A Modern African Woman

There’s nothing that makes you more self-reflexive than going back to your birthplace. Nigeria has got me thinking of the different ways I’ve been influenced by my heritage, while trying to figure out how I can give back to my country. Since this trip has shown me a much more modernized version of Nigeria than I’ve seen on previous trips (I mean, I’m writing this post from a hotel with continuous wifi… honestly didn’t know that existed!), I’ve also been thinking about the growth and modernity of Nigeria in relation to my own personal growth. Call it somewhat of a mid twenties crisis, but I’ve just got all these thoughts about my purpose and identity!

I'm a Modern African Woman | KlassyKinks.com

OUTFIT DETAILS

Top: Strawberry | Skirt: Custom-made from ankara bought in Nigeria | Jewelry: Guess watch, bracelets from Kenya | Shoes: BCBG Generation via DSW | Hair: Shannon of Loop Salon, Atlanta | Photography: Kaye of 7th Street Studio

So what’s a modern African woman? African prints like the ankara one I’m wearing in these photos have definitely made it to high fashion, showing up on runways and celebrities over the past few years. Truth is, Africans have been wearing their traditional clothes in modern ways for years. It’s standard practice in the village for my grandmother to wear a t-shirt and an African wrapper on a daily basis, so this whole white tee, ankara print skirt thing I’m doing isn’t a new concept.

I'm a Modern African Woman | KlassyKinks.com

What’s new is that African prints are being used for more Western clothing shapes: skirts, crop tops, jumpsuits, maxi skirts, etc. I’m here for it all, and when thinking about what image I wanted to portray in my new headshots, I immediately knew I had to wear something African print to not only pay homage to my roots but to embrace my identity as a modern African woman.

I'm a Modern African Woman | KlassyKinks.com

Outside from fashion, a modern African woman is a powerhouse. She lives comfortably in any city, having mastered some of the most difficult ones (if you can sit through Lagos traffic every day, where it takes 3 hours to get to work in a normally 30 minute trip, or you’re used to losing electricity at any given moment, you can survive anything). She’s hustling in one way or another, as African women have been doing for generations. She creates new opportunities for herself, and shares them with her friends, as African women have always known there was strength in numbers. She might have 2 phones, an iPhone and a BlackBerry, but she can also get down and dirty and chop up some vegetables for a local dish. She can wear 5 inch heels or walk barefoot through her streets. She is not defined by a man, nor by her appearance, but simply by her ambition and her innate survival instinct to make it in a world that doubts her abilities.

I'm a Modern African Woman | KlassyKinks.com

That’s what I think of when I imagine the modern African woman, and that’s who I’m starting to embrace in myself!

What do you think of when you envision a modern African woman? Do you consider yourself one?

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Comments

    1. Thanks! I actually think it’s a conversation that needs to happen first amongst African women – and it’s cool that some (Chimamanda being the face) are opening doors for the discussion

  1. Loved the article. It is a perfect example of a modern African woman like me, especially as we have both had a childhood of traditions and and education of the western world. The mix is a unique and happy place to be.
    I love choosing to embrace both as they represent me.
    You look so graceful.

  2. Love it! A Modern African women is tenacious, adaptable, confident, generous and unapologetic about her heritage. She can sip Earl Grey Tea with the Queen of England yet still serve it on bended knee to her relatives in the village. She is not bound by what the world expects her to be. I am determined to be that Modern African Woman.

  3. Great post! I would also consider myself a modern African woman. I think that a modern African woman living abroad (specifically America) is one who knows to take the good from both cultures and to merge them together for a new identity that is truly unique. We straddle two worlds (any African who grew up in the states with strict African parents knows this) and we have to know how to take the best and make the most of this merging.

    AmaBemma.blogspot.com

  4. Yes, I do. I can weathered any storms that comes my way. It’s may get difficult but through faith and God I will come out.

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