to be African, to be Woman, to be Creative, to be Fashionable, to be Intelligible, to be Beautiful.....to be IMARA

imara by Mshana

This is the canvas and the pages on which I curate and display the life I wish to create for myself and other liminal hu-women like myself. I explore here my passion for fashion, present my literally inspired visual arts, write my visual arts inspired written works, share my linguistics, travel diaries, show my finding comfort in food, and heck, whatever else I feel like... Welcome and enjoy!

I cut my hair


new edgy looks


OMG! I did it! I cut my hair! I have wanted to do this for a while actually but I didn't trust the barber shops oversees so when I came home, I made sure I'd do it before I leave.

But why exactly did I want to do this you might ask. Well, simply because I wanted to 😂. More so, because I wanted to experience how it feels like to liberate myself from body image expectations. In Tanzania, people make concrete judgments of character based on people's hairstyles or styles of dressing. I have lived my  whole life following these societal imposed definitions of appropriate dress but I am finally choosing to liberate myself from them. I can have my hair like this and not be a hooligan...because I am not a hooligan. I am just a girl whose edges got damaged and is trying to regrow the sides of her hair. When they grow back, I will have my hair shaved evenly. In the mean time, I would like to experiment with styles. Is that too much to ask? 

 It is my life long goal to liberate and decolonize myself. In line with this goal, I am choosing to unlearn shame this year...and I am starting with the hair. I like shaving my hair like this and I would love to do it without having someone think I am a hooligan. We always find ways to tie negative connotations to a woman's body and I feel like living inside a woman’s body shouldn’t be a humiliating affair. These are the only bodies we have, and I am choosing to be comfortable in mine. Even if it means looking like a hooligan in the process.