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Bozoma Saint John’s Latest Nail Art Is A Lesson In The Symbolism Of African Prints

Bozoma Saint John’s Latest Nail Art Is A Lesson In The Symbolism Of African Prints


African prints have inspired quite a number of creative works around the world and the beauty industry has not been left out especially through African print nails. Not too long ago, the Ankara nails was a hit but the Ankara is not the only African print you can use when it comes to a creatively peng manicure.

On that note, Ghanaian trailblazer Bozoma Saint John recently flaunted her fabulous African print nails and went ahead to share the symbolism of the African prints which inspired the nail designs by her nail artist, Quisa.

Bozoma took to her Instagram page to share this and also to let us know the importance of washing our hands in this era of coronavirus. She also shared that washing her hands does not in any way affect the look and longevity of her nail art.


She captioned her post thus: “And you already know, we paint with intention… so below are the ancient meanings behind each print. And I know y’all have time to read all of this while you “social-distance” yourselves…”

Here’s a look at the prints and their meanings…

1. Kente


This is an Akan royal and sacred cloth worn only in times of extreme importance and was originally the choice fabric for kings.⁣⁣⁣⁣

2. Angelina


This fabric was so named because the popularity of the print coincided with the release of the hit song Angelina by the legendary Ghanaian highlife group The Sweet Talks.

3. Peacock feathers


This print is seen as a powerful and mystical symbol and considered sacred. It’s also reflected as an Adinkra symbol: Sankofa; a stylized bird with its head turned backwards; translated in the Twi language as “Go back and get it.”⁣⁣⁣

4. S3 wo b3 ka me hu as3m a fa akonya tinase (Stool)

The stool symbol is the key feature and its name implies that ‘if you want to talk about me, take a stool and sit down.’

5. Stars


The black star was chosen as a revolutionary symbol of black power and emancipation. It represents the triumphant fight against colonialism and imperialism in Africa.

6. High Life

Derived from the highlife music genre in Ghana. This genre has evolved into Hip Life, and more recently Afrobeats.⁣⁣⁣⁣

7. Bògòlanfini aka mudcloth; Malian


Women are wrapped after their initiation into adulthood, and immediately after childbirth, as the cloth is believed to have the power to absorb the dangerous forces released under such circumstances. ⁣⁣

8. Nsu Bra; an Akan word for well


The tiny dots which are in a spiral form resemble the ripples made in a well after water is fetched from it or when a stone is dropped into its depths. ⁣⁣⁣⁣

9. Sika Wo Antaban


Translated directly to “money has wings”. Money indeed flies where it wants to go. If you don’t handle it well, it will fly from you. ⁣⁣⁣⁣

10. Bògòlanfini aka mudcloth – Rust/brown


This represents the strong supernatural powers that protect the hunter; signifies blood from the hunt or from warfare.

Photo credit: As captioned / Instagram: Bozoma Saint John

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