Tabitha Tongoi & Craving Yellow connecting African women worldwide

Tabitha Tongoi & Craving Yellow connecting African women worldwide

Featured photo obtained from Craving Yellow Facebook page

CulturalPulse is proud to introduce our very first international contributor, Tabitha Tongoi.

Currently living in Nairobi, Tabitha is the brains behind Craving Yellow, a platform dedicated to sharing love and sunshine with her audience.

Using beauty as the premise to bring people together, Tabitha and Craving Yellow aim to create a safe space for women of colour.

We spoke to Tabitha to learn more about her story and her work. Have a read below!

While Tabitha Tongoi was growing up in Nairobi, she was raised with the values of always looking out for others, to reach out and to have an impact on the wider community.

From founding a project raising 50,000 books for schools across Kenya, to teaching and inspiring children in Kibera, the largest slum in sub-Saharan Africa, to encouraging women to embrace their natural beauty, it’s clear these values have stayed with Tabitha throughout her life.

While living as a member of the Kenyan diaspora, living in countries including South Africa, USA, England and Australia, Tabitha started up Craving Yellow as a way to share her experiences of living abroad with others in the same position.

“The challenges we go through are so universal but nobody is talking publicly about what we are going through, and I really just wanted to create a safe space for us because I needed it so much myself while I was transitioning to living abroad,” she explained.

I think the one thing that surprises you when you move from your home country and then move to somewhere like America, is that suddenly your race and cultural ethnicity is everything.

“For me that was so strange because I never grew up thinking that that should be our primary identity, so I had to adjust a lot both mentally and psychologically.”

Photo obtained from Craving Yellow Facebook page

Since launching in 2014, Craving Yellow has gained a combined following of over 118.6K on Facebook and Instagram, and over 4.5 million views on her YouTube videos, connecting women all over the world through a common theme – beauty.

One of her main areas of focus is natural hair, but this tends to have a far deeper meaning for Tabitha and her audience.

“What makes you stand out in a place like America is your hair, because for a black woman, that’s the one thing that is definitively different about you from any other race,” she said.

For me, that is a part of our female body that has been used to discriminate against us even more, or to make us feel even more foreign or even more exotic.

“It’s a space for self-reclamation when someone can say they’re going natural, that they’re going to love their kinks and curls, and they tell themselves they are beautiful and believe it.”

Photo obtained from Craving Yellow Facebook page

Having now returned to Nairobi, Tabitha is currently on a journey of self-discovery, as she tries to find out what the next steps are for Craving Yellow as she transitions from being a diasporic Kenyan to a Kenyan who has moved back home.

Keep an eye out for her first article on CulturalPulse soon.

For now, follow Tabitha and Craving Yellow on Facebook HERE, Instagram HERE, and subscribe to her YouTube account HERE.

Anisha Mistry

As the Editor of CulturalPulse, Anisha is passionate about listening to, writing and sharing stories of Australia's multicultural achievement. Got a story to tell? Get in touch: [email protected]