Nomalanga Shozi uses her hair as a form of self-expression and believes beauty is an inside job

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Behind The Story host, Nomalanga Shozi. Image supplied by DNA Brand Architects on behalf of BET Africa
Behind The Story host, Nomalanga Shozi. Image supplied by DNA Brand Architects on behalf of BET Africa

  • Nomalanga Shozi is known for her large afro that she grew as an act of expression and rebellion.
  • She was initially scared to try other hairstyles after feeling caged by the signature look. 
  • For her, beauty is confidence and owning your story with all its flaws.


Her energy is the kind that is almost contagious and easily changes the mood in the room. I chuckle every time I hear her say, "I am the flame, sweetie!" 

So it makes sense when Nomalanga Shozi says if there is one thing she can't do without, it is precisely that!

"I cannot be without who I am. I wear my heart and personality on my sleeve and with pride," she says.

hair, beauty, black girl magic
Nomalanga Shozi. Photo supplied by DNA Brand Architects

READ MORE | Juanita Khumalo on her hair journey and low manipulation hair care routine

The BET Africa host is known for her big afro that she recently gave a bit of a break, with good reason. Letting go of the afro look came with a bit of fear. That is what people knew her for. 

"It started to stifle me. I began to feel like people knew me more for my hair than my talent. I want people to know me for my personality, who I am and not just my afro. As much as it was my signature and is iconic, it began to be a cage," she says. Nomalanga adds when it comes to hair, she uses it as a vessel to express herself.

hair, beauty, black girl magic
Nomalanga's hair transformation knows no bounds.  Photo supplied by DNA Brand Architects


"When I was younger, my father used to force me to cut my hair. So, I used to always look at hair as a weapon to rebel. I grew my afro large, and when I started using extensions, I wore my hair largely too. But now I am playing more with sleek looks, straight and long. This is just me living out the feminine and female fantasies that I have inside my mind. And that is just me expressing what it is to be a woman, shapeshift and own every mood," she explains.

Nomalanga quickly blurts out with a disclaimer: "But I still wear the afro. No one rocks it like me. I am the flame, sweetie!" 

beauty, hair, celebrity style
Nomalanga Shozi in straight long hair. Image via @Realnomalanga/Instagram


The idea of beauty looking like what society has 'created' is something she does not conform to. For Nomalanga, beauty is an inside job.

"I know it sounds cheesy. Beauty is confidence, and it is pride in oneself, heritage and culture. Your story is your beauty because it is etched on your skin. Every scar, stretch mark, or wrinkle are what makes one beautiful," she says.

READ MORE | Zandi Nhlapo on her signature decades-old bald hairdo and unbelievable beauty secrets

The rebellion she speaks of can also be traced in her unpredictable fashion choices. She makes it sound so effortless and innate.

"I do not know how to describe my personal style because it is heavily influenced by my mood, what I am doing, where I am going and how comfortable I am in whatever I put together. So, I would say cool, creative, and me," she giggles.

hair, beauty, celebrity style
The BET Africa host in one of her fave hairdos, braids. Image via @Realnomalanga/Instagram


BET has been home for her. Now, she has taken over hosting duties from Pearl Thusi on Behind The Story season 5. 

"When it comes to BET, I think we share similar passions in the sense that we want to showcase that black girl magic. It is not just a 'thing' used on social media. It proves that you can reach great heights when you invest in your talents as a black woman, your sass, your charisma, your knowledge, and everything. As a host, I want to give quality work, and I want people to respect me for my work," she says.

Nomalanga says BET has been a rewarding platform for her because they have believed in her talent and skills. 

READ MORE | Zozibini Tunzi reminds us that confidence, much like beauty, comes from within

hair, beauty, celebrity style
Her signature look, a big afro is still unforgettable. Image via @Realnomalanga/Instagram


She says she has always trusted herself and she knew that someday the vision would come to life. The ever-confident Nomalanga has this to say to her younger self: "Continue. You are doing amazing, sweetie! Continue to love yourself even harder."

Additional information: DNA Brand Architects on behalf of BET Africa

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