Celebrating Identity and Heritage: The Power of Hair in Nana D’Artist’s Poem

In the powerful poem by Nana D’Artist, titled “My Hair is More Than Your Perception of Me,” the artist beautifully captures the significance of hair as an integral part of one’s identity. Through vivid imagery and cultural references, the poem explores the deep-rooted connections between hair, heritage, and self-expression. As a Berlin-based creative writer hailing from Ghana, Nana draws inspiration from music, personal fantasies, and socio-political experiences, infusing his work with conscious and sincere afrocentric imagery. Join us on a journey of discovery as we delve into the profound message conveyed through the artistry of Nana D’Artist’s poetic expression.

by Nana D’Artist

My Hair Is More Than Your Perception Of Me

My hair is more than your perception of me
My hair is an inseparable part of my identity
With my hair, I’m not just simply Black
I’m not just simply African

My hair is the string that attaches me to my tribe
before I even became part of a nationality

My hair holds a legacy passed down to me
Thats why you can still see depictions of me on
the walls of pyramids

My Maasai hair shares their beauty and royalty
with that of ancient Egyptian Pharaohs

When you see me majestically walking around
with my low cut dancing crown
dyed with charcoal, know that I’m an Akan Queen

I use my hair to express myself, my creativity
My pride, my honour

My hair is a non-vocal message
It can portray my status:
Maybe I’m married, maybe I’m not
Just like in the Himba tribe
my hair alone can tell you
where I stand in my society

I may let the fibres of hair clog up into locs
to embody my spiritual belief
even if they don’t appeal to eyes

Cornrows and braids are examples
Of how my hair mirrored agriculture and nature
before they became my route to freedom

My hair may look curled or straight today
braided or shaped up tomorrow

No matter how my hair look
just know, they are coded strains
Intertwined to my scalp
representing the richness of my History,
Ethnicity, My genuine Self and my Creativity

My hair is greater than your perception of me
My hair is the reflection of my past
The mirror of my present
And the projection of my future

The Crowns project is a celebration and exploration of African hair art in collaboration with art director Larteyley von Hippe, photographer Marlen Stahlhuth from MADWOMEN collective and hair artist Fatima York

„I had an idea to create a book about African historical hair art. I shared it with Larteyley and Leni of MADWOMEN. When we spoke I found out that they were working on photographing African people and their culture. So we decided to collaborate and see what we would come up with.“ – Fatima York for infringe.com


Nana D‘Artist is a Berlin-based creative writer, who was born and raised in Ghana. He started writing around 2003. Nana’s poems are inspired by the fluidity of music, personal fantasies and socio-policital experiences around him and his environment. His poetry is conscious, sincere and tinged with an afrocentric imagery, giving an unique sound to it’s metaphorical delivery.