The power of social media and presence are undeniable. A woman who uses both to amplify the importance of roots, culture and confidence is Kwena Baloyi.
Kwena (28) was born in Moletjie Ga-Makibelo, Limpopo province of South Africa. She was raised on the love and support of her family. 4th out 7 children, many hands and many hearts are how they survived tough times.
“We had family, a home and love for each other. I will forever be grateful for that. I am this far because of them.”
Growing up Kwena had dreams like any other little girl. But they never manifested as she hoped or thought. Reality was always a step ahead. Yet she never stopped dreaming.
“New dreams came true. And it looks like I was destined for all that is happening now.”
Kwena’s influence stem’s from her surroundings. She learns from the experiences of others in order to be encouraged later in life. We often forget what is happening around us, or get blinded by what we are achieving forgetting the people that got us there in the process.
“We are because of others. Reality is you need others to get through.”
Kwena is an authentic and colorful woman. She accepts herself, her skin and loves every part of who she is. Kwena is amongst a large number of creatives celebrating different African cultures. She expressed how amazing & colorful African heritage is. The knowledge of our heritage is important.
“I love being black. I enjoy discovering more and more about what we are and what we can do.”
Kwena’s focus is on the best part of herself. She has never looked to her flaws or imperfections. Her greatest strength is knowing who she is, where she comes from and where she is going.
“Bring the best of you on the table.”
As a stylist by profession, Kwena has styled numerous unforgettable looks that made waves in the fashion industry across Africa and around the world. Her inspiration comes from community, the streets, people, languages and culture.
“Where we come from has a lot of impact.”
The tension around natural hair in South Africa grew as more schools & communities were faced with unjust regulations that prohibited young women from wearing their natural hair. Kwena was fed up by the on going natural hair struggle. She took it upon herself to change society’s view of natural hair. Reproducing & wearing different hairstyles that celebrate natural hair. This liberating and powerful move challenges the perspective many have on natural hair. And in doing so birth “AfrikanKrowns”. AfrikanKrowns shine the spotlight on krowns that are unique. And celebrates cultures that embrace natural hair.
Kwena’s hope for young women, particularly young black women is that we stick by one another.
“If we can all find ourselves, tell our stories and stick together- that’s a win right there.”