As a male, I have never understood female hair. It even becomes more complex when we consider black female hair. From Sulphur 8, to Kinky Fibre, to the constant patting of the head which is apparently to stop the itchiness. The one thing that was done to even make things more complicated and bizarre was the latest invention in female “beauty”: the weave.Different people have different opinions regarding weaves. As I was listening to Metro FM (a South African urban radio station) one morning, someone called in and said “I don’t understand what it is about these black women. They are all trying to be white. In the 70’s it was skin lightening cream, and now it’s the weave. That’s exactly how prostitutes look.” I personally do not necessarily share the views of this enraged caller, but a point came when even my liberal open-minded understanding couldn’t comprehend what I saw: The blonde fringe weave.
At some point in time, someone saw something on television and thought to themselves “oh wow, Rihanna looks so hot right now, let me get myself some of that weave”. The girl runs to the Cameroon salon in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, puts on the weave, and runs to her friends who respond and say “hey girl, is that the weave Rihanna had on? It’s so hot right now, I need to get myself one of those!” And this is exactly what happens in society today: blind following of randomly-created trends without thought or discernment of our own.
Somehow, we have appointed societal demi-gods who have the answers to certain topics, and we believe that to be true despite what reality is. We open the Sunday Times, and because we have delegated our thinking responsibility to the “free” press, we believe everything we read to be true, and form opinions on important matters based on the market-related opinions of journalists and editors. We have delegated our responsibility to raise children to schools and after-care centres. We have delegated responsibility for morality to wavering sources such as political parties and “think tanks”.
It seems that to avoid personal responsibility and accountability, we blindly follow individuals not taking time to think for ourselves if what we are doing is beneficial to us, those around us, and the country at large. A clear example is the nationwide strike that recently happened. Workers forfeited work and pay to argue over a few percentage points which they had already lost due to the loss in income. Yet, because we’ve delegated such decision-making responsibilities to self-interested “representatives”, the intended beneficiaries become the victims. Similarly with Apartheid. Mr. Verwoerd makes a speech about how it would be completely beneficial for the society at large if different groups are separated. Is there resistance of this from the larger population? I mean because an official of the state is saying this, it surely must be true.
In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. In the land of the inactive and reactive, the deceptive man is king. In all we do, can we stop and think about what we’re actually doing before we decide to get that hideous blonde weave created from the hair of an overworked Asian woman. Let’s reclaim responsibility for the decisions we make, and pro-actively lead Africa forward.