The social networks have been a buzz over the creation of a "natural hair" sorority called Pi Nappa Kappa. I originally heard something about this possibility a few weeks ago and thought it was interesting but didn't give it much thought. The buzz grew and within the last couple of days the controversy has evolved from a small flame to smoldering fire. I admit I was caught off guard, I didn't anticipate any controversy. I love the sisterhood of natural women I have encountered on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and on the streets of my city so I expected any effort to organize to be welcomed. Well I was wrong! Videos were emerging on YouTube from women with complaints of separatism, greed, rogue naturals to name a few. I also began to receive tweets, emails & calls about required fees, the disrespect to Greek sororities, and the cult that was emerging. Wow!
After reading over a dozen tweets , a couple of blog posts and Michael Baisden weighing in, I had to do something. I decided to research this sorority for myself and try and contact the organizer & creator Leola Anifowoshe. I began by watching a couple of her YouTube videos from 2010 with her Healthy Hair Society and viewing & reading her Facebook page. I didn't see much there that raised red flags so I decided to contact her and ask for an interview. Mrs Anifowoshe was kind enough to grant me that interview without restrictions and here is Part 1 of that interview....
Interview conducted via telephone 9/2/11 @2PM...(not direct quotes unless stated)
Mslawanda: Thank you very much for granting me this interview. I want to discuss the controversy associated with the sorority you have created Pi Nappa Kappa but I want you to know what my purpose is. I am not here to tell my readers to support or not support your efforts but to give them information that is accurate to make an individual decision.
Leola: I appreciate that and I am just glad that you reached out to me giving me a chance of an un-bias approach. I am very passionate about natural hair and educating our community on loving ourselves and having pride in ourselves. I am shocked at the attacks I am receiving from trying to unite and create a way to build a sisterhood. It has only been 7 weeks we are just getting started.
Mrs Anifowoshe believes that her passion for natural hair education and self love has fueled her desire to take on this crusade. Throughout the interview she became emotional and had to regroup.
The questions that were asked in detail were in regards to:
the fees, definition of "natural", why use the term "sorority" and risk offending the Greek organizations that have been established for years & are you misleading the community.
What are the fees?
Currently there is not a fee to join Pi Nappa Kappa, you are not required to purchase shirts, bags or any other items however: just like the girls scouts want you to wear a uniform to show your pride, advertise their presence and push their agenda so does this organization. You are required to accept their pledge and electronically sign it. (this can be done anonymously)but not a fee. Of course they want you to purchase merchandise but it is based in pride.
Will this be a rogue organization determining if you are "natural" enough?
She says no! She offers the design of the logo and the fact that it is loose and free flowing. They support a chemical free and organic healthy lifestyle and that is what they intend to promote. Her goal for the group seems to be a focus on saving the self esteem of the youth, especially your girls, and showing by example a sense of self love. The sorority is center around the needs of African Americans but your hair type or your choice of styling isn't a issue. (as long as it isn't chemically altered)
This post is longer than I anticipated so I will stop here and complete my interview details in a Part 2...please leave your comments on the blog, my Facebook page or discuss with me on twitter.