African Women's Crowning Glory

African Women’s Crowning Glory

by Rose McClement

Two weeks ago, on the 27th April 2018, we as South Africans celebrated Freedom Day.  On that day 24 years ago ALL South African, of every colour, race and creed over the age of 18 went to cast their vote.  For the largest part of our citizens, it was the first time ever that they got to experience the right to cast their vote. That was a freedom that was hard won and a liberation that exacted a heavy price from many of our nation’s people.

As I cast my mind back to 27th April 1994 and scanned what has happened in our country since that momentous day, a stirring within moved me to write a tribute to African Women. As one who loves colour, texture and pattern I have often admired and been mesmerised by the African Woman’s “crowning glory”.

African Women's Crowning Glory
Nigerian actress, Ini Edo | source: Nollywood Community

Even though this blog is mostly all about interiors and all related interior design and decor “stuff”, we are going to feature some fashion statements today.

Fashion statement made by incredibly beautiful African Women. Fashion statements that I regard as a total works of art and often stand in awe of the women who wear them! I feel sure that you would have to agree, that these African women wear their “headgear” and fashion accessories with such dignity and pride, that their audience is often left breathless.

African Women's Crowning Glory
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at her 80th birthday celebration, 2017  |  source: Die Son

The style, shape, form, texture, and vibrancy of the colours – everything about the African women’s headgear is just plain stunning. The bold statement that it makes leaves one knowing that they indeed do wear their “crowning glory” with pure delight. Like I said, I regard it as a Work of Art!

We are all often so intrigued by the headwear and hats worn by Royalty, the British Royal ladies in particular! And yes, some of those hats are to die for! However, for me, the African woman’s turbans and headdress still take first prize. And as you all know, I like bold statements pieces – be it headgear, accessories, fashion or interiors!

African Women's Crowning Glory
source: Afro Voice

Staying in the spirit of Freedom Day, of the many women who have been prominent in the achieving and sustaining of our hard-won democracy and freedom, there are two whom we would bring to the fore.  The late Winnie Mandikizela-Mandela and Garcia Machel – both of whom were partners of the late, great South African liberation hero, Nelson Mandela! Winnie, in particular, was well known for her fashion statements, headdress, and beaded accessories.

They were both unashamedly Proudly South African.

Then, I have also included just a few other examples of the inherent beauty that is the African Woman, wearing her headdress like a piece of art. Very beautiful indeed!


African Women's Crowning Glory
Winnie appears at the supreme court, 1991 | source: The Guardian
African Women's Crowning Glory
source: Lauren Fletcher   |  photographer: Lauren Fletcher for Gaschette Magazine  |  stylist: Zakirah Rabaney
African Women's Crowning Glory
source: Cre8tivity by 12

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