For all who fasted may your prayers, sacrifices and fasts be accepted.
I spent a bit of my teenager years in Mombasa and I really love the coastal culture.
From the food – mapochopocho, pilau mbuzi, mabuyu etc.
The music – taarab, bango.
And the dressing – hijab, buibui, kanzu, kofia.
So this conversation about Hijabs is not entirely random.
Basically I wondered how it is to be a hijabi, young and trendy and so I engaged two of my Muslim friends in their early 20s on their hijab stories.
They both opted for anonymity so they shall be S.G and S.A :-).
ModerateKenyan – Why do you wear the hijab?
S.G – *hmmmm* Because it is mandatory from a religious perspective. Also from my culture women wear the headscarf. Hijab is about decency.
S.A – *smiles, crosses legs, adjusts buibui* To conceal. Hijab means to cover. Necessary to cover one’s beauty. Personal choice. Save men from impure thoughts. Feel at peace when covered up. There is more respect when you are covered.
ModerateKenyan – When did you start wearing the headscarf?
S.G – When I was very young. My mum trained me how to wear it.
S.A – At 10. But since I went to a Catholic school and had to follow their rules I would wear hijab only on the way from home to school.
ModerateKenyan – Do you ever feel uncomfortable or get into trouble for wearing hijab?
S.G – When I was in high school. Went to a PCEA school. The rules said no hijab so if I wore a hijab I would get into trouble.
S.A – We are not in France. *laughs* But after an attack – Westgate, Garissa all eyes are on you, you are searched more and basically profiled because of the hijab.
ModerateKenyan – Ever considered not wearing the hijab?
S.G – *laughs and laugh* Yes I did! When I was in university. At USIU. I have really long beautiful hair and there were times I would want to show it off and the great make-up. So for a month did not wear hijab. Got so many compliments on my hair and looks. But Muslim friends would ask me what was going on. Also felt individually guilty. So resumed wearing hijab.
S.A – *shock* Doing away with my hijab is like doing away with my religion. Doing away with a part of me. No!
ModerateKenyan – Is hijab a choice or a must?
S.G – It is a must. In the Quran there is a whole Sura on hijab.
S.A – It is both. It is a personal choice that makes me confident, happier. It is also a religious obligation to cover up. Protects me from so much. If I remove then I am living a double life.
ModerateKenyan – Does it save on hair cost?
S.G – *lights up and really laughs* You have no idea what happens underneath. A married woman has to fix her hair to look good for her husband but me? I can have rastas, matutas, anything. And it is okay and no one knows.
S.A – Oh my! It so does. You have no idea. What is a bad hair day? And what are these things people put on their hair ati sijui weaves? No thanks. Lemme be covered with my hijab.
ModerateKenyan – Fashionable hijabs. Do you wear them? Why? Is it not a contradiction?
S.G – It is wrong. Hijabs should be decent, simple and plain. But I am young! As long as I am covered up then I feel it is okay to go for a fancy, colourful and trendy hijab. It is a tough balancing act. *shrugs*
S.A – Purpose of a hijab is to cover. One is not meant to stand out. One is meant to blend in. But then hijab does not mean you do not look good or you do not look trendy or fashionable. I am a woman. I want to look good. So balance is to ensure you are fashionable but decent. Not easy but I am trying.
My curiosity was sated and I also got an insight on hijabs.
We are more alike than we are different but ignorance is a huge hindrance to our cohesion.
GOD BLESS KENYA!
ALLAH BLESS KENYA!