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Sonto Pooe, talks to Bona Magazine on how she founded NativeChild

"Founder of NativeChild Sonto Pooe tells us why she started a natural hair and body care range.

1. I’ve been doing my own hair since I was eight years old. This is after the lady who used to do my hair plaited it so tight that I couldn’t sleep for a few days. I vowed to start doing my own hair. My first attempt led to me being mocked at school. But, I continued plaiting because I didn’t want anyone touching my hair. Over the years, I got better at plaiting, but struggled to find products that strictly catered for my natural hair.

2. This challenge motivated me to develop a natural hair and body care range called NativeChild. Most of the natural products I found contained chemicals, and this frustrated me. So, I decided to locally develop and manufacture my own products. As a black woman, it was important for me to develop products that cater for our skin and hair type.

3. I am proud to create products for black people. I named my business NativeChild because I wanted it to represent who I am – a proudly African woman with strong roots. I also wanted African people to easily identify with it since I created it for them.

4. The natural product industry is growing, and I’m excited to be part of it. I’m pleased that my hard work is paying off, and that my client base is steadily growing. At the beginning, finding a team that understands my vision was difficult. But through trial and error, I have finally found supportive staff members. The fact that there are many natural products on the market can be challenging, but I have managed to keep moving forward. This is because I also educate my customers about which products will work best for their individual needs."

 Written and Published by Bona Magazine and

Brendan Mullen