Vixen Feature: Simply Jaqueline

''All that remains is the opportunity to do what has never been done so well before'' - Jacqueline Ntephe

-What’s your name and where are you from? 
Jacqueline Ntephe. I live in London but was Born in Nigeria, Jos. Igbo Kwenu.

How has being natural affected your life? How do you feel about this natural hair “movement”? 
Although I have only been 'natural' for one year, I find it odd that the act of black people wearing their hair in its natural state is being referred to as a trend or movement. A lot of my girlfriends are natural and all of my male friends are either indifferent to the movement, or prefer girls with natural hair.
I personally get many more compliments. It sounds cheesy but I do feel more confident with natural hair and that sort of thing radiates.

How long did you transition for? Any tips you want to give to readers, tips you wish you would have known when you were transitioning.
My decision to go natural was not premeditated. I literally just got tired of my perm one day so decided to cut all of my hair off. I love short hair so was comfortable with my pepper grains until my hair started growing. I cannot give transitioners advice in this respect, but I will say only 'big chop' when you are absolutely ready to commit to the pepper grain struggle!

Do you have staple hair products? If so what are they? 
Cuntu leave in conditioner and Herbal Essenses Hello Hydration make me weak! Everything else I use is homemade.
Hard as it may seem how would you describe your hair and the regime you use to maintain it?
My hair grows and breaks more or less at the same rate no matter what products I use so I don't fuss too much. The only real difference I notice is softness and manageability. I deep condition with egg honey and olive oil or avocado honey and olive oil, and co-wash with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration.
My hair? Show me a man tougher than Nigerian hair.

What IS fashion to you or FOR you?
Society is currently enjoying a culture of individualism and self-expression. However, everyone is trying so hard to look different and excentric, that they all end up looking the same. Money can buy style but not imagination. Fashion to me is being yourself and wearing whatever the hell you want. So what if it is recieved as ugly? People are going to talk anyway so might as well give them something to talk about.

When folks say “Natural Hair Ain’t For Everybody” or anything that can be construed as negative about natural hair, what words would you like to share with them?
How can your natural hair not suit you? How can the hair you were born with not suit you? Say you prefer weave or perm. Say you are not confident enough to wear your hair in it's natural state, but do not say your natural hair will not suit you. If anything it is the weave or perm that shouldn't suit you.

“Big Tings A Gwan” are definitely in the works for you. Care to talk about any future events or projects coming up?
I am the co-founder of Xpertise, a business which customises clothes and accessories. As both designer and tailor, we manipulate and re-invent garments and fabrics, and explore vintage and African concepts. We thus distinguish ourselves from other designers and retailers. Xpertise will soon be launching our online boutique and showcasing our first official collection. We believe we can revolutionise the fashion retail industry.

Sometimes when we get into a relationship we can lose our sense of “self”.  Some advice on how to maintain your identity while in a relationship?
From my experience, if you are in a relationship and feel like you are losing yourself maybe you are not with the right person? Your partner should highlight your good qualities and help you bring them to the surface. But then again I'm only 20.

Sexuality is celebrated here on The Vixen Box through “The Clitoris Taboo” series on the blog, meaning women’s sexuality is a “taboo” subject . What IS sexuality? (Not what do you like sexually or do sexually!)
I don't think I have explored my sexuality enough to know what sexuality means to me. Yet.

Music is such a great medium? What and who are you listening to now? 
I listen to anything that sounds good. But hands down my main man for the past two years has been Kendrick Lamar.

Here at The Vixen Box, health and fitness is major. I know for me I am working on getting myself right physically and emotionally by eating clean and incorporating exercise into my life. What do you do as far as health and fitness to stay or reach a level of good health? 
I do not work out or have a particularly healthy diet. I have never really been motivated to adopt this lifestyle because I'm quite slim. I give it two more years for it to catch up to me!

Do you meditate? If so, do you mind sharing how often and what the benefits have been for you?
I do not meditate often but I did go through a period where I meditated almost every day for a week or so. It was an experience I was sharing with somebody to help them through a weird time and it is quite difficult to do, but I found it extremely euphoric. We used youtube tutorials to help us meditate.

- Describe your blog and how readers can get in touch with you.
Through establishing my blog I have been able to appreciate art and fashion more. I use it as a medium to share myself, my photography, and images/concepts that interest me.

What makes you a Vixen?
I am a Vixen because I adore myself. I have found inner peace with the help of God and no longer let the fear of people's perceptions dictate what I wear, do or say.

Favorite Quote:
''All that remains is the opportunity to do what has never been done so well before'' - Jacqueline Ntephe

We think individuality is celebrated here…. but in sometimes in others reality it is not true. What words of encouragement would you give someone who is having a hard time not being part of the status quo and is unapologetically unique?
As I said, people will criticise you for one thing or another anyway so you might as well give them something to really talk about. Do whatever makes you happy! Spend time exploring the things that interest you. Allow yourself to be cultured. I think the most difficult thing in life is to truly find yourself but I believe people should spend everyday trying.

Thanks to Jaqueline for sharing with us on this Vixen Feature, make sure to follow her on instagram.

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