The challenges of an African woman living in an English ‘village’
Ko easy! It is not easy at all.
We have lived in this beautiful what I like to call a village for nearly two years. However, the stress involved with finding African food and African hair dresser is very plenty!
Luckily, we only live an hours drive away from London and our church is in London (don’t ask!) so we always plan to buy our yam, plantain, meat, pounded yam etc you name it on a Sunday. This means I have to be super organised to make sure we always have the basics especially as we always have guests. I haven’t always succeeded at this though.
To be honest, the food issue is not even half as bad as the hair palava! Up to now, I am still looking for a decent hair dresser in the area that can at a least relax my hair for me. I found one about 20 miles away that I have tried before but mehn, na to break bank do hair. Ordinary to fix tracks, this woman wanted to charge 10 pounds per track. It is not that serious. I literally resulted to paying extra for someone from London to come to my house to do my braids for me. At least braids will last a long while unlike weave. Mehn my Brazilian weaves are chilling in a bag under my bed somewhere lol chance no dey! There is always something happening at the weekends that means I can’t go to London to do my hair. It is either we have guests or we have committed to visiting someone or we have an appointment or it is a family members birthday or something sha. But really, it is too far to go just to get my hair done jare.
So all was good, until my regular hair braider that travels all the way to my village to do my hair for me announced she was pregnant and was now too heavy to travel! I felt lost! Obviously I was pleased for her and congratulated her… But, what will happen to my hair?! Luckily, at the point of this announcement, I was in London for training with work and we were put up in flats in London. I quickly found someone else to come and braid my hair for me before I returned to my village. When I took that out weeks later, my sister inlaw came to my rescue and relaxed my hair for me.
5 weeks after that… Still no solution to my hair other than washing combing and occasionally straightening it out. On Saturday, i eventually bit the bullet yo travel to me obodo Oyinbo, London, to find someone to braid my hair. She was recommended but she didn’t do my twists well. Sigh, it’s been less than a week and two have already loosened! This made me miss my hair dresser. But I just told myself to manage it.
As if she could see me suffering, my hairdresser sent me a whatsapp message this afternoon to let me know her maternity leave is up and she will be back plaiting hair from next month! I have never been happier. Plus the even better news is we are moving back to London! Wooohoooo! Hopefully before Christmas! Keep us in your prayers and watch this space.
An African woman can go back to being African freely with no more hassles!
Looking forward to being closer to my friends and actually being able to use the London transport to get about! I mean the earliest the bus on my street currently starts working is 830am by that time I am at work! It was a nightmare before I could drive because I had to get the taxi to the station on most days. It will be good to be somewhere where I have the option of driving or public transport.
You never know what you have till you lose it!