Nandi Madida attends the Natural Hair Academy Conference. (Courtesy of
Nandi Madida attends the Natural Hair Academy Conference. (Courtesy of

The natural hair movement continues as a cultural phenomenon as the Natural Hair Academy in Paris hosted the world’s largest natural hair convention.

Aimed teaching black women how to own their own hair-care products, promoting self confidence and showcasing cultural art through black manes, more than a few thousand people including singer, actress and BET Africa host Nandi Madida showed up to participate in the empowering event.

“Natural hair means everything. It means loving your skin — who you are, your self-esteem — and it is paramount,” Madida said. “It is not a trend, it is who we are.”

While access to capital still remains a large issue concerning black-owned beauty products and businesses, the recent hair event also offered solutions to black entrepreneurs including tackling investments, a major struggle for the black market.

Ugandan Children’s Choir Stops in Chicago

Uganda’s Watoto Children’s Choir, a group of 18 talented orphans that perform in different parts all over the world in order to better their lives, recently stopped in Chicago for a special performance.

Aubrey Hudson, the choir’s communications director, ​said the organization has cared for nearly 2,900 orphans over more than 20 years, emphasizing that each child in the choir has lost at least one parent.

“These children go from living on the streets or being abandoned as babies to being given holistic full-time care and physical necessities,” Hudson said. “They also receive education and are given job opportunities when they graduate. So we’re really setting these kids up for the future in hopes that they will give back to the community in Uganda.

“What’s really cool now is that we’re seeing children who came into the program as babies graduate and get jobs,” Hudson said. “Our first Watoto child graduated last year and is now an accountant in downtown Kampala, which is the capital of Uganda.”

Senegal Pushes to Fight Child Abuse

Mariama Sarr, Senegal’s Minister of Women, Family and Childhood, recently announced the country’s initiatives to accelerate the protection of children.

Sarr said during the 27th African Child Day and the 29th National Child Week that various measures were being taken to help combat “the abuses, violence, exclusion and the worst forms of child labor in the country.”

Sarr said the national director of the NGO Plan International and the head of the United Nations Children’s Education Fund have all made a commitment to support the government’s actions in protecting the children of the country.

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Lauren M. Poteat

Lauren Poteat is a versatile writer with a strong background in communications and media experience with an additional background in education and development.

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