Natural hair enthusiasts from far and wide gathered at the inaugural KroesRocks Day Out natural hair festival at the GrandWest Casino on Friday December 16.
The event was a celebration of natural hair and the natural hair movement in Cape Town, said KroesRocks founder Simone Thomas.
The movement’s production manager Vrishni Pillay said events such as the KroesRocks Day Out were not only targeted at stimulating and uplifting women.
“Most people believed, back then, that if your hair was coily, curly, kroes, that you were not beautiful. What we’ve done of late was brought it to the forefront that no matter what type of texture you have, you are still beautiful, you are still valued, you are still appreciated. We use that to be able to build self esteem,” Ms Pillay said.
“We are all about changing the narrative. That is our motto. When we say changing the narrative, it is more about being able to accept who you are to be able to change the mindsets of others,” she said.
Festival goers were treated to musical performances by saxophonist, Don Vino, rapper Youngstacpt, singer Robin Pieters and the in-house band.
Guest speakers Ingrid Jones, Afro Hair Stylist Tumelo Mpholo, and cast members from the Swirl movie and Mojam Films addressed the crowd.
Each ticket holder received a gift bag and could access masterclasses as well as receive a free hair cut from Legends Barber at the event.
Ms Pillay said that being part of the planning had been an exhilarating experience. “The turn-out has been tremendous. It’s been awesome having men, women and children come through,” she said.
“Unfortunately load shedding did come in here and there but we made the most of it. I don’t really think anyone was even interrupted by it, they just carried on and enjoyed themselves,” Ms Pillay said.
Reflecting on her own experience, Ms Pillay said she had been wearing her hair in its natural state for the past eight years and that it had been a both difficult and exhilarating journey, one that’s taught her patience, vigilance and understanding.
“Since I’ve been natural I’ve been able to approach life a bit differently, more openly, without being sheltered in any way,” she said.
Cacear Josephs of Mitchell’s Plain said she enjoyed being at the KroesRocks Day Out. “It’s been a good experience. I enjoyed the whole show. I haven’t been natural for a long time because I never used to like my natural hair but now I’m starting to like it and wear it natural more often,” Ms Joseph said.
Lizette Matthews from Somerset West said she’s been following KroesRocks since the day it started.
Ms Matthews said she did the “big chop” in 2020. This refers to when someone cuts their hair and allows it to grow back and return to its natural state.
“This has been really motivational to think that something so small can really just evolve into something this big. I came to be with my tribe and I’ve been encouraged by everyone that was here today,” she said.