Wakati Hair’s connections to FAMU




Photo courtesy: India Gay

Wakati, meaning time in Swahili, began its journey as a hair care brand in 2013. After extensive research and development, Wakati Hair unveiled a groundbreaking patented natural hair formula featuring innovative water-activated technology. This technology aimed to empower women with easier hair maintenance, from detangling to reducing shedding.

Beyond its innovative products, Wakati describes itself as a movement advocating for less time spent on hair styling and more time celebrating natural beauty. Through curated experiences and partnerships, Wakati’s commitment extends beyond beauty to community empowerment.

By tapping into talent from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Wakati not only strengthens its brand but also provides career opportunities for aspiring professionals like Atlanta native India Gay.

Gay, a senior public relations student at Florida A&M, has played a vital role in Wakati’s journey since its introduction to FAMU.

Starting officially as a marketing intern, Gay’s role has expanded to digital communications and brand management, leveraging her expertise to drive the brand’s growth.

Gay’s connection with Wakati is rooted in her passion for natural hair care and her affiliation with FAMU.

 “As a natural hair guru, working on a brand that was started in part by my HBCU is literally a match made in heaven,” Gay said. “I remember sitting in an SBI course and hearing about Wakati for the first time. I was in awe. I immediately knew I had to find a way to work on the brand.”

Shawnta Friday-Stroud, the vice president for University Advancement as well as the dean of FAMU’s School of Business and Industry, has been instrumental in solidifying Wakati’s partnership with the university by working with Kao on a collaboration with SBI students on a case competition.

Gay, one of the first-place winners on the competition, reflected on her role now.

 “My favorite thing about working on Wakati is being able to apply my learnings as a business owner to the work I do, and vice versa,” Gay said. “Being able to see what I do for my own brand on a larger scale is very inspiring.”

Approaching its five-year milestone, Wakati Hair stands as a testament to the fusion of tradition and innovation in the beauty industry.

Through individuals like India Gay, Wakati continues to inspire and shape the narrative of beauty and identity. Gay’s goal collaborating with the company is to strengthen Wakati’s relationship with FAMU by curating hands-on opportunities for students and increasing awareness among alumni.