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Activist and author Zulaikha Patel launched her first book, My Coily Crowny Hair, which aims to empower young girls to embrace their natural hair.

Zulaikha Patel Celebrates Black Hair With New Book 'My Coily Crowny Hair'

News of South African activist Zulaikha Patel releasing a new children's book titled 'My Coily Crowny Hair' had us leaping for joy.

Zulaikha Patel is releasing her debut book, a children's title aptly named My Coily Crowny Hair, which aims to encourage young Black girls to embrace their natural hair. The book's foreword is written by fellow South African and Coming 2 America actress Nomzamo Mbatha. The young South African activist was thrust into the media spotlight at age 13 for calling out outdated racist hair policies at Pretoria Girls High in 2016.

Read: Lupita Nyong'o Shares New Audio Book Adaptation for 'Sulwe'

My Coily Crowny Hair explores the diverse presentations of Black hair. Through this book, Patel wants little Black girls to remember and know that their hair matters — no matter what shape or form it comes in. The book, she says, was inspired by her own experience of having to fight for her identity and expression at her alma mater, Pretoria Girls High. Patel also reflected on how fighting for her right to wear her afro instantly thrust her into the activism space. "I wanted to ensure that no other Black child that comes after me should ever experience this severe form of intimidation," Patel explained during her Kaya FM on April 14, 2021.

The famous photograph of Patel defiantly standing up to her white headmaster immediately went viral on social media and landed her a mural in Johannesburg. Her bold stance became the image of #StopRacismAtPretoriaGirlsHigh which caught the world's attention, including civil rights activist Angela Davis.

Efforts to suspend discriminatory hair policies in schools that insist on maintaining Western ideals are still ongoing. The policies admittedly rob Black girls of their confidence, self-esteem and overall identity. My Coily Crowny Hair launches on May 8, 2021.

Preorders are available at CNA.


This Compilation Shines a Light On East African Underground Music

We talk to a few of the artists featured on the Music For the Eagles compilation from Uganda's Nyege Nyege.

Nyege Nyege, a label in Kampala, Uganda is channelling the confidence brimming over a whole continent. Africa is no longer the future. For dance music, its time is right now.

Music For the Eagles is a compilation released in conjunction with Soundcloud to showcase the best new acts that East Africa has to offer outside the mainstream. A new wave of artists firmly blasting non-conformist energy for you to spasm to. Music that takes you places. Otim Alpha's high BPM wedding frenzy of incessant rasping vocals accompanied by feverous violin will have you clawing the walls to oblivion. Anti Vairas' dancehall from a battleship with super galactic intentions doesn't even break a sweat as it ruins you. FLO's beautiful sirens call, is a skittish and detuned nursery rhyme that hints at a yearning for love but reveals something far more unnerving. Ecko Bazz's tough spiralling vocal over sub-bass and devil trap energy is an anthem that can only be bewailed. And Kidane Fighter's tune is more trance-like prayer. These are only some of the highlights for you to shake it out to.

We got to chat with a few of the artists featured on the Music For the Eagles compilation as they took a break from the studio below.

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