differences and upbringings so we enter an identity crisis where we have to figure out who we are. I’m sure somebody can relate.
Being one of the first in my generation to be born in this country is a blessing and a curse. As blessed as I am to live and reap opportunities that may not be available in my parents’ homeland I was brought up essentially as a British woman – I have never been taught Ndebele, my family’s first language so I always felt a bit of an outsider on most occasions (weddings, birthdays or any type of extended family gathering) and cultural values and morals were never ‘beaten’ into me as a child – I just followed the example of my elders but I always questioned why they behaved or where their thought process when it comes to relationships and the act of serving men stemmed from (my feminist self could never handle) which some took as a form of disrespect.
So instead of agreeing-to-disagree, I decided to take the time out to understand my culture and history so I don’t feel like the English girl born into a Zimbabwean family and discovered some really great things about my family roots including these beautiful pictures of people in face paint. Obviously, many people would recognise it as a Beyoncé inspired look from her album, Lemonade but there are many reasons behind this cultural act which vary between tribes across the continent but I was so amazed by the beauty of this look that I decided to try an inspired look of my own using some cheap face paint and make-up instead of the usual Halloween tradition.
The look took about 20-30 minutes including the hair pin-up and I’m quite impressed if I say so myself. All the products used will be listed below the numerous selfies I took to mark this occasion.