Birthday Celebrations Part 3 – Sip and Mingle, Kickin’ it with the Kinks 1st Anniversary Celebration @ The Ritzy Brixton.

Hello my Cakers, Bakers and Beauties!

On 27th May 2013 after the African Market, I quickly zipped home, “held a fresh” (showered) and “put on my Ritz“, Ritz geddit?

Going off subject for a a moment I love that version of the song, I used to sing it in weekend theatre classes, such good times 🙂

Anyway back to business….

I wore a Sparkly Purple hair band, Purple comb earrings, Black midi dress and Cardigan and Black peep toe mid heels, I pulled the outfit together – literally with a belt I bought from Pebbles Wearable at the market earlier that day.

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Taken at Windrush Square Brixton,
Photo Taken by Photographer (and friend) Nicole Campbell

The evening was just as sunny as the day, we were so lucky! If you don’t live in England then you might not know about our obsession with weather, My birthday always falls on or near the Whitsun Bank Holiday, which is a public holiday in UK and we have a saying that it always rains on Bank Holiday -since it’s a day off work and rain would ruin our fun. This time of year can be blazing hot sunshine or cool, grey and rainy in fact on Tuesday 28th the torrential rain returned to the streets of London it seems I had a reprieve just for my birthday long weekend.

I met up with my friend Nicole around 18:00 and we proceeded to the Ritzy Cinema the film wasn’t due to begin until 18:30 but it had sold out a few days before.

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Congratulations Cynthia!

There is a common misconception that “Black People are always late” however that’s not scrictly true and by around 18:10 there was a long line of people queuing outside the screen 3. I had actually nipped out of the queue to get popcorn, typical hungry me, and Nicole had to come and get me bless her!

The screening was actually a double feature with a short film called “Pass the Comb”:

Pass The Comb is a short film telling the story of Jerome, a youngster in conflict and Chantelle, his older sister who uses her calming influence, reasoning skills and the cultural tradition of braiding hair on her younger brother. Each completed cornrow demonstrated the benefit of Chantelle’s ‘hair therapy’, words of wisdom and advice. (description from their Facebook page)

I actually really enjoyed pass the comb and if you get the chance you should try and catch a screening. The acting was believable and even though I have no direct personal experience of the social issues raised in the film I could relate to the protagonist and the relationship he has with his sister.

I’ve often said that hair braiding and twisting is like a form of therapy, whether you’re doing the hairdressing or having your hair done it’s a bonding session and can really connect you to the other person, that’s one of the reasons why I can’t let just anybody touch my hair.

One of my friends Melissa of Bespoke Hairstyles always says that they “are honoured to touch our African hair”, that is so amazing… a lot of hair stylists act like we should be grateful that they are touching our hair or they are even reluctant to style natural hair as it takes too long!

But I digress, again… Please accept my apologies.

The main feature “Kickin’ it with the Kinks” is a film produced, filmed and directed by Cynthia Butare, a Swiss graduate originally from Rwanda and currently living in the UK.

ABOUT THE DOCUMENTARY

Fact: In the 21st century, there is a growing obsession with a universal definition of beauty; we can safely say that ‘hair is not just hair’.

What now? A much-needed documentary, Kickin’ it with the Kinks, where Mundia explores the complexities of haircare among women and especially among women of African descent. While many have opted to be part of the growing trend of ‘going natural,’ others continue to expend enormous amounts of time, energy and money to achieve unnaturally long flowy hair.

The history of afro-textured hair is re-visited, norms derived from the same explored and the dangers of chemical products unveiled. Mundia who is a student in Manchester decided to explore the theme further to answer her own questions on wearing natural hair. She documents the reality of how much time, effort and money women dedicate to their hair and also meets with specialists who are able to give insightful points from the history of afro textured hair and the ever booming hair product and hair extension industries. This journey enables her to have insights and give her the strength to embrace her own beauty. (from their website)

I’d heard about the documentary a while ago, around the beginning of my own natural hair journey but I missed several showings in the UK due to various other commitments (and being disorganised)

It was really cool that this viewing was on my birthday weekend and so close to home.

I will not ruin the film by telling you too much about it, but I will say that it was stupendous, funny in places and eye opening. It has actually inspired me to make my own film, in a similar vein. I know nothing about film making but that didn’t stop Cynthia she just did it, on her own with no funding, what an inspiration not forgetting that English isn’t even Cynthia’s first language. 

Please check out the website and try and see the film for your self, it has been translated into French and German already for upcoming tour dates and I believe they have plans to translate it into other languages and eventually make it accessible to all on the internet.

The films had a Q&A session afterwards which was hosted by Black History Studies, a few people got to ask questions but it was a shame the Q&A  wasn’t longer.

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After the Q&A we were invited to go upstairs and “Sip and Mingle” I also bumped into my friends Ruby and Magenda on the way up, they are both rocking heads full of healthy and beautiful Sisterlocks.

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Ruby on the Left, Magenda in the Middle.

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Nicole and I showing off our pearly whites!

Upstairs we all chatted about the films and it was so nice to be with such a positive bunch of people, the room was literally buzzing.

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Ruby, Angelique (Cynthia’s Cousin) and Magenda

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This lady was wearing an Honourable Hoodie made by House of Loulee .

The Lady in the photo above is called Laura she was wearing a House of Loulee Honourable Hoodie, I know Lucy,  the lady who makes and designs the House of Loulee range and I was so happy to see her garments being worn out and about by every day people, I asked her if I could take a picture of her and she happily obliged, she also said such lovely things about H.O.L.L that I whipped my phone out and asked her to say it all again so I could send it to Lucy, the sound is quite bad, but if you want to watch it you’d better head over to the H.O.L.L facebook page.

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 I’m sorry I didn’t get a shot of this pretty cake before it was cut up, honestly it’s not because I didn’t make the cake!

It was chocolate cake with fondant icing and it was ok…

I promised Cynthia I’d make her a cake next time!

All in all I had a fantastic Birthday weekend and it was so nice to see so much beautiful natural hair, I’ve literally never seen so many women of Caribbean/African descent in London out and about embracing their Kinks Curls and Coils it was uplifting!

Thanks for reading

Luv

Sian

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