It's a new chapter for former Generations and The Queen actress Zenande Mfenyana.
The popular actress cut off her long locs after growing them for 20 years.
In an Instagram Live video she shared on her page, Zenande explains that she had been dreaming of having dreads since the days of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, and how growing them out was a dedication to her late brother, who passed away in 2001.
“So, I’ve always wanted to have dreadlocks. These have always been an ode to my late brother uYongama. When The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill came out, that year – I know I am that old – he said, ‘oh my gosh you’d look so amazing with dreadlocks’… and because I live and breathe him, I would literally fantasise myself with dreadlocks and [think], ‘I actually like it’,” she explains in the video.
Fans might remember the 37-year-old actress as the cunning Noluntu on Generations and, since her big TV debut on the acclaimed soap opera in 2011, she has always been associated with her signature waist-long dreads.
READ MORE | Hair Inspo | How Zenande Mfenyana and 8 other celebrities style their locs
Zenande shared just how much her locs meant to her with her more than 1 million Instagram followers, explaining the issues she faced in high school where teachers had issues with her natural hair, leading to her determination to get her locs after matriculating in 2003 in honour of her brother.
Social sciences studies continuously emphasise the importance that natural hair holds in the Black community. Black women and men have historically been discriminated against and marginalised for their natural hairstyles like dreadlocks, and activists like Zulaikha Patel have continued to advocate for the fair treatment of Black people when it comes to their hair.
This is not the first time Zenande considered doing the big chop.
In a tweet from May 2020, she writes “I thought I would have cut my hair by now, but I figured my daughter picked me like this when she was choosing her Mama, so the locks stay.”
I thought I would have cut my hair by now, but I figured my daughter picked me like this when she was choosing her Mama, so the locks stay ?? I don’t want her to give me the side eye when she meets me for the first time ??— Zenande Mfenyana (@Zenande_Mcfen) May 26, 2020
READ MORE | Enhle Mbali debuts a bald haircut - an expert shares bald-cut basics and scalp care tips
Family and celebrity friends, including Sophie Ndaba and Lunathi Mampofu, took to the comments to express their shock and praise at Zenande’s milestone.
After debuting her own bald-cut journey, Enhle Mbali also took to the comments in support of Zenande, simply writing “Mama” coupled with a few hearts.
TV presenter Pearl Modiadie writes, “Happy New Year mama!! Lots of blessings all around for your new beginning!”
Zenande’s sister Akhe Mfenyana commented “I’m soooo shocked!!! I literally spoke to you this morning… but you look so beautiful. You just reminded me of 2002 Zeni… Really looking forward to witnessing your next chapter.”
Describing her hair has her best friend, Zenande is ready to say goodbye to her past self and begin a new era.
“I’m about to change my life for the better and I welcome all the love, all wealth, all the wisdom that I’m going to acquire on this journey that I’m about to undertake without my hair,” she says.