What did Brenda “Mabrrr” Fassie and Lebo Mathosa have in common?

The duo’s music legacy has been fairly documented but not much has been said their love of blonde hair – the hairdo that failed to impress our grandparents when the deceased Mzansi black female divas turned it into a trend in the 90s.

Their disapproval was influenced by the fact that, as darkies, blonde hair on a black person was seen as outrageous and unAfrican.
Besides, it was rare to meet a black girl with dyed blonde hair around the villages and townships.

Meanwhile, city girls were always up-to-date as far as latest fashion and hairstyles were concerned.

Whatever their idols – Brenda, the Vulindlela singer, and Book Shaka star, Lebo – wore on TV while performing, it instantly became fashionable.

Since the passing of the most talked about artists, South Africa is still struggling to produce quality divas that could be matched with Lebo, who died in a car accident in 2006 at the age of 29 and Brenda, Brenda the Afro-pop queen who died in May 2004 at the age of 39.

Nonetheless, their legacy of blonde hair lives on. Celebs are still seen in the spotlight with a dyed blonde hairdo or wearing a blonde wig, which always brings back memories of the late singers who popularised this trend while they were still alive.

What’s even more fascinating is that even male celebs are often spotted in public with a blonde hairdo.

We take a look at celebs who followed in the footsteps of Brenda and Lebo in the hair department, who look stunning with a blonde wig or dyed hair.

Celebrity stylist and socialite Iko Mash has been flying the blonde flag for a while now. As someone who also keeps tabs on international beauty trends, he cautions that it takes guts to pull blonde hair off. “If you’re going to rock a blonde hairstyle, you need to have the personality to carry it off and make it look hot. You need to know your story very well.

“Blonde looks good with lots of style and confidence, Iko said.
He added only stars like Khanyi Mbau, Amber Rose and the late Lebo Mathosa were able to make it look as if they were born blonde.
“Young people who like to make a statement can wear blonde any time… as long you know that it’s an accessory on its own and if you get it wrong, you’ll look like a floor mop,” Iko added.

Isaac Letele, a celebrity hairdresser, believes the trick lies in getting a good hairpiece and matching your blonde weave with your tone.
“Light-skinned people will not go wrong with blonde unless it is done badly.
“It’s all about the make-up, wardrobe and attitude. Not anyone ca rock blonde like a rock star,” Isaac said.

How are black blonde viewed in the workplace? Talent Resourcing executive Joan Hefer was surprising with her impression when she interviews a black lady with a blonde hairdo is: “Wow! She is daring, has confidence and is a risk taker.”

Joan said a black woman would not necessarily be judged on her hairstyle but on her ability to do the job.

Kgosi Gosiame Seatlhong, a traditional leader of the Barolong Boo Tribe in Letlhakane, defends traditionalists who are not impressed with these new trends.

“Changing hairstyles means you don’t appreciate who you are instead of maintaining your own identity,” he said.

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