Though the first season of the WE tv debut Cutting It in the ATL wrapped in July, reality star Mushiya Tshikuka is still working nonstop. Owner of The Damn Salon, creator of Runway Curls (a line of African, including Ethiopian, textured virgin hair extensions) and budding songstress, Mushiya is powerhouse in her own right. She’s hell-bent not only on leading the way into a new era of natural hair but also on empowering black women—and bringing as many as possible along for the ride. Not bad for a chick from the Congo.
What did you love most about playing yourself on television?
There is nobody on TV like Mushiya, and I think that the world needs a Mushiya. [She] comes with a confidence but also an air of “yes, the world has problems. Yes, life is difficult; but you can be happy and live life.”
What was most challenging about being a new reality star?
You have to take it for what it is. The power of TV is amazing. I just want to take full advantage of it and run so fast. A lot of people have this opportunity and don’t use it properly. I did what I needed to do, and there’s so many great things that we are about to do that it’s not even okay!
Is there anything you regret about your role?
I don’t believe in mistakes. I believe in lessons. Everybody [says] “everything happens for a reason,” but no one understands the core meaning of that statement. [If] everything happens for a reason [then] failure doesn’t exist, only lessons. I take everything that happens as a lesson to create a better Mushiya tomorrow.
Tell us about Runway Curls. This movement is about keeping our money in our community.
We brought out this hair line [to encourage women and stylists] to use curl patterns that celebrate our hair texture and that look like it grows from our mother’s head and our daughter’s heads. Runway Curls [embraces] who we are, and gives women and stylists an opportunity to make money by joining the Runway Curls network by becoming a distributor. The Damn Salon can’t damn the world by ourselves. Let’s damn the world together.
Words: LaConia J. Dean