Of Hairxperiences: Navigating The World While Dread

If you have been following my last two articles, I introduced you to my locs and gave you a bit of a backstory, to the story behind my hair.. In case you missed them follow the links below:
โ€ขFifty strands of dread
โ€ขHairxpress Yourself

You would probably be now acquainted with how, my hair, isnt an expression of any profound beliefs or views, it stemmed from a curiosity and the more people pushed for me to get my haircut, well, the more I held on to my curiosity and now my hair has become an extension of my identityโ€ฆ

I have hung out with people who never learnt my name and refer to me simply as dread or rastaโ€ฆ People who are quick to recognise me by my hair and nothing else. I walk in the world imagining that I am hiding in plain sight because were I to one day wake up and cut my hair and shave my beard I wouldnโ€™t need to change my name to disappearโ€ฆ.

I donโ€™t understand the fascination people have with people with locs, I really donโ€™tโ€ฆ.ย  Having locs seems to immediately transform you into a sort of celebrity, maybe its because people remember you and notice you, someone who dropped off at the same bus stop as you, someone who was behind you in the supermarket, someone who sat next to you in a combiโ€ฆ

To you they are just nameless faces going about their lives but to them, you are this enigma wrapped in dreadlocs and assumptionsโ€ฆ You look at each other and make eye contact and when you acknowledge them with an almost imperceptible nod that sends your locs shaking they break into a toothy smile some might even extend their hand to fist bump you and give you greetings and felicitations in the name of Emperor Haile Selasie..โ€ฆ

My Circle

Sometimes I feel like a fraud that I dont live upto what all these people assume of me, but I keep walking and recipropracate gestures extended to me as people chant Big Up Elderโ€ฆ Well I guess I am an elder nowโ€ฆ

Do rasta people look alike? People swear to have seen me somewhere before, they will insist they know me from some place and that I did all sorts of things for which they are eternally grateful as they trying to pay me back, insist on offering me a drink or a smokeโ€ฆ Even if I almost convince them that it’s a case of mistaken identity, they will shrug it away and tell me that โ€œyamarasta haaipotseโ€ which literally translates to a rasta never misses regarding how fortuitous situations always smile on a rastaโ€ฆ

On the flip side of the coin there are the people who will shift to the other side of the road so your parts donโ€™t cross, as if the hair is something contagious or extremely dangerousโ€ฆ

Parents who tell me not to hang out with their kids because I am a bad influence, that I smoke weed and probably do drugs and lead impressionable youths down a decadent pathโ€ฆ Police eye me suspiciously and I feel like I am profiled, every single time I pass by a police officer, their gaze seems to double back onto me, making sure I am not being suspiciousโ€ฆ.

Its weird that the taxi conductor who calls me out for not paying would be the one whom I had given his fare while we were still outside because he had recognised that I would be going the route he was going without me even asking if it was the correct one.. and he would remember my bus stop without me telling him which would be surprising as I really donโ€™t remember travelling in their taxi beforeโ€ฆ

As I drop off my stop the driver will wave at me and shout “Jah havana mhosva” which translates to a rastaman can do no wrong…

But thatโ€™s the thing about navigating the world dread, the world notices youโ€ฆ

~B

26 Comments

  1. The world notices you indeed…I think the fascination with dreads is all the myths and misconceptions around it… Most men I know with dreads are not what was assumed at all but as you said they are totally noticed even I notice them๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿค—

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True true… I get a lot of that, people telling me I am not what they expected… And some even tell me how I have made them change their views about locs and even venture on to start a locs journey…..

      ~B

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  2. So this is why being bald works for us introverts. We don’t want to be noticed in favor of being left alone.

    That and almost all of the default emojis match our hair style. . .
    ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™ƒ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜‡โ˜บ๐Ÿฅฒ๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜›๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿคช๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿค—๐Ÿคญ๐Ÿคซ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค๐Ÿคจ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‘๐Ÿ˜ถ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜’๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿคฅ๐Ÿ˜Œ๐Ÿคค๐Ÿ˜ด๐Ÿ˜ท๐Ÿค’๐Ÿค•๐Ÿคข๐Ÿคฎ๐Ÿคง๐Ÿฅต๐Ÿฅด๐Ÿ˜•๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜น๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ฆ๐Ÿ˜จ๐Ÿ˜ฅ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜–๐Ÿ˜ž๐Ÿ˜ฉ๐Ÿฅฑ๐Ÿ˜ค๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ˜ 

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m still waiting (Im)patiently for a dreadlocked emoji ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ why do they all have to be bald…

      Who is in charge of these.

      When I walk with my friends they always in awe asking me how I know all these people and of course some recognise me from the internet which is always quite a pleasant surprise when someone says Hey Uncle B love your blog….

      So I guess sans the hair I am still a tiny bit famous haha!

      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha which reminds me. Been meaning to do a throwback music article on Milli Vanilli ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ
      I still haven’t quite forgiven those guys even if had I been them would have done the very same thing๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad to give you a laugh, wanted to capture the lighter moments yet still show an underlying situation.
      We pick up certain habits without thinking about them, and becomes a default sting until otherwise something brings about a perception change.
      Thank you for dropping by
      ~B

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  3. TeeMadzika on his blogpost some about the assumptions people have on those with dreads. I always thought people with are on drugs and they are sangomas๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜†its just the nature of people with wrong perceptions. But I always found people with drugs smart and respectful. Lucky enough they love hanging out with me. They are a well of wisdom like you.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

    You mentioned something about seeing meat on braais….
    I say you are trespassing ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚
    Stop eating meat ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿผโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah yes, there’s the Sangoma aspect too… While no one has asked me if I am one I have noticed that a lot of traditional healers have dreads….

      Are you vegetarian?๐Ÿคฃ

      ~B

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  4. Where is the dreadlocks emoji?? They are all bald except this one! ๐Ÿค  Maybe there’s dreads under the hat! Lol – I know there’s a ponytail under it and I think there should be ponytail and pigtail emojis too!! I’m glad you get recognized, fun post, famous one!! Have a great weekend B! ๐Ÿคฉ ~D ๐Ÿค ๐Ÿด

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As a dreadlocked Queen myself I relate to this, more especially the part about smoking weed. Mind you cannot hold a smoke to save my life. Thank you for this light hearted yet relatable read. Glad to know Iโ€™m not the only one who encounters these dreadful experiences.

    Liked by 1 person

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