of hair and of mum...

so, i had a small "big chop" around November last year. I say small as really there wasn't much there to chop off. mummy says my hair was happily growing on the sides only and threatening to make me look like wolverine. not on her watch. she chopped those flyaway hairs and began to anticipate the sudden onslaught of a full head of afro hair. 5 days later there was still nothing and she fell to her knees in prayer. ok...slight exaggeration. it did feel like she was rushing into my room everyday to check on progress. a few months passed by and it seemed that i was destined to look like wolverine's lovechild as the same areas began producing hair again! only this time, the hair had brought more friends along with it. the front centre section was still as bald as a football pitch in the zimbabwean rural areas. mummy was distressed. in this same hour of distress, her friends were popping out babies whose hair was so full and thick it seemed my hair had been given to whoever was to follow  as a bonus.

mh haircut

mummy thought about all the wonderful things she had imagined doing with my hair, when it  suddenly occurred to her that she could actually do something. she'd seen a quote: start where you are, use what you have, do what you can. that, my friends, was the end of my hair's free, gypsy-like existence. mummy began to treat my head as though it were full of thick afro hair. she started giving me weekly conditioning washes and tended to each strand. one day she noticed that my hair had actually begun to fill out and i could have little bunches. that was the guillotine well and truly down on my wild and free days. my hair has actually come a long way and i am now getting more nervous about what is to come. i've heard mummy chatting to her friends about the "stretching comb" and the use of vaseline and sometimes even butter to pretty much, fry that hair straight!

it seems the stretching comb was all the rage in my mummy's pre-teen years. she and her cousins would take it in turns to sit on the kitchen chairs and crisp out that hair! after one such stretching comb session mummy's aunt said  "you look like a bird! is it really that desperate mwanangu (my child)?" you see, her hair had been chopped quite short as it had gone ginger from relaxers (to be fair mummy's hair is quite brown and goes ginger in the sun without much help - except the time she put lemon juice in it as an experiment. but i digress). this same aunt pointed out that only prostitutes had ginger hair (black prostitutes that is) - and so she chopped it off with the fervour only witnessed on edward scissorhands. on that same day, on the way to sunday school, a local boy decided to point out that her hair looked like it was a stairway. she acted like she didn't care and  continued to walk, looking like a kingfisher basted in butter and slow roasting in the Zimbabwean sunshine.

photo (28)

all i ask is that i never have to have butter in my hair and a hot metal comb that's been heated on a stove near my head.


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