Ever since I got wind of the Kurlly Diaries annual event, it’s the one event I always look forward to every year. I joined Kurlly Diaries about 3 years ago (end of 2013) when I had my first Big Chop – it’s the term the natural hair community has coined for cutting your long hair. After I did, I was very clueless about what to do with it besides what I was seeing on YouTube. And in as much as most were goals and the content was amazing, it wasn’t realistic for me at that point. The products that most of those YouTubers were using were not locally available or if they were, they were bordering on the expensive side. So the only site I could really relate to then was Kurly Kichana, which was a blog run by two lovely Kenyan ladies whose hair was my goals!
Talk of big manes. Long, healthy, full and strong Fro’s. I loved how they loved their hair and the vibe they let out to the world. When I had permed hair, I loved my hair so much, even my hair dresser was on speed dial (shout out to Rex of Hair Art). He’s still one of my good friends to date, because that was many years of being in the drier every other weekend. I loved that I could run my fingers through my then straight hair and I could just wake up hold a pony tail or side part it and move on with life. Then one day I just got tired of it and I wanted to try out something different. Change it up. I am not one to make drastic changes on anything, whether it’s my hair, my dressing, heck, my life. But after a bit of consideration, one day I went to the same salon and asked him to cut my hair and I dyed it copper red. It looked, well ummm, different. And I didn’t know what to do with it after that.
Then a few days later, after posting a photo of me in my new small fro, my friend who was one of the admins of the Facebook Group “The Kurlly Diaries” then invited me to join the group and it was the best referral ever. It’s a closed group that’s set aside for beautiful ladies with Natural Hair who want to connect with their kind. And not just hair, even life related stuff. From the moment I joined, I encountered beautiful souls who never hesitate to give compliments where they’re due, an encouragement where it’s needed and hugs and love just because. When this year’s party theme was announced, I think I was the happiest really – because it was a Denim and Bandana party.
Guys, you have no idea how much of a lazy fashionista I am. As in I go for the most comfortable things I have in my closet on a daily. And when I identify pairings that go well together, I stick to them. I hate complications. I’m also not much of a shopper, so when it’s an ‘out of the ordinary’ theme, my mind really goes on overdrive trying to think what I will wear. But Denim and a Bandana, just had me thanking the universe and admins – Miss Wachu Wanjaria and Ess Kay! The hype before the event was a good enough hint of what you were going to miss out on if you didn’t grace the event.
I like it that the admins were very inclusive and had the Kurlly Diaries members involved in every detail of the process. From choosing the hashtags of the days event, to choosing who the winners of the different segments would be. And it was no different during the event itself, so much so everyone one felt like they were a part of party. With good music blasting in the background, the MCs ensuring that everyone was engaged with various games, Q&A sessions and well deserved and distributed awards and giveaways.
What fascinated me the most about the event is how there was a great number of beautiful women with such beautiful manes and equally beautiful souls packed up in one place, having tonnes of fun and for a moment there, living for that very moment, being so lighthearted and carefree. The vibe was so chill, with no pressure to be who you are not. From the moment you stepped in to the venue, there were so many familiar faces of people you’ve seen on the group and not that you necessarily know offline. But with no airs, people approached you with such a warm smiles and hugs, and without much of a thought, you found yourself doing same. It felt like home.
The vendors also displayed their best products and put in so much effort and ingenuity in their displays. Most of the founders are members of the Group so we already swear by some of the products and are mutual friends to many. From Bu.Ke, Harvest of Sunshine, Sheth Naturals, Saru Organics, Amadiva, Dark & Lovely and many more. I didn’t buy much because my bank account wasn’t as cooperative at the point, but there’s a good feeling when you support homegrown entrepreneurs who have created brands that are known throughout the country and even internationally. They’re an inspiration.
The set up was just as cozy as cozy can be. The theme was such that you bring along your Masaai Shuka, which you would spread on the ground and sit on. Then you would bring your own poison, i.e. drink, but wine was the main! They also had a mobile food and drinks bar, where you could grab yourself some yummy ribs/wings by African Kaya or a stiff drink of your choice by the Uptown Grill. To be honest, I was nursing such a badass hangover from the previous night, so I chose to stay hydrated.
There was a lot of creativity infused in the deco too to bring out the Denim and Bandana theme. With bandana buntings surrounding and cutting across the space. In different corners were different small elements of the theme like hay stacks and mats, sisal reeds and real denim and bandanas hang on the walls and the props at the photobooths. The wood and hay stacks gave the place a rustic feel to it. There was even a memory tree, where people had shared pictures of past Kurlly Diaries events or even pictures with Kurlly friends they had made since they joined the group and they were stuck around a tree with fairy lights. It was so dreamy. Then there was a canvas that was like a drawing book and acrylic paints, where the kids (and grown-ups too) were leaving a mark by painting bits of the sketches with the colors they felt best fit. Viewing the painting at the beginning and then later the final picture when it was all painted was quite fascinating. It felt heavenly to be honest and I’m not even exaggerating.
The MCs, Amina and Wambui, made such a dynamic duo. They were engaging, upbeat and so real. They literally celebrated everyone. It’s so inspiring when people within your Group are empowered to play certain roles and they ace at them. We also had 5 cakes, guys! 5 cakes that were baked by different ladies from the Kurlly Diaries group. Talk of a cake overload, we were sugar high! The DJ and The Photographer were dudes who did the most for us and I hope they didn’t feel overwhelmed ha ha, because we were so extra! You know us women.
We ate, we drank, we sang, we danced, we socialized, we took selfies, we just legit made merry! The event was an overall cozy and intimate one, and I bet that anyone who made it to the party made a beautiful memory that day, and more so added a beautiful soul to their friends list. It was a LIT party. I am really looking forward to next year’s party already and I hope that for the many that didn’t manage to turn up for one reason or another will definitely make some time for the next one. Of course, to a bigger and even better one and to making more beautiful memories.
It’s good to know that admist all the craziness, there are people with beautiful and genuine souls that surround you and truly want what is best for you. Strangers and friends alike.
May your new month be filled with lots of love, light and peace.