What does hair have to do with my professionalism?
I am Mugisha Phoebe, 26yrs old, a Ugandan, I am a Christian.
I am not yet married and I have no kids. I currently run a fashion business called Phibz Bukori. In my free time I make tik tok videos about natural hair.
We love your Tiktok videos, what gave you the idea to get started making TikToks?
I have been a natural hair enthusiast for a long time, my friends and relatives consult me a lot about natural hair and I realized I could share the knowledge I’ve accumulated on natural hair with more people if I make videos and post them on an accessible platform like Tiktok.
Have you always been comfortable with your natural hair? What inspired you to keep it natural?
Yes I have always been comfortable with my natural hair because growing up my mum had natural hair and every one always admired her for that. However at some point (at university) I was pressured and I relaxed my hair for about a year but I hated it and eventually cut it off and went back to natural hair.
One of your videos, the one about Hair in school, spoke to us deeply. How did you come to the realization that this practice is a problem? Was it obvious to you when you were young or did it “hit” you later?
In high school a teacher forced me to cut off my hair, I was so hurt I cried a lot and it’s an experience that I’ve never forgotten. In primary we were not allowed to grow our hair but Indian kids were allowed to, at that point I didn’t really understand what this really meant but I got the perception that their hair was better than ours. And that’s the perception I don’t want little girls to have about their hair.
We realize that mindset is a huge part of what needs to be “reworked” when we think of hair. What other mindset shifts are needed? What questions should we be asking ourselves as we navigate our own perceptions about natural Hair, and perceptions of others around us?
The biggest mindset shift we need is the “African hair is unprofessional” we don’t have to change our hair to be professional, I wish I could see more TV presenters, more politicians and more influential people wearing their natural hair!
The other mindset that needs to change is the “African hair is difficult to manage” no our hair is not difficult to manage, the cosmetic businesses have made us believe this so that they can make money.
The questions we need to ask our selves are
- How did our great grand parents manage their hair before all these chemicals and products were introduced? And copy what we can.
- What does hair have to do with my professionalism?
- Was it a mistake for God to create my hair this way?
Any favorite styles or techniques to care for your hair?
My favorite hairstyle is the tuck and pin updo and also and the natural hair twists
Why do you think natural hair is important to culture in general, and Black/African culture in particular?
Our hair is one of our distinctive features, there’s no other race that has such tight curls! Keeping our hair natural shows how much we love who we are and that we don’t need to change ourselves in order to be accepted or to fit in.
Tell us more about your “patience” video, which we agree with wholeheartedly :)
Ohh the patience video! I have come to realize that one of the reasons why people complain about their hair is because they have not been patient enough to understand their hair, they are not willing to wait for months to achieve the length they want and they fall for the quick fixes like the relaxers which makes their hair look longer and straight. They also waste money on products that claim to make their hair grow faster and they end up getting frustrated.
Anything else to share with the world?
Everything God created is perfect and beautiful in its natural state, and beauty comes from within so don’t listen to people that say your hair is not beautiful. If you believe that it is beautiful then every one will see that it’s beautiful .
Where can people find you?
Thanks so much for your time Phoebe, and for the work you're doing. You are sharing an important message for all of us. Thanks for calling us all out, ever so gently :) We are inspired and know that others will continue to be as well!