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Photo by Simon MAINA / AFP) (Photo by SIMON MAINA/AFP via Getty Images

Kenya's Speaker of the National Assembly Justine Muturi (L) looks on as Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan (R) addresses a joint Parliament session of Members of Parliament and Senators in Nairobi on May 5, 2021.

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan Makes Amends With Kenya

President Samia Suluhu Hassan has visited Kenya to mend relations which were severed during the late John Magufuli's mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tanzania's first female head of state President Samia Suluhu Hassan has reportedly made amends with Kenya. This, after Kenya had closed its entry point to the neighbouring country during the late President John Magufuli's mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hassan visited Kenya earlier in the week where she presented her address in Kenya's parliament and followed mask-wearing protocol throughout her entire two-day visit. President Hassan's move marks a political breakthrough for the two countries after Magufuli's persistent COVID-19 denialism.


Read: Tanzanian President Announces New COVID-19 Task Force

According to the BBC, Hassan's Presidential address in Kenya was in Swahili, a native language in both countries. The Tanzanian President eloquently made cultural analogies to drive home a point about the effectiveness of adhering to mask protocol.

"We're here everybody with masks on our faces - and when I see people with masks on faces it reminds me in our village, when we go and do the herding with the goats, we protect them [with a muzzle] from eating the crops on the way… so we cover them the same way we are doing today… we have to do it."

Hassan's first initiative as President was to implement a special COVID-19 task force following the government's lack of initiative under Magufuli. Magufuli's denial and lack of proactivity against COVID-19 led to Kenya closing entry points between the two countries. Hassan continued to reemphasise East Africa's strong regional trade influence, and strength, by alluding to one of the world's greatest spectacle of the wildebeest migrating across the two countries seasonally. Her approach to mending and strengthening relations, between the two countries, came with some comical charm as Hassan played with her last name Suluhu and Kenya's president's name Uhuru Kenyatta. Suluhu meaning solution and Uhuru meaning freedom.

Hassan's address also touched on celebrating Kenya's cultural uniqueness. She commended the Kenyan parliament's milestone decision to have its proceedings in Swahili from November 2020 — despite widespread criticism that Kenya's Swahili is a diluted version of Tanzania's Swahili. The two-day trip was admittedly a success for reconciling Presidential relations.

Magufuli died on March 18, aged 61, following a two-week mysterious sickness. He had been re-elected for his second five-year Presidential term a few months before his death. Hassan, the former vice-president, was inaugurated on March 23 and took over the remainder of Magufuli's second five-year term.

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Pictures courtesy of Maeva Heim

Maeva Heim is the Founder the Beauty Industry Has Been Waiting on

The 31-year-old founder of Bread Beauty Supply is changing the conversation around haircare for textured hair.

It's nearing 9 p.m. in Australia, and Maeva Heim is dimly lit from behind and smiling warmly at her computer screen, ready to talk shop. We're here to discuss hair care, namely her brand Bread Beauty Supply, and how black beauty has made the globe smaller.

The 31-year-old is the founder of Bread Beauty Supply, a haircare line that encourages all textures and curl patterns to come as they are. "We don't want to tell you what to do with your hair. Enough people do that already," Heim says of Bread's brand philosophy. "We are just here to provide really good products for whatever you want to do with your hair at any point and not dictate to you how things should be. We're just women making the good products. You're making the good hair, and that's it. We're not here to define the rules."

But it's impossible to talk about recent strides in beauty products for textured hair without talking about the summer of 2020. In the weeks following the murder of George Floyd in the United States, a crescendo of cries rallied through global streets asking for not just equality but equity. The world watched with scrutiny as black boxes filled social feeds and brands made pledges to diversity. Those calls pinged from executive boards to the shelves of some of the world's largest beauty retailers. Meanwhile, after years of formulation, fundraising, and perfecting formulas and ingredients during a global pandemic, Maeva Heim introduced Bread beauty to the world in a perfect storm of timing and execution. The July 2020 launch filled a wide gap for Black beauty between homemade beauty products and behemoth beauty brands as Heim focused on an often under-explored direct-to-consumer middle.

Lauded on social media for their innovative packaging and nostalgic scents (the brand's award-winning hair oil smells like Froot Loops), Bread is a brand that makes hair care basics for not-so-basic hair. Typically, women with textured hair have not been included in the conversations around the idea of "'lazy girl hair" with minimal and effortless maintenance and styling - something Heim wanted to change. Part of Bread's mission is deleting category terms from the brand language – e.g. 'anti-frizz — that the brand feels unnecessarily demonizes characteristics that are natural to textured hair.

Photo courtesy of Bread Beauty

Born and raised in Peth, Western Australia, to an Ivorian mother and a French father, Heim grew up as one of the few Black kids in her neighborhood. Her days weaved between school and helping her mother run her braiding salon, one of the only of its kind in 1990's Australia. From sweeping floors, answering phones, and assisting with product orders, Heim's introduction to the world of beauty was rooted in the practice of doing.

Heim would go on to study business and law at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia, before working in marketing at L'Oréal, followed by an internship at Procter & Gamble in Singapore. But it wasn't until her relaxer exploded in her luggage during a flight between New York and Chicago that she began to think seriously about not only her personal hair journey but also about the beauty industry's gaps.

After ditching chemical hair-relaxer and returning to her natural texture, she pitched her idea to Sephora and, in 2019, was selected as one of the first-ever Australian participants in the Sephora Accelerate program, securing a launch deal for both in-store and online.

But what's most striking about Heim, aside from her penchant for focusing on the brand and the consumer, is her focus on the innovation gaps for Black beauty products. Uniquely shy on social media but poignantly focused on every nuance of her brand and serving Bread's prior overlooked customer base, Maeva is the founder the beauty world has been waiting for.

*This interview has been condensed and edited for length and clarity

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