I was invited to Amsterdam to conduct a headwrap demonstration. Crystal Afro of United Kinkdom accompanied me to also present a talk about natural hair.
Day 1 – Friday 29th May.
The apartment where we stayed was in an area called Zuid-Oost. It was surprising to see that the neighbourhood was very diverse with many Africans from Ghana and Nigeria and those who were from the Caribbean originated from Suriname. They had set up their own shops and community. We were happy in ‘The Hood’
International Natural Hair MeetUp – Saturday 30th May.
The meetup in Amsterdam was organised by friend Gisele. I first met Gisele at Respect the Fro in 2013. She sells natural products and hair items online. Check out She Sells
The venue was really nice and set out on 2 floors. As soon as you walked through the door you were greeted by one of the SheSells team. We were given a VIP band and made our way upstairs to the main event room. We sat in a few of the presentations which were in Dutch, and spoke to the presenters afterwards who explained the overall. But with the images on the overhead projector we kind of guests what they were discussing.
There were many nice stalls selling apparel, African inspired goods, childrens books, adornment, natural water utensils, natural hair products. I met mum and daughter selling Ghanaian goods. So we are going to link up in Ghana in November.
Crystal Crystal gave a 30min presentation which covered a variety of topics from cleansing, styling, and hair care. She also was part of the bloggers panel and answered questions from the host and the audience.
Head Wrap demo There were many volunteers who wanted their head wrapped but I carried and demonstrated a few styles. Those were lucky to get free material also.
We managed to grab some food and talk to the guests, vendors. The event was well organised and we were graced with a big goody bag with some great products and samples.
Day 3 – Sunday 31st May
There was another event nearby our area, so we popped in and looked around some stalls before heading to Central Amsterdam to do the tourist thing and also to see Crystals friend who was starring in Dreamgirls. It was raining but we didn’t care. (pics). I have been to Amsterdam before when I went to Rotterdam Carnival. We spent the evening with Gisele and her husband tucking through a take-away and returned back by car to the Central Amsterdam for a quick tour.
Day 4 – Monday 1st June.
We returned back to Central Amsterdam . We did plan to do a canal boat ride which was about 1hr half, but due to the time of our flight we postponed unit next time. We went around the shops and came across a shop called Safon – which sells natural body creams, oils, soaps, aroma, candles. There was an astonishing water contraption in the middle of the shop. We all had a lovely hand salt scrub. I took loads of pictures as I definitely want one of these built in my garden in Ghana.
We went back to our apartment to hand back the keys to the landlord, straight to the airport and before you knew it back in London. I am looking forward to meeting some of the guests who wish to be travelling to London this year. And also returning to Amsterdam again to visit and conduct several more workshops. Give thanks to Gisele for hosting a great event and taking us around Amsterdam. Give thanks to Crystal for accompanying me and having so much joke watch this space.
We shall be back in ‘The Hood’