Monday, August 12, 2013


By Namakando Nalikando-Sinyama My concept is this that the presence of dread locks on someone’s scalp actually has a lot to do more with what is in the inside of their heads and not on it. That is, the quality of their thinking, content of their character and their life’s guiding philosophies. You may prove this from the list you can come up with of notable people that are or have been dreaded (as we say in the business) once in history. It is extremely saddening though how some backward societies still think to spot dreadlocks means that you are weed smoking, unprofessional, un-serious, uneducated hooligan and unmotivated!! To the contrary, this fashion symbol is in fact a very strong and powerful public statement that people make and one only needs to sit down with one of these that have genuine dreads to realize the depth of misunderstanding that abounds about who they are as people. By genuine dreads, i mean I have actually crafted a categorization of a myriad reasons why I think people decide to go dread. Although, strictly speaking, there is no such thing as genuine dreads because each person ultimately has a reason why they choose to throw the comb away! To illustrate; 1. FASHION DREADS- Everyone is doing it and it looks pretty cool and trendy, so why the hake not? 2. ECONOMIC DREADS- I may not be able to manage or afford to always go to the salon and the barber shop so… Dread is the way to go and that is how it is going to be! 3. IMITATION DREADS-There are a lot of positive reasons I have heard about going dread so I would like to be associated with them even when I may not completely understand what these are! Please, grow a brain. Can you not be a little more original in your actions? 4. COMMERCIAL DREADS- When I go Dread there are sections of society that take to people with dreads and develop a fondness for them. I will take advantage of them economically or financially once they fall in love with me because of spotting dreads. There is a fad or craze in tourist towns like Livingstone where a certain clique of blokes who strictly seek out white girls and as my observation would have it these guys are mostly in dreads! These have sometimes been the source of the foliage of the cheap and easily accessible now criminalized but really innocent mood altering hallucinogenic palmate herbaceous shrub! You get to see a lot of this in Livingstone where some unsuspecting Caucasian and fairly youthful girls fall for brothers who are otherwise widely deemed to be of humble looks and quite simplistic in their demeanor. If you ever thought you would win the hearts of these females by waltzing your way to them with your perceived sense self-importance and sophistication, you would be disappointed. Some of these brothers sometimes do not remember the last time they came into contact with water. They even develop a rare form of hydrophobia that would make a rabid dog seem like a platypus. There are exceptions to this general rule though because a few brothers are actually very well-tended and are very nicely dressed too. A number of them even hold quite respectable positions in society at their levels. There are those in the entertainment industry who see dreads as the in thing among performers and resort to being dreaded so as to increase their stage presence and appeal among their followers and funs alike. The trouble is in primitive or not socially advanced and diverse communities as Zambia is akin, they would not let you keep dreads and keep a formal job. This is the reason I had to hastily clip me well groomed ‘Crown of Jah’ after varsity as I needed to look for a formal, white collar job. I see this perception slowly changing but we still have a long way to go. Other African countries like South Africa have gone so far and they see this hair style as perfectly normal and is commonly accepted as a beautiful way of expressing the nature of an Afrikan person. 5. LAZY DREADS- I would rather just get up and go about my day to day business every morning without having to waste time attending to my hear and styling it. 6. ‘ANGEL’S’ DREADS- These are dreads you see on the many tramps, hobos and vagabonds walking around nearly half dressed and stack naked sometimes. These so-called mad people are called ‘Angels of Jah’ because of their innocence, purity of heart and the protection they receive from Jah. They pick their food from the garbage dumps but never get sick at all. They quickly attain some mysterious form of immunity from disease that would easily get the so-called ‘normal’ people down in no time if at all they tried eating from the dumps. 7. CONSCIOUSNESS DREADS- These are Sistrens and idrens who are aware and are thus conscious of the history of dread locks and their religious significance. This category includes Rastafarians and those who may not really subscribe to any Isms or ideologies of any religious Order but have strongly opted to take a stand in society against or for an issue they feel deeply about. These are Doctors, Engineers, Clergy, Scientists and other professionals from different sectors. They have then opted to present a personality that outwardly expresses their inner self .These people who decide to go dreadlocked have a personality that is capable of confronting a stereotype and conquering it. They have attained a certain higher plane of spiritual awareness of their innermost being that had hitherto been trapped in a cocoon of self-imposed ignorance and fear of retrogressive societal norms but have now freed themselves to radiate a soul liberated from all known prejudices. This has long been dubbed rebellion against the established social order of things. These have been fearless and intrepid political activists against all forms of injustice and all manner of ills that still plague and mar the societal fabric. This is exactly what I was as a freshman at uni when I had kept my hair long and occasionally in dreads for a specific reason that is! These are a people, men and women alike,from all walks of life who have not fallen for the lies that have been spread for years to people of colour that you look untidy when your hair is in dreads or kept kinky. There is a fight, a sort of, undeclared war against the keeping of hair in a seemingly ‘unkempt’ state by attaching some ugly stereotype and caricature of it being an embodiment of all that is unclean and vile before the eyes of so-called civilized modern society. This has triggered the mushrooming of barber shops at every street corner from every nook and cranny. These have consequently been profiting from this falsehood that anything naturally afrikan is ugly and dirty. During the ‘60s In the deep South of the United States a well-tended afro hairstyle was the in thing then as it was used as an assertion by the oppressed people of colour’s pride in their afrikan heritage to let the oppressors know that, to paraphrase James Brown, we are Black and extremely proud that we are! We are never apologetic about it! What my favourite world’s greatest radical poet, Mutabaruka advises is that we truly need to ‘Dispel The Lie!’ My honest truth is this that no self-respecting Caucasian male ever cuts their hair as short as we Africans do. Unless of course, these Caucasians were of a lower social class, or recently survived a vigorous cancer treatment of Chemo and Radiotherapy combined or were members of some Right Wing Neo-Nazi group of Swastika inked skinheads that holds that, ” To attain a certain degree of congruence with The Fuhrer philosophy is the ultimate goal of any well-meaning Neo-Nazi protagonist.”-Namakando Nalikando-Sinyama. We so unwisely clip our hair even during the coldest months of the year. This has made us look like a batch of cleanly shaven clones of skinheads from a yet controversial Eugenics experiment. The climatic conditions in afrika make it unbearable to keep long hair so you have been made to believe? The other excuse we have been sold is that kinky or afrikan hair is difficult to style and does not look nice when uncombed. This is of course a bunch of tripe, utterly preposterous and stupid. What really is at the core of the matter is what the world has been made to believe Beauty is and in whose eyes it is beheld. But, above all, people ought to look beyond the state of hair and see or reach out to the humanity in people. What, if I may know, drives our afrikan women to be so desperate and dehumanizing to themselves by imitating or mimicking the straight hair of Caucasians by burning theirs or smearing in it some offensive chemicals so extremely damaging to my olfactory abilities? They have even pushed the boundary of low self-esteem and self-perception by wearing the hair of actual dead people all in the name of vogue! This is when I find it particularly troubling. Just how ugly does one feel about themselves to want to walk around adorning some copse’s hair whether Peruvian or aboriginal? I dread to live to see the day my own daughters will want to change their appearance because they feel ashamed of my genes as their father that did not accord them the outward appearance that the world considers acceptable. If one engaged in some pure Chi-Thinking it would be revealed to them that there is a whole lot more at stake than just personal outlook and hygiene of the black African person. They have perpetrated the myth that as an African you look unclean when you keep your hair long. What you will see is that with long hair you will reach a realization that your appearance will be reflecting the true image of our ancient original Hebrew Sephardic Jewish ancestors as Beta Israel. The greatest of who was the man Yeshua, The Christ! Your heritage and connection to this personage has been made nebulous in various copious religious translations of manuscripts and writings and it has effectively been stolen from you. The reality we grew up with as young and radical Garveyite youthmen is that Caucasian hair is incapable of matting into dreadlocks naturally the way that of negrescent or that of people of colour does. We proudly sing that, “we had never seen the image of a bald head Jesus Christ, for we read it in our Bibles that Jesus Christ was indeed a dreadlocked Nazarene! You correctly ask, “When will we learn as Christians not to judge others based on their appearances??? Such un-Christian behaviour and I doubt Jesus is proud of all those who look down their noses at others because of their hairstyle!! This behaviour is indeed shocking actually. But do you really want to know why Jesus would be particularly disappointed? Lo and Behold, he was himself Dreaded! Remember him being referred to as Jesus of Nazareth? He was and is a Nazarite or a Nazarene , who took the vow of the Nazariteship as recorded at Numbers 6:1-5. This vow involved a very strict regimen of dietary restrictions and behavior in society. Although, Jesus himself was by his very nature a revolutionary individual who came and challenged most of the laid down traditions. He could come into contact with the dead contrary with the dictates of the Nazarite Vow. Some of the notable Nazarites in the bible were Samson, John the Baptist e.t.c The prophetic revelation of the appearance of The Ancient Of Days as recorded at Daniel 7:9 will tell you without a doubt the texture of his hair. Wool as we know it is not straight but kinky! I could obviously go on ad infinitum on the subject but time and space cannot allow…..

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