So imagine walking up a curved driveway to a lush green lawn where you are welcomed with smiles and a drink of your choice. Drink in hand, you begin to walk up a series of stairs to a plush boutique location otherwise known as Black Olive, an events company overlooking the breathtaking panorama of the suburb of Northcliff, bedecked with touches of orange, white and green. Oh, and accents of gold…let’s not forget the gold! Upon reaching the balcony, you have your photos taken in front of a beautifully set up background that’ll leave you wanting to take as many photos as you could possibly imagine before heading in to mingle with the who’s who of the natural hair community in Johannesburg.
Sounds like heaven, yes? Well, that was the exact setting we were treated to at the first media launch of one of Africa’s leading hair care products, Nilotiqa. Now if you’ve been around the natural hair community without even as much as an inkling about Nilotiqa…Sis, where have you been hiding? Seriously though, let me dive into a bit of their background story as eloquently described by none other than its founder and the first speaker at the launch, just so you have a better idea of who Nilotiqa really is.
Nilotiqa (pronounced Nigh-lo-tee-ka, for those who are wondering) was founded by its CEO Thokozile Mangwiro, a wonderful woman who strove hard to find products that help our kinky curly hair stay as moisturised as possible, making it easier to maintain and as a result, found a massive gap in the market. It is undeniably hard to divorce her own hair journey which spans 15 years from that of Nilotiqa’s story because honestly, it has a major role in it and boy does she have gorgeous locs! But I digress. Through years of research, various formulations and countless product testing, Nilotiqa was formed using the choicest organic and natural ingredients that really speak to the age-old adage within the natural hair community which is “If I can’t eat it, it’s not going on my hair.”
This is a brand of products whose humble beginnings did not involve a kitchen and mixing ingredients as commonly known in the natural hair community – although there’s nothing wrong with brands who start out that way, I think it’s very important to note that. Much thought and years of hard work has gone into the formulation of what we know as Nilotiqa today, a brand that truly sets itself apart from others in your favourite aisle in Clicks (yes, you can purchase it there!) and it is because of this that we can be proud of Thokozile Mangwiro’s determination and unique contribution to the natural hair care space within South Africa and Africa as a whole.
Founder and CEO of Nilotiqa, Thokozile Mangwiro, giving a speech.
The story of Nilotiqa was followed by Mimo Mokgosi’s beautiful narrative, the second speaker and the woman behind Nilotiqa’s campaign. Now let me tell you something…before this, I only ever knew of Mimo through Instagram, it would be an understatement to say she is doing things. She is doing the things. If you know her story, her victorious struggle with Hepatitis, constantly being in and out of the hospital, then having to undergo a liver transplant and being not only a survivor of liver transplant but also an ambassador of Hepatitis then you’d know why she and Nilotiqa partnered up. Nilotiqa loves strong women with a one-of-a-kind story to tell because it harmonises with their own story of what it means to have true grit. And that’s something the vivacious Mimo Mokgosi imbues…strength, grit – and spunk.
Hair demo by Smangele and Mimo Mokgosi and the final result. Hair goals, guys, hair goals!!!
We then gathered around to see a hair care demo by Smangele of Indalo Nubian Naturals with Mimo Mokgosi as the testee, featuring Nilotiqa’s Detangling Cream – side note, we were all amazed at how soft Mimo’s fro was. This was the time to really chat about our kinky curly hair and pose questions to Smangele, because hey, this woman is not only the owner of one of the most renowned natural hair salons in Johannesburg, she really does know hair. Our hair. That kind of knowledge just cannot go untapped.
That food was amazeballs though! And the set up was just all kinds of impeccable…
If at any point in time we thought we were being pampered we had no idea what we were in for when we were invited to a short break for lunch which consisted of divine finger foods comprising of ingredients like shrimp, avocado, chicken kebabs, Amarula and yes, water amongst others. I mentioned this in my Intagram stories, as someone who doesn’t drink alcohol I’m always chuffed when events think of adding water to the drinks list because more often than not us teetotallers tend to have to sit through 2-3 hours of an event without even a drop of anything to drink while everyone else moves on with their merry lives. It’s the little things that count, hey and it’s just a testament to how much thought was put into this particular event.
The launch ended with one last speech by Nyaki Tshabangu, the brains behind Natural Hair Co who spoke a little on the aim and purpose of Natural Hair Co in regards to their work with housing various bloggers and influencers within South Africa – a group of beautiful young women that I am proud and honoured to be a part of. Honestly, if it weren’t for Nyaki, this post probably wouldn’t exist. Just as much as her speech concluded with lauding Thokozile Mangwiro for a work well done, I think it’s also important to recognise the amount of work Natural Hair Co puts in behind the scenes. They really do quite a stellar job.
Goodies, goodies, goodies!
All in all, the first media launch of Nilotiqa was great and far exceeded whatever expectations I thought I had. While Nilotiqa was what we came to celebrate, it felt amazing to be amongst a group of women who’s common goal is not only to learn more about a spectacular brand and learn more about hair but also to share all of the invaluable gold we learned with our respective followers. From the welcoming drinks, to the speakers, to the food, all way to meaningful conversations and connections that were created as a result – and let’s not forget the goodies! Nilotiqa really outdid itself and all we can say is “Bravo!”, we can’t wait to see how you continue to grow to levels even beyond your imagination.