Pains, pleasures and curiosities

Tää on sit peruukki, nii älä vedä mun hiuksii

I said to him, before he slid into me. Looking back at him, feeling his hands grip my waist. Bracing myself, warning him. 

He didn’t care. We had a good time.

• • •

“​Otatko sä sun letit pois, kun sä meet suihkuun?​”

Curious children huddled around me, pulling at my braids.    


“​Entä kun sä meet nukkumaan?​”   


“​Miten sun hiukset kasvaa noi nopeesti?​”

I would get asked this whenever the length of my braids changed dramatically. A mystery my white peers could never crack.   

“​Ne vaan kasvaa.​”​

I never bothered to explain. Why are they so concerned? 

copyright © Fiona Musanga 2020


A collection of memories — a semi-autobiographical text which follows Musanga’s relationship with her hair from her childhood to her 20’s — was submitted to a writing competition hosted by Ruskeat Tytöt and Kustantamo S&S. The topic for the competition was hair.

Musanga’s text won second place. The submitted texts will be compiled into a book which will be published by Kustantamo S&S in 2021. A collection of memories is 5 pages, here is a snippet. The text is in English and Finnish.