The Story of Mama Taku’s Butters
Who am I?
I am grace in the face of impossibility,
I am love in a realm of toxicity,
I am joy and abundance in scarcity,
That is who I am.
Commune with me and let’s bring forth a higher energy.
My story began when I was a child, growing up with a kinky afro in Zimbabwe...
My upbringing was nothing out of the ordinary. The common pattern with hair care was to keep your hair in a protective style (which would be changed weekly) until you were old enough to relax* it (around 13 or 14). An unrestrained afro was looked upon with disdain and thought of as unkempt and untidy.
I didn't put much thought into this until I arrived in New Zealand at 12 years old. Suddenly I was the only black person in my school, with afro hair and a number of other distinctive features. My otherness triggered a deep introspection within me about who I was.
My hair was a big part of this inquiry. I realized that I had not been taught how to take care of my hair. I had not learned to listen to its needs or nurture it in its expression. Rather, I was taught to assume the role of drill sergeant who forced my hair to comply at any cost, by straightening it into submission, or hiding it with endless protective styles.
At 22 I decided to cut it all off and start again.
Growing my hair back was an unlearning and a re-learning. Initially, I found myself falling back in the same patterns. One day I took breath and thought to myself - what would happen if I actually took proper care of my hair?
That question led to many YouTube videos, Google searches, books, experiments, failures, successes, and, finally, to this moment where I am mindful in my practice and I know my hair well. Now, I embrace my hair with all its eccentricities. I also realise that there is nothing wrong with straightening my hair or wearing it in a protective style, but it must be done out of conscious choice rather than feelings of inferiority.
Toni Morrison writes "if there's a book you want to read but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it."
I started making my own hair butters because I could not find any products that worked well for my hair. I soon realised that I was not alone in this sentiment and many people with textured shared this frustration. My mission is to cater to the unmet needs of those with textured hair.
If you have kinky, curly or coily hair - Mama Taku’s Butters is for you.
Each butter is handmade in my kitchen with natural ingredients. The butters are brewed slowly, carefully, and with a lot of love. When i make them, my deepest intention is to transform your wash day into a sacred communion with the textures in your hair.
I invite you to embark on the healthy hair journey with me.
*relaxing hair is a method of permanently straightening it.