Published: 00:00, 14 November 2016
A hair blogger turned children’s author is hoping her first book will get dads spending more time with their daughters.
Tola Okogwu’s story is inspired by the bond between her two-year-old daughter Elizabeth and her husband Goziam.
Goziam has taken on the role of being the toddler’s chief hair stylist, and that formed the basis of the aptly titled Daddy Do My Hair.
“Dads don’t really do their kid’s hair, especially black dads, because Afro hair is a bit complicated,” said Tola, who moved to Ingress Park in Greenhithe shortly after Elizabeth was born.
“I have to leave the house for work at 5am, so my husband gets her ready and takes her to nursery.
“He was willing to learn how to do Elizabeth’s hair and it really impacted on me because at that moment the phrase ‘daddy, do my hair’ hit me.”
“Fathers have said to me that it’s really great to see a story about fatherhood, and I really hope that the book is something that gets fathers to spend time with their kids" Tola Okogwu
Tola set up her own publishing firm, Florence Elizabeth Publishing, to get the book published, and the gamble has paid off.
“Fathers have said to me that it’s really great to see a story about fatherhood, and I really hope that the book is something that gets fathers to spend time with their kids,” said Tola.
“My husband reads with Elizabeth whenever he can, and when fathers are active in their children’s lives it really helps their development.”
Elizabeth is already a very keen reader. She loves going through books with both mum and dad, who take her to the library every week to borrow something new.
Some of her favourite books are rhyming stories in the vein of the classic Dr Seuss adventures of yesteryear, and that preference had a big impact on Daddy Do My Hair.
“When I read with Elizabeth we do go towards rhyme. We are big fans of The Gruffalo and my husband is a musician so music has a strong influence in our household,” said Tola.
Tola is a journalism graduate and her hair blog has been a huge success since she set it up six years ago.
Titled My Long Hair Journey, it started after Tola began using the natural product shea butter and was amazed by the difference it made to her hair. She now reviews various products.
Daddy Do My Hair: Beth’s Twists is available to buy online from Amazon, Waterstones and WHSmith, priced at £6.99. You can also pop into your local book store to place an order.