don’t haffi dread

I had this misconception of girls wearing dread locks. I had an eye for them or their short hair sisters. It had an aura of simplicity in the latter’s case and depth in the former; a more spiritual outlook perhaps a soulful approach to living. Only to learn it was not a statement or expression of some sort but a pragmatic hair care undertaking. Fashion to say the least.

“I am not my hair “, says India Arie. Do not judge a book by its cover. My fast receding hairline might have contributed to my stand on the issue.

Dread is a word wrongly used to denote fear and in the growing of dread locks, it signifies reverence to the God in the Rastafarianism circles. A second opinion is given by Morgan Heritage a comfort for those like us. I used to believe (maybe I still do) that growing of ‘locks’ entailed a deep relationship to its wearer the longer it grew. This was by way of dedication to its proper care, devotion by way of twisting the locks which is also a reaffirmation to growth. I gather ‘growth’ is a scary word in the lexicon of the ‘treated’ and ‘did/made’ hair purists.

Growing dreads is or used to be a life or death decision. Ask the police and warn a brother. What made it worse was the ‘Mungiki’ choosing to on this hairstyle for easier identification. Not forgetting their trademark communication method being decapitation. My father has always thought, sorry believed, that dreadlocks are a nursery for fleas, ticks and all manner of animals excluding elephants reserved only for the uneducated drug abusing persona non grata (Annebeth my sister knows).

Only when you think its ‘artistic’ do I go ballistic. Artistic in the senselessness of musicians and rappers et cetera getting ‘inspired’ to grow dread locks. Yea, rifle-telescope-cross-hairs ballistic (what, am from Easich)!

I would like to point it out that am not elitist. How would you explain a street boy having the same opportunity to get locks as any middle class kid would? Contrast this to his sister not able to buy hair. Darn, it’s raining again. You should hear yourself speak, “this is not plastic, its human hair!” (…and that’s sick!).Naomi Campbell give this a peep and I can keep the blood diamond for you. Am not about making you all feel guilty about the cost of your hair transplant(s) (read saloon operations); I agree, a girl has to be and feel pretty.

On the contrary, I applaud the concerted efforts towards employment creation. For instance, the human hair is harvested from Indian girls in remote poverty stricken villages of the subcontinent .An enviable career option not open to girls from other parts of the world take Kenya for example. Also, the re-cycle choruses never sounded louder as in enterprising factories in some part of the world i.e. used c.ds (condoms). I am not a marketer for any these products. The government should take this up as a strategy to clean the city. By recycling polythene products they could rid themselves of this overwhelmingly choking filth. After all trash is cash!

To think I am against beauty real or imagined is grossly unfair. Never would I drag the idiotic idea of ‘colonial hangover’ to such an esteemed gathering of minds. Akili ni nywele. How can a grown man ask why his daughter only plays with blonde long haired Barbie dolls and not dreadlocked or clean shaven dolls? Is it because kinky hair best serves its purpose in kitchens and bathroom walls alongside woollen steel? It’s not straight and you cannot brush it like the buttocks of a horse could be the answer.


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