Royal Hair Salon


Botho Project Space is proud to present from 9 September to 2 October 2021, Royal Hair Salon by Nikiwe Dlova, a grand statement of African pride and a restored sense of luxury and royalty with an art exhibition that elevates the influence of African hairstyles to an evolved interpretation of grandeur and richness.

The show brings Nikiwe’s anthropological vision to life, aiming to preserve the ongoing human story told by the craftmanship of hair through needle work, embroidery, weaving and creative hairstyling. With the hope of reigniting a passion for the practice of hair in the youth of Africa, the versatility of Nikiwe Dlova’s medium opens a field of possibilities for all people to connect and engage around cultural and spiritual traditions.

Though hair plays a communal role by making a social and spiritual statement, it is inherently a deeply personal experience. For Nikiwe, hair is meditative work and is a means to transfer positive energy and a prayer to another. The show is curated in a way for visitors to reflect on their own hair journey.

Royal Hair Salon is also a declaration of the strength and positivity of Black identity. Historically, hair has been stripped of its essential nature, with attempts to sever the Black community from the expression of culture through hair. Nikiwe Dlova’s exhibition appreciates and praises the potent beauty of hair and the importance of protecting and preserving Blackness through braiding. The continuity of braiding has been a mark of Black resilience. Braiding techniques are a source of strength and a symbol of the creativity that we show to the world. Communities have come together through the messages, which braided hair relays. Current braiding styles incorporate various cultures; however, the final style will always carry the creative communicative language of a particular community.

The exhibition is enhanced by the collaborative incorporation of Andile Buka and Sindiso Nyoni. It incorporates the power of digitization as Nikiwe consistently pushes and interlaces timeless hairstyle techniques with the modern age, propelling the exhibition into the future. Our Botho website houses the intricate research done by Nikiwe for the show, allowing one to fully immerse in the richness and beauty of the history of braiding and how it is powerfully translated into the Royal Hair Salon.

 The Royal Hair Salon has been built with the support of the French Institute.

 “Our mission is to support multi-­disciplinary art and cultural projects; and The Royal Hair Salon achieves this through multiple mediums. It is important for us to support a project that celebrates African heritage in all its magnificence. We know that this collaboration will have a positive and long-­‐lasting impact on the audience.”-­‐ Selen Daver, Cultural Attaché for the French Embassy of South Africa.

 Nikiwe Dlova biography.

 About the French Institute in South Africa (IFAS): Over the 20 past years, IFAS has worked with multiple public and private partners in South Africa and in more than 30 African countries, prioritizing the development of skills and ecosystems for innovation in the cultural and creative industries sector. With each project, IFAS develops unique collaborations with the shared goal of making the exchanges between the countries within creative industries more rewarding, complementary, dynamic, innovative, creative, and ambitious.

About the Embassy of France in South Africa: The Embassy of France in South Africa serves as the main representative office of the French Republic, headed by Ambassador Aurélien Lechevallier. The Embassy works to build and strengthen cooperation and collaboration between South Africa and France in various fields, including politics, education, culture, and business. This is done through close relations not only with the South African government, but also local businesses, non-­‐ governmental organizations, the media, and educational institutions.

Anna Reverdy: +33689643926 –
Mpho Mdluli: 0820933503 –


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