We had a chat with entrepreneur Nana Konamah, founder of a new natural haircare brand that is set to hit the market soon.
Tell us about yourself.
I was born in Ghana, but was raised in the USA. My brand’s name is Pure Persona by Nana.
Where are you based now?
Can you tell us more about your brand?
Pure Persona is inspired by the Adinkra visual language Sankofa, which means “reverting to the past” in order to reframe the future, and is born to celebrate the beauty traditions of the African diaspora passed down from generation to generation. Pure Persona continues the tradition of using ingredients straight from nature and is crafted from ingredients sourced straight from Ghana, such as black soap, shea butter and coconut oil, to support the hair from root to tip to maintain healthy growth. I tested these ingredients for three years until I finally reached a formulation I loved and felt honoured my roots.
How long has it been around?
Pure Persona has existed for as long as I have been alive! I have played around as a kitchen beautician, combining ingredients to promote healthy hair and skin. I began working on Pure Persona by Nana as a brand back in 2015 and it will launch in late 2018.
Which countries do you hope to reach with your brand?
Pure Persona by Nana will launch in Ghana primarily. We hope to reach other parts of the continent by the end of 2019 – namely Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya and South Africa.
What is the one city in the world in which you’d love to live?
Dakar, Senegal. I feel that in my past life, I was a Wolof queen!
What inspires you?
Black people, especially black women! We are so lit! The sheer determination and fortitude of black women across the globe has me in total awe.
What message would you like to spread?
That each individual has inherent worth. Our worth is not a consequence of our achievements. Our worth is based on the fact that we exist, a person by reason of mere existence is worthy. We are worthy!
In one sentence, what advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
No-one has this life thing figured out, so do not make gods of people, because they are on a journey just like you!
Which album/s are you currently listening to?
I’m listening to Sabrina Claudio and H.E.R albums at the moment.
What is your all-time favourite book, your current read and number 1 on your wish list to read soon?
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (Vintage International) is my favourite. I am currently reading a few books at the moment: Brit(ish) by Afua Hirsch (Penguin), Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore (Platkus Books) and a couple of business development books. I want to read Michelle Obama’s upcoming memoir and Barracoon: The Story of the Last Black Cargo by Zora Neale Hurston (HarperCollins).
How would you like to be remembered?
I would like to be remembered as a person whose light brought out the shine in others; someone who brought forth the light in others.
What does representation mean to you?
Representation means fairness and freedom. Visibility is not enough. Representation is when typically marginalised people are given the full freedom to explore and have ownership over spaces that were typically denied them. It means a fair world where people’s ideals and humanity are not denied to them because of some made-up construct fear caused us to uphold.
Who would be your ideal mentor?
King Solomon from the Bible, because he was the wisest man to ever live.