Zulaikha Patel: The 13-Year-Old Student Turned Activist

Since when did black hair become a school disturbance or anything that requires “policing”?

13-year-old Zulaikha Patel has taken a stand after being repeatedly disciplined for her hair.  Patel has changed schools three times due to the code of conduct. At her current school, Pretoria Girls High School, she’s been targeted for the last two years because of her decision to rock her natural hair in an afro. She has even been ordered to straighten her hair.

Well Patel obviously had enough of the ridiculous policies the schools have tried to enforce in regards to black hair. She recently decided to speak out and lead a protest at the South African high school. Video footage of Patel alongside other young girls protesting against the racist hair policies went viral and left everyone wanting to know more about the young activist.

Patel told CNN, "The issue of my hair has been a thing that's followed me my entire life, even in Primary I was told my hair is not natural, it's exotic, my Afro was not wanted or anything like that and then the issue followed me to High School".

Pretoria Girls High School has yet to comment on the matter but after a visit to the school by the province's education minister, Panyaza Lesufi, it has gone on record that "The Code of Conduct of the schools must be reviewed and the clause dealing with hairstyles should be suspended in the meantime”.

Crazy that something such as a hairstyle is causing so much controversy. It certainly is yet another thing to add to the list of things America still hasn’t gotten right. The right to rock an afro should not be something a 13-year-old girl should have to protest in 2016.

Zulaikha Patel you are a hero. Keep sharing that black girl magic.