Zulaikha Patel : Hair is Political | 16

Oct. 23, 2023

Zulaikha Patel is a South African anti-racism activist. She is Best-Selling author in South Africa for her children’s book My Coily Crowny Hair  which affirms black Afro identity. At at the age of 13, she became a symbol of the fight against Pretoria Girls High School's policy regarding black girls' hair in 2016 that prohibited Afros, dreadlocks and braids.  

Growing up to an Indian father and black African mother, she tells the story of her parents choosing each other, of her experience in white high school and of being rejected by her paternal conservative muslim side because of her blackness among other powerful stories of her activism. She explains how— Racism determines your outcome in life, your healthcare, your education, your job, your transport, your tax bracket, everything is based on your race. 

Learn also about her morning routine and don’t miss the question at the end if she is a heartbreaker or heartbroken. 

Her words of wisdom

  • Inform your activism with your country's laws
  • Choose you, and be at the steering wheal of your life
  • Keep your fire lit
  • Associate with people who get you and lift you up
  • Pick where you mingle
  • Your intuition is your guiding compass: Listen to your intuition
  • Do your To-List  in 3
  1. what you need to get done
  2. what you hope to get done
  3. what you have to get done (the later as priority order)


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