It was her hair which drew me to ask CEO of Dziffa.com , Dziffa Akua for a feature on #MyKpenkpeshie. Not only was it indescribably gorgeous but it was one which I noticed she wore proudly and for a long period. She wasn't doing it for the hype but for herself.
OQ: Tell us more about what you do.
Dziffa: I have an online marketplace for authentic Ghanaian-made products which I source from local artisans across the country. I work with these artisans by providing them with a platform to sell their crafts anywhere in the world.
Their products ranges from wood-carvings, bowls, baskets, masks, pottery products, cosmetics, etc. It’s basically going to be a shopping centre where people can buy their made-in-Ghana directly.
OQ: Your hair always looks so easy and manageable. What is your secret?
Dziffa: I mostly use shea-butter and coconut oil. My hair is really thick so its not hard to manage especially when I do big twists at night and remove it the next day. I don’t have a hard time managing my natural hair.
OQ: What inspires you to change your hairstyles?
Dziffa: My hair is actually a way to express myself sometimes. Sometimes I just feel like letting it down or having it in a ‘fro, I just go ahead and do it. If I feel like going bald I will just go ahead (laughs!) but I am in Ghana and I am trying to be conservative. I change my hair based on how I feel.
OQ: So how do you feel now in your new do?
Dziffa: Errr… I think I feel very.. in all sorts of creatives and traditional so I am like, lemme do something I haven’t seen in awhile. Let me try and see how it works and thankfully I was able to get it done. And being in Ghana, getting your hair done is so much cheaper. I will rock this in a while, this will be my look for 2016 till I get bored with it.
OQ: What were people’s reaction to this look?
Dziffa: It was admiration because it’s different. It’s not a look most people have seen. Interestingly, people thought I wasn’t Ghanaian. They thought I was Malian because they think East Africans rock this. A few times I heard some people speak in Twi, “Ah, ofiri Ghana anaa oy3 America ni?” Generally, I think when people see others trying to overly embrace their heritage, it’s assumed they are coming from outside. So yeah, it’s been mostly admiration.
OQ: How long have you been natural?
Dziffa: 6 years now. I went natural in 2010.
OQ: What made you decide to go natural?
Dziffa: When I decided to go natural it wasn’t sexy then. In 2010 around my 18th birthday, I just called my grandma to go with me to the barbershop to have it all cut off. I think no one in my immediate family was surprised as it’s the kind of thing I would do. My friends were more surprised and couldn’t help asking if I was depressed or heartbroken. Such drastic changes almost usually meant that I had gone through some form of experience. I made Dziffa my first name on my 18th birthday, I had just cut my hair and I think I was reading a lot of MalcomX so I felt all like ‘I gotta get my heritage!’. I started seeing more people also going back to their natural hair. It was also cheaper for me when I cut my hair as I only had to wash it once a week. When I had the perm I always had to wash and set every week for like $20. I was a student I couldn’t afford $20 dollars everyday.
OQ: What are your favourite natural hair products?
Dziffa: I like Cantu products. But mostly I use shea-butter from Peini which is very natural and I got a huge coconut oil gallon from my friend Yaw last year! Right now I am keeping it simple with these two ingredients. Chale, I am an entrepreneur oh! I cant afford to be trying all kinds of products, you know what I mean?? Lol!
OQ: Do you think you would ever relax your hair?
Dziffa: Hmm.. no! I don’t feel a need for it. There’s a lot I can do with my natural hair which I cant get with perm. I twist it sometimes, let it out, etc but with perm it doesn’t get like that. I also have a sensitive scalp which sores up when I perm.