9-year-old Tiana Akoh-Arrey becomes bestselling author after being bullied for her afro hair

Abu Mubarik April 12, 2023
Photo credit: Tiana-Rose Akoh-Arrey on Facebook

Tiana Akoh-Arrey is a 9-year-old bestselling author from England who went into writing after being bullied for her natural hair. She turned her experience into a success through a book she wrote called My Afro: Twin Best Friends. 

“One day at school, a kid made fun of my afro and said that it made me look like a lion,” Tiana told Good Morning America

“That made me really sad, so I asked my mom to straighten my hair to look like my other friends who did not have an Afro. She explained to me that I should learn to be proud and accept my hair as it is because it’s beautiful. I was trying my hand at writing short stories, so I decided to write about my hair.”

According to Ebony, Akoh-Arrey has been reading and writing since she was four years old. She decided to write her book at the age of six, which touches on diversity, love, and inclusion.

Tiana’s mother, Dorothy, said she was impressed after reading her daughter’s work and decided to submit it to Conscious Dreams Publishing. The work was then published when she was seven years.

“The story follows my journey as I explore friendship, self-acceptance, and identity. Through this, readers can learn how to embrace who they are and celebrate differences in others,” she said, according to Ebony.

So far, she has reportedly sold over 700 copies, which is more than the sales benchmark for a first-time publisher, and is now on Amazon’s bestsellers list.

“I am really proud of myself, and it has confirmed the assurance my mom gave me that bullying is never about me but the bully trying to express their dissatisfaction in seeing someone different and trying to make others feel small,” Tiana said. 

“I am happy I have managed to not feel small but also helped other girls to have the courage of wearing their Afro hair in all shapes and styles without feeling embarrassed about their hair or caring what people say. I feel like I have been empowered and also empowered others.”

Tiana hopes black girls can relate to the characters and scenarios in the book and also adds that the book will foster a sense of feeling acceptance and inclusion.

“Children get self-assurance and a chance for self-reflection and validation when they see characters who look like themselves,” she explained. “As an added bonus, seeing themselves reflected in these characters might help kids see a world free of prejudice and discrimination.”

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: April 12, 2023


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