Beyond Braids


We can all agree that coffee is perfect for the body. That hair is hair regardless of where it grows. We can agree that phart smells bad, whether it came out loud or whether it was the silent one. We can also agree that a girl without braids is like a city without bridges.

Women with braids are simply the sweetest. And while I have a thing for the ladies that prefer to keep it natural, let’s agree on one more thing: braids have a supernatural way of making a lady glow, regardless of where she comes from.

Hair is believed to provide a supernatural connection to one’s self. A lady’s beauty extends beyond the braids on her head. And while in most cases a lady is perceived (or judged) by her hair; how it looks like, how it’s styled and even its colour contributes to the impression that she portrays.

It is said that the way a lady cares for her hair correlates with how she treats and nurtures her personal self.

I don’t know how you (or even how your lady) treat your hair but I know that she’s the sweetest if she keeps her braids close. Regardless of the style she chooses, braids have a way of making a lady significantly important.  They have three strands knitted together. These strands symbolically represent the strengthening of her mind, body and spirit. It is these three strands (unity of mind, body and spirit) that make a lady beautiful in a man’s eye.

A lady with a unified mind, body and spirit is naturally beautiful. She has the ability to see and create opportunities. She is smart in her thinking and in her dressing. Her talk matches her walk. She is the lady any man would introduce to friends, hold her hand walking around and feel good about it.

And while the rate of each (mind, body and spirit) differs from one man to another, a lady with braids can be spotted from a distance. The way she walks, the way she smiles, the way she interacts with people (even with strangers) paints a picture of her personality.

Braiding is traditionally a social art and because of the time it takes to braid hair, people have often taken time to socialize while braiding and having their hair braided. It begins with elders making simple knots and braids for younger children. Older children watch and learn from them, start practicing on younger children and eventually learn the traditional design. This carries on a tradition of bonding between elders and the new generation.

A girl on a date can turn up as an elder, an older braid or as a younger braid. She can also turn up with an elder, an older or with a younger braid.

When she turns up as an elder, she is a master. She has seen life through thick and thin and carries with her the ability to make tough choices. Everything she touches turns green. She takes control. If she turn up on a date with an elder, leave her. She may be beautiful but is controlled by her elder friend. She is the people you ask out but before giving you a yes or a no, she immediately rushes to consult her friends.

If lady turns up on date as an older braid, she is grown. Not just body wise, but also mind wise. She is at the take off stage. She has learnt the braiding techniques and needs a hand to hold her as she masters the art. You find her, you keep her. You take unsure chances, you lose her.  If she turns up on a date with elder braids, make them your friends too. They are her bond. From them, you will learn miles about her. She is an average of their character.

Send her back home if she turns up as a younger braid or with younger braids. Didn’t Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o teach you that a cub does not lead lion?

The words in Proverbs 16:31, indicate that “A gray head is a crown of glory; it’s found in the way of righteousness. From where I come from, we believe that as we grow older, we gain wisdom and as we gain wisdom, the strands on our hair turn grey, correlating with wisdom, knowledge and experience.

I don’t know much about you or about where you come from. I don’t know if ladies, from where you come from, keep close elders, older friends or younger friends. I don’t know if you yourself are personally an older or younger friend to someone or even to yourself. But I know that when we meet, I will try and find out who your friends are. Somehow, I strongly believe in that phrase that sums us up to an average of five of our friends.

When making new braids, ask yourself, will they play with your hair? Will they mind holding your hands and going on long walks with you? Will they join in on your random singing and tuneless dancing? Will they watch soap operas or soccer just to keep you company? Will they let out their inner child sometimes? Will they this or will they that? Ask yourself many questions because beyond just braids, some friends cross our head and change our life completely.


  1. Still on the braids and this concept, just as ladies, undo their braids we don’t unmeet some friends but we kinda cut them off or they do but the ladies install new braids again after some time, meet new friends.

    This braids comparison is one to marvel at though. Nice read Mbai!

    • I will skip commenting on your name with the hope that you are actually a tall minion. I will save that energy to thank you for the the aspect you brought in. It’s true. It’s true that one can’t undo meeting others. but just like you install new braids, you actually can meet and make new friends


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