COLUMN: Brazilian weave means a bad hair day for me

2016-06-09 06:00
on the run lunga adam

on the run lunga adam

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Acquaintances know that I’m one hirsute fellow, in person or pictorially. This is the case with me.

I love my hair. So much that the sobriquet ‘sonkqayi’ or ‘ta chiskop’ would seem to be a great misnomer, and whomsoever dared to address me as such would have to answer to the goddess Sif, wife of Thor. A commission of inquiry would suffice.

The reason I decide to finally out with my feelings on this issue is because we are well into Youth Month and those most affected by it are young people (specifically women).

I am talking about the Brazilian weave. Much has been said about it, for and against.

Bra Hugh Masekela has even made it clear that he was against weaves or hair extensions by the womenfolk. The legendary trumpeter has taken it a step further by refusing to be photographed with women adorned with these. His comments caused a great deal of stir. But I could see where he was coming from. I do not side with Bra Hugh because I enjoy jazz. No?

My opinion is that our ladies do not seem to appreciate the beauty they possess in their own hair. For them to be seen to be beautiful, classy and possessing swag, the weave has to come into the picture.

When they lack the means to attain these hair extensions, it’s as if the world is crumbling.

They refuse to go out. You will hear them say, “Yhu tshoma andizukwazi ukuya eRands kule weekend, kaloku ndifratsi.” Or, if push comes to shove, a public appearance for them is on the self-imposed condition that they wear a doek (iqhiya).

Gone are the days of the perm (and the accompanying perm lotion) and of relaxing one’s hair and leaving it as is. I know my girlfriend may attribute my stance to my well-known thriftiness, while other women might dismiss these as the words of a boyfriend tired of forking out for the expensive weave. “Whuuu shem!” I can hear them pulling out their hair and screaming in disgust.

Far from it, my dear sisters.

In actual fact, this is a cry for the African girl child to start recognising her own beauty.

On many occasions, I have come across the beautiful sight of a Black woman in natural hair walking down the street, and it is at such moments that I ask myself a lot of questions.

Why all the craze about the Brazilian hair then? Is this a self-esteem problem? Or a mindset that needs some decolonising? Granted, your hair does not define who you are and one understands that we are living in an advanced world of choices.

Anyway, beauty is in the eye of the beholder (or, in the case of this columnist, “beer holder”). But mine is to make you aware that there is actually nothing wrong with your own hair. Awukho fratsi tu mntaka bhuti.

So, after all, you can un-weave yourself, go to Rands, have a good time and just be great.

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