The Other Sister

Maat Kesa and Anu – St. Croix circa 1992

You know you can’t big-up one sister without talking about the other.  In last month’s newsletter I shared a story about my younger sister Linda.  And now I’d like to introduce you to my older sister Maat Kesa (affectionately known as MK).  MK is like my twin sister. My relationship with MK is very special because while we are sisters, we don’t share the same blood and bones.  We weren’t born of the same physical family, but as kindred spirits, we could not be closer or more connected.

I met MK when I was in my early 20’s.  Our relationship started out a bit rocky because I didn’t take much notice of her until, at a special event for ‘clearing the air,’ she told me off publicly… Eventually we moved past that day and started on a life long journey.

Maat Kesa 2 weeks after the birth of her daughter Ptahra 1991

In the late ‘80s we purchased our first house together along with our husbands.  We shared that home (which housed the first location of Khamit Kinks) for ten years.  During that time, I believe we had just one argument.  We have similar tastes in practically everything! While my baby sister Linda is my bedrock, MK completes me.  She has a way of listening that brings forth just the right response when I am troubled or when I’m on my high horse.  She also has a way of piercing through to the crux of the matter and bringing me back to reality with the quickness. But her unconditional love and support through my many foibles has helped me regain my balance again and again.

MK and her son Sharaku at the Grand Opening of Khamit Kinks TriBeCa 1997

Like my sister Linda, MK has had her share of Khamit Kinks hairstyles, from coils, tiny cornrows and beads, to thread wraps, Senegalese Twists, Locs, Sister Locs, Twist-Outs and on and on. She has been, along with Linda, my shoulder to lean on and cry on during many a challenging time with my business and my life.

Anu & MK in Bali 2007

We have been on countless vacations together with many tales to tell and great memories that I shall cherish for a lifetime.  We’re on a cruise together as I write this blog.  But one of the most amazing experiences we had was when we traveled to Bali for my 50th birthday.  Every morning we would mysteriously awaken around 3:30 in the morning and be up for a couple of hours talking, reading magazines and just being sisters together on vacation.  We mentioned our jetlag to a yoga instructor (who was from England) and we could hardly believe it when she mentioned the 3:30 wake up experience too.

The entire family (including me) on the day of Ptahra’s prom

I am auntie to MK’s son and daughter. I was there in the room when each of them were born and they are my heart! Her husband is my brother-in-law and is generous enough to share his wife. I don’t know how it happens that we have no kinfolk in common or blood relation.  But I’m here to tell you, this is my sister in heart, mind and spirit and my life would definitely be missing something very essential without her.  I am so blessed to have her in my life. I Give Thanks for the mysterious way in which the universe brings us together with those with whom we’re supposed to share our lives with.


20 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Grace Ribadu on April 3, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Don’t know if you’re in the New York area, but do you know of any New York Salons, other than MAYBE Khamit Kinks, that unlocks dreads? I can’t sleep at night with my locks any longer; they are sooooooo long, and I want to go back to wearing a fro. I would really rather not cut ALL of my hair off to do that. Or maybe you could recommend a conditioner that would help to loosen my locks (eleven years old) so that I can undo them myself and keep a lot of the growth.


    • Hi Grace,

      I don’t know of any place that offers the taking out of Locs, because I don’t know the services that other salons offer. You should check around. Just goggle natural hair salon in NY and start calling them. In terms of conditioner I would recommend natural conditioners by Jane Carter, Curls or Hair Rules.


    • Posted by Grace Ribadu on April 5, 2011 at 1:31 pm

      This is not my latest post to you. Are we only entitled to one question per week or month? I sent a question about the best way to get rid of the gray in my hair using non-irritating, natural products, taking into account my long locs, which I am seriously considering cutting off.


    • Posted by Barbra Sainsurin on April 5, 2011 at 1:33 pm

      Hi Grace,

      Honestly you can take your locs out yourself with a knitting needle, A LOT of conditioner and some honey. I went through the same process TWICE without having to pay the high cost. It will take a LONG time, my locs were shoulder length when I “took” them out and it took approximately 3 days and you will have A LOT of dead ends so you will have to cut your hair to some degree but you will definitely be better off going this route then cutting off all your beautiful hair.

      Good LUCK!


      • Posted by Grace Ribadu on April 6, 2011 at 11:34 am

        What was the process that you used? Was your hair wet or dry when you took the locs out, and what did you apply first, the honey, the conditioner, or a mixture of both? My locks are almost to my ass (excuse my “French”). I guess if it took you 3 days, it’ll take me three weeks! And they are HARD. I guess it would be smart to cut them off, maybe to my shoulders in order to save time. I need your answer about the questions above.


  2. This is so beautiful and I know you are enjoying your cruise. I can’t wait to go on another. Thank you for sharing your story.


  3. Posted by Kesha on April 4, 2011 at 9:27 am



  4. Posted by Kish on April 4, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Beautiful story and I’m glad you told it. I have a few sister friends that have made me look twice at my The connection and spirit that embodies people who truly love each other is truly what sisterhood is about. I have blood sisters whom I love and some sisters from another that I love as well.

    Great story.


  5. Posted by Arit on April 5, 2011 at 1:22 pm



  6. Posted by Dafua on April 6, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    This story is as BEAUTIFUL as you are. Change some details and some faces and it reflects just the way I feel about some sister friends I know and love including the both of you! I too am grateful.


  7. Dear Anu:
    As your birth mother I know how you and MK feel about each other, its the same way I feel,about Meryl and Nasreen I didn’t birth them but they feel like my daughter’s Knowing this it doesn’t take a blood line to make a family, I pray you both success and hope that you continue to love one another as sister’s. I Love yoou both as my daughters.Mommie.


  8. Posted by Rocky on April 13, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    This is simply lovely babe.


  9. Posted by Nershte on April 27, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    Mut, this blog is so special….You and Mut MK always had that special connection….and that is amazing you guys lived together for 10yrs and only had one argument….cuz you know they say it is risky living with friends…..I hope you guys relationship continue to blossom…..


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