Lewiston book launch with Edna Denize de Carvalho Sebastião 

Ernest Ndayisaba 

Each year, artists in Lewiston exhibit their creations on the last Friday of September. On September 29, 2023, Edna Denize de Carvalho Sebastião exhibited her newly published book, Kindumba Kyawaba (Beautiful hair), outside the Angolan Community Association office on Lisbon Street. 

Author Edna Sebastiāo (l) joined by her niece Ana Ferreira at the launch of Kindumba Kyawaba (Beautiful Hair

Who is Edna Denize de Carvalho Sebastião? 

In 2019, Sebastião arrived in the U.S. from Angola, where she had spent approximately 20 years of her professional career working in the financial sector of the oil and gas industry. She has four children: three girls and a boy. 

Since youth, she has been interested in natural hair care, and at the same time has battled with her own kinky, curly hair. Her oldest children, twin daughters named Zara and Zora who are now in their twenties, also struggled with their hair for many years, and this inspired their mother to deepen her search for a solution to natural hair care. Finally she created a hair care routine based on natural products, which allowed her to care for the hair of her youngest children and save them from the same struggles as their older sisters. 

She dedicated her book to her daughters, and to all other girls around the world who are growing up with kinky or curly hair – and believing that their hair is not beautiful, thinking that their hair can’t grow long if they wish, and above all not valuing their hair and seeing it as a “princess crown.”  

Serafim Yssolo (l), whose work is included in Edna Sebastiāo’s book Kindumba Kyawaba (Beautiful Hair), is joined by fellow artist Daniel Minter who stopped by the book launch on the way to his own gallery show opening and reception at L/A Arts

After creating a routine that worked for her family, Edna’s next step was to try to make the lives of other girls, women, and mothers easier so they didn’t have to experience the same years of struggle, anxiety, and self-doubt that she and her older children had been through. She created the product line Kilumba Kyawaba, designed specifically for the hair of Black people and specially formulated for children’s hair care.  

The plant-based ingredients help reinforce the health of the hair, soften it, and extend its life. The recently launched book takes the reader step by step through the process of caring for children’s hair, and aims to teach children how to care for their own hair. Edna strongly believes natural hair care is greatly beneficial, including changing people’s perspective and well-being.    

When Edna Sebastião is not working, she likes to spend time with her family, travel, learn new things, and cook healthy food. 

At the book launch, Amjambo Africa spoke with Zola Fernandes, who uses Sebastião’s Kilumba Kyawaba products for his hair. Originally from Angola, Zola has been in Lewiston for five years. He encourages natural hair care for Black people, and says not only girls and women should use natural hair care products.  

Author Edna Sebastiāo greeted well wishers and and signed books at the launch of her book Kindumba Kyawaba (Beautiful Hair)

Amjambo Africa also met Palmira Africano de Carvalho, one of Sebastião’s extended family members, who said she is proud that her relative produced a book that will make life easier for mothers and children. Carvalho said that since during her  childhood, her own mother used natural products to care for her hair, and recommends that all mothers consult the new book. 

Both the hair care products and the book can be purchased through Amazon (Kindumba Kyawaba: Beautiful Hair), on Instagram (@mukwa_curlynaturalhair), or by mail (Kilumba Kyawaba, P.O. Box 7248, Lewiston, ME 04240). A website is under construction.