Hello people…Being black in the world of fashion is not easy…In short being black influencers isn’t as well (let me leave that rant for another day)..
Khoudia Diop aka Melanin Goddess is my Woman crush any day all day. Earlier this month she celebrated her Wolof heritage is a gorgeous photo series.
Senegal celebrated it’s independence day on April 4th!
Titled, NYENYO, the name of the caste her family originates from in Senegal, she represents an element of her identity she’s not only proud of but embraces fully—and looks like a queen while doing it.
“Nyenyo, also known as ‘teug’ or ‘ngengo,’ are the blacksmiths and metalworkers of the Senegalese caste system. In her family’s case, they are jewelry makers and gold workers,” Victory Jones of The Colored Girl says in a press release. “Although caste systems are used as a stringent class system, and cultural identifier to maintain hierarchy in many different cultures in parts of the world, Khoudia embraces her Nyenyo heritage and doesn’t see the label as a hindrance. Rather, she sees it as part of the fabric of her identity, her family’s history and the overall story of her people.”
Check out her interview on Okay Africa here
Mom sa reew ! Means Independence in Wolof Senegal Independence means a lot to me… we’re freed from certain restrictions placed on us, and can do what we dreamed about as a people, and most importantly really express and be ourselves!
NYENYO, also known as “tegg” or “gnegno”, are the blacksmiths and metalworkers of the Senegalese caste system. My family is NYENYO. I am NYENYO
TAKAAY. Means Jewelry in Wolof. My family are jewelry makers and gold workers. My grandfather helped build a huge horse monument, called Malaaw in Dakar! The monument is a giant horse and represents loyalty between the kings and their animals.
GUEENTKAT Means Dreamer in Wolof. I discovered so much about myself, and my culture has had a huge impact and importance, on my journey to self-love..From loving my upbringing, to the bullying then seeing the world outside of Senegal.
LINGUERE Means Queen in Wolof. I was taught to carry myself as a Senegalese woman… with respect for her elders & heritage; honor, and really about the woman you are, and how you carry yourself and treat others. This is why I think beauty is much more than appearance… It’s the way you care about yourself and others.
ALLAH Means Goddess in Wolof. Senegalese Wolof women are mostly dark skinned, beautiful, respectful, joyful and hardworking! We also love music, dancing and dressing up!
FECC Means “dance” in Wolof…Senegalese women really love music and dancing. Mbalax is my favorite!
RETANE Means Smile in Wolof. My Senegalese roots mean so much to me… it’s very personal. I love my country, my culture, my heritage. It is home and also a major part of who I am.
DIAAMBAR Means WARRIOR in Wolof. Senegalese women I look up to are Mariama Ba, author and feminist, and the “NDER” women. The NDER women defended their village when enemies attacked because their men were gone!
MBUSSOR / TAGGAL Means Headwrap in Wolof. This campaign represents the Muslim side of Senegalese women… what queens used to wear. The jewelry was a must so they could be identified as wealthy, and attractive or sexy. Also, the black tattoo lip was a trend that use to take place at the middle of a village. It was a sign of beauty, bravery and “obedience”!
TAAK / NGUALAM Means Golden in Wolof. In my (Nyenyo) caste, women only get piercings done with gold, because they say other metals don’t heal! And babies that are pierced with gold are called BÉTÉ-BÉTÉ, which means : pierced with gold.
TERANGA Means Welcome in Wolof. Life is very relaxed in Senegal. Basically, we don’t worry about many things, and it’s called the country of “teranga” (welcome) where everybody cares about their neighbors.
TAAR Means Beauty in Wolof. I want to make women realize the power they have, and not let any beauty standards make them change who they are. We are all beautiful!
Model/Muse: Khoudia Diop
Photographer: Joey Rosado
MakeUp Artist: Moshoodat Sanni
Creative Direction/Agency: The Colored Girl
Article written by: Victory Jones
PR: Tori Elizabeth
The Senegalese traditional wear and make up are just on point. I can’t get over the stunning pictures!! Wow….
Keep Reppin’ Africa..