Written by: Marcellus Womack
What’s the magic behind One Woman who can naturally and confidently slay Every Texture?
How can One Woman represent Every Texture from a natural blowout, to loose wave/curly, to the tightest of 4C Coils…and OWN IT – as showcased by Soni Congo - the texture queen in our True + Pure Texture “One Woman Every Texture” Campaign?
The Answer: SELF-LOVE LIBERATION
Self-Love Liberation for this One Woman can be defined as:
Her unique self-love journey to discovering she has the freedom and unlimited power to be “Everything” she desires to be…anytime she wants.
“Her spirit was forged in the fires of countless lifetimes, and within her beat the heart of a queen who reigned a thousand times before.”
Within every woman embracing her own texture, is an even deeper sheroic journey of multi-dimensional resilience and overcoming. By trial of fire – she transforms into the most beautiful awakening of self-love and free-flowing confidence.
For Soni, history is absolutely “her-story.”
A DAUGHTER’S LOVE
Many of us watched the movie “Hotel Rwanda” – depicting the horrifying Rwandan genocide in 1994. Soni did not just watch the movie. She traumatically lived it…and survived it.
Deborah Musoni aka “Soni” was born in the Congo. She’s the oldest of 2 younger brothers born to both her mother and father. Because of the prominent position of their family, with her father being a high-ranking officer in the Congo military – they lived like royalty. So much, that as a little child, Soni had her own security guards and maids.
Soni lived like a princess – until…
Her father was taken by soldiers in the middle of the night by Congolese soldiers. During the terrifying genocide and war between the Congo and Rwanda, the Congolese military discovered her father had the bloodline of a Rwandan.
Soni was only 6 years old and saw her father being taken away, to what would ultimately be a torture camp where Rwandans were being killed.
Soni never saw him again.
RUN TO FREEDOM
After her family came to the devastating reality that their father wasn’t coming back and they would be the next victims of a brutal genocide taking place – Soni and her family hid at a relative’s house and escaped to a refugee camp in Benin, Nigeria. They went from royalty to poverty overnight. They went from living in what felt like a palace to Section 8 housing. Soni saw their family go from having maids to their mother having to deeply consider becoming one. “My trauma blanks a lot of it out,” said Soni.
Soni’s family was sponsored by a Catholic charity and brought to the U.S. in Philadelphia. They had no money, knew very little English, and had to start their entire lives over from scratch.
Despite it all…Soni and her family triumphantly escaped to FREEDOM!
I’M A SURVIVOR…I’M GOING TO MAKE IT
Soni stated she had to become a 2nd mom for her little brothers because her mom was still mourning the loss of her husband. Despite Soni having a rough childhood in America, that included being heckled because she was skinny, dark-skinned, and African – Soni discovered that God indeed gave her ancestral wisdom at an early age to overcome all.
“If I can make it through war, genocide, and the murder of my father…there’s nothing that can stop me or make me crumble. I got all the tools needed to survive as a human being. If I can make it pass that which was a point of no return – I can make it through anything in this entire universe.” – Soni Congo
DISCOVERING SELF-LOVE THROUGH ENDLESS TEXTURE & STYLE
“My mom says I have an ancestral soul. She says I’ve been here 1,000 times…as 1,000 different women. This may explain why I love all the ways I can wear my own hair texture 1,000 different ways.” – Soni Congo
At 9-years old, Soni told her mom she didn’t have to do her hair anymore. Soni desired less of the basic ponytails with barrettes slapped on them – and wanted more of the trendier hairstyles Black women were wearing that was setting the culture on fire. So Soni began doing her own hair.
Soni’s mom recognized this awakening of a beauty connoisseur on all things texture and styling and gave Soni free license to be creative with her own hair. Soni became so good at doing her braids, quick weaves, and so many other hairstyles – that all the girls in her class at middle school began asking her to do their hair.
Soni became such a good hairstylist, she never had a job growing up other than styling hair and modeling.
Because of her creative license to style her hair however she wanted, Soni always loved her own natural texture – and all the magical diverse styles she could create with them. By the time Soni became a teen, she would change her hairstyle every week. Soni professes, “I rocked well over 200 different looks throughout high school.”
“I love all my curly texture in all the unique ways I can wear it” – Soni Congo
At the age of 18, Soni noticed she began to lose her hair from anxiety and stress. This is when she decided to do her first big chop. She did the chop, cut it into a pixie, experimented with color, and after one last relaxer – wore her hair natural for 7 years.
Soni caught the eye of world-class photographer James Schlefstein aka “HiDef” – who began casting her for various beauty and lifestyle shoots. “You have to model, and have to do a shoot one day with PK and True + Pure Texture,” said HiDef.
As fate would have it, one day Pekela aka "PK," was shopping at Forever 21 and saw a gorgeous naturalista working there. PK couldn’t stop staring at her. It was Soni.
Pekela greeted Soni, discovered she worked with HiDef, and invited her to be a part of a curly hair extensions texture shoot the next day, that HiDef would be shooting as well.
At what would become the 1st True + Pure Texture shoot - Soni showed up and showed out with such a mesmerizing display of beauty and undeniable “self-love liberation,” that Pekela made Soni’s curly hair extensions shots the hero images for the True + Pure Texture brand campaign launch. “We been rocking ever since, and that began my texture love curly hair extensions experience with True + Pure,” said Soni.
Several years later – Soni was selected as Pekela’s undisputed choice to be the “One Woman Every Texture” campaign queen.
DREAMS OF A BLACK QUEEN
“The blazing fire makes flame and brightness out of everything thrown into it.”
Soni emerged from the most heartbreaking tragedy to regain her stolen “Queendom.” Such a queendom, reflected in her aesthetic and outer beauty, can only be attained from a self-love liberation from within.
Today Soni is living the African-American dream as a successful and highly coveted model, hairstylist, and influencer.
When Soni reflects on her sheroic journey, escaping one of the most horrific genocides in world history, she states – “I have a gangsta guardian angel watching over me…and I am bulletproof.”
This guardian angel is her father.
Her very own Black Messiah, who sacrificed his life so he could become a guiding force in the everlasting spiritual realm, to lead their family to freedom and a “promised land.”
Soni states, “I see him in my dreams…when I need guidance the most.” Because of her omnipresent connection with her father, Soni feels even more empowered to show up in the world as a resilient Black Queen who can do anything, while channeling an abundance of self-love and empathy to empower and inspire others…when in fact they need it the most.
Nothing could make a father amongst the ancestors prouder than to see his daughter become a magical queen living the dream.