Showing posts from September, 2013

Cancer awareness: the untold stories

Modern cancer research owes a great deal to one African-American woman and her immortal cancer cells.

Her name was Henrietta Lacks. After her untimely death from cervical cancer at just 31 years old in 1951, doctors discovered that unlike other cancer cells, hers would live on when cultured and fed.

Going back to ma roots

Today, I learnt that my hair is heliotrichous - very curly – for those of you not in the know. I also learnt that the use of the afro comb dates back 6,000 years and engenders extraordinary symbolism.

For example, in my country of origin – Ghana – the dua’afe (wooden comb) is linked to femininity and beauty. 

In Egypt, women would often cover their hair with wigs to ‘protect’ their womanhood as it was linked to fecundity. It also defined their social status.

It appears that Egyptians modelled their hairstyles on their Nubian neighbours and much of the stylings that we see today can be traced back to Sudan, Madagascar, Nigeria as well as other ancient African kingdoms.

This information was just a snapshot of what I gleaned from a small but hugely inspiring exhibition on the humble afro comb in the heart of Cambridge, England. 
The free exhibition Origins of the Afro Combs - 6000 years of Culture, Politics and Identity, curated by Sally-Ann Ashton at the Fitzwilliam Museum, is on until 3 Nov…