Nollywood veteran actress Dakore Akande has revealed the struggles she went through during the course of her dreadlocks journey.
Akande, who wore long dreadlocks for 13 years until 2011, opened up during the third edition of the African Hair Summit held in Abuja on Saturday.
Akande, who is an envoy of the summit, came into limelight with the 2002 film ‘She Devil’ and currently plays one of the lead characters in hit TV series ‘Fifty’.
She revealed that at the time she had the hairstyle, only few other people had the courage to do same, adding that people thought she had mental issues or was possessed with a marine spirit, which were stereotypical for people with dreadlocks.
She added that she still went on to carry the hairstyle because she was influenced by the length and beauty of late reggae legend Bob Marley’s hair.
Akande said: “People were wondering all sorts of things and wondered if my hair wasn’t dirty. I made sure that I kept it neat and with a nice smell and soon people started warming up to the hair.
“Soon, other people started to try it and now natural hair lifestyle is a movement, ” she said.
Akande, encouraged participants, especially women, to accept themselves and the uniqueness in being African with the hair textures and skin tones as everyone has the power to influence.
“You are an influencer, you influence people. When you do your natural hair, it can inspire the next person. I didn’t know I could inspire anybody to do anything.
“I just liked locks and decided to do it. I became the woman who had locks and it made it identified. It differentiated me from everybody else.
“When you follow your inner spirit, it’s God pushing you down your path,” she said.
She condemned the usual subtle fights between natural hair enthusiasts and processed hair wearers, adding that what one does to the natural hair matters the most.
“No fights, let’s stop all the team weaves versus team natural hair fight. Because when you enlighten, you don’t have to discriminate or disrespect other people’s choices,” she said .
Akande commended the organisers of the summit, government and other stakeholders for organising the event.
She said she was satisfied with the support received by healthy lifestlye movement.
The 2018 African Hair Summit featured deliberations on ways to grow the hair economy, role of the government in the beauty industry and natural hair products exhibitions and sales.