November 2011- Tomeka in Trinidad Giving Back
Tomeka is just returning from Trinidad where she was asked to be a part of “Healing Through Hair”. This mission was headed by Janel Sealy-Smith, the owner of CocoaMane Salon in NY. A group of stylist/ educators went into the Prison in Trinidad to style the hair of the women prisoners. Tomeka James and Nikita Smith were amongst the 4 stylist. This was a time to speak with them, get to know them, and motivate them with and without words. There were women who were selected as the recipients of the hair styles. Anyone who was not selected still received a treat. There was a minister who ministered to the rest of the women. That’s not all they received. Superstar Cherri Dennis and some local celebrity singers entered the prison with the stylist and minister to sing for the women. This was a day to remember. Tomeka styled the hair for a woman who was set to be released the next day. These women were in a Cosmetology program so they were able to learn about the techniques used by the stylists. They asked a lot of questions and received a lot of answers. They had all types of services done from hair cuts, ponytails, hair additions, lashes, eyebrow waxing, and more. The treats did not end at the prison. A selected few were able to attend the hair show at the Hilton hotel which was filled with fashion and competition. Some of them were a part of the show. They designed a few show pieces (outfits made of hair). The women were also able to attend the educational classes. Tomeka shared her own technique “Mekani” weaving and the “Invisible Part Custom Wig” technique. There was no exchange of money for this event. This was strictly community service. We all must do something for someone else without having your hand out all the time. We will be lucky to see this event continue in the years to come.