A receding issue with hairlines…

Weaves are becoming more and more of a rather sensitive topic. There are 3 obvious sides to how people feel about them – some hate them, some love them and others have got bigger problems to worry about. I am not even remotely afraid to state that I hate hate HATE weaves! I hate that a few months ago I witnessed a baby on a woman’s back where both mother and baby had weaves. And, I’m not referring to those all-black-all-light-absorbing cheap weaves. No, I am talking about the charismatic black with blonde highlights weaves. Ok, it wasn’t a baby – that’s pushing it. It was a toddler not older than 5. I’m saying this in case I offend any toddlers who might accidentally land on this post.

Now, I read an interesting article Khaya Dlanga wrote and published in News24.co.za (which you can read by clicking here) and it reminded me of a campaign I once ran on Facebook about a year ago on weaves. I feel Khaya held back in his article. I say so because the issue of weaves he addresses brushes over the heart of the matter and I can summarise his article in this one sentence: “Women, us men will STILL want you without the weaves.” That’s it. You’ve just read the entire article in that one line. Great article though – great laughs. What I did like the most were the comments that followed this post. These were more ‘down on the earth’, more raw and expressed by people who feel violated by weaves.

I am such a person and this is my issue with a receding issue with hairlines…

Unfortunately the people we ‘love’ SO dearly – friends, family, girlfriends and the odd colleague – have fallen prey to the phenomenon that is *insert a 3-second pause here* ‘the weave’. Yes some 5 years back we heard about how Beyonce wore an expensive weave and how it might be the next big thing. This was on another continent so this would never have bothered me and it didn’t. Unfortunately then came the likes of Rihanna on the scene – young, vibrant and… brave. Very very brave. There’s only 1 Rihanna, 1 Beyonce and a few women who boast the same figures of a great body, great hair and bank balances of these women and pull this bravery off. As a result, what I have witnessed with my bare eyes has absolutely traumatised me. I have heard countless stories of the truth that is revealed beneath these weaves at hair salons.

Let me dive into the crux of the matter in 10 points:
1. Your friends, hairstylist and man have all lied to you – the hair doesn’t make you look hot as Rihanna. Well, it actually wasn’t too bad for the first 3 to 4 sleeps. Please destroy it.

2. Oh it’s a Brazilian? That’s a lovely story. I can’t really tell. I can’t wait for your next hairstyle.

3. Children that have not completed high school should not be allowed back home with a weave. If she can’t comfortably afford it with her own money – don’t let her do it.

Oh, side note: have you ever read up on weaves? I have! Check out the Wikipedia on the history and different types of weaves by clicking here. It is nothing solid, but says quite a bit. Worth a squirt.

4. Was it really worth paying more than ZAR5,000 for? Really? Oh you can wash it and re-use it? Yeah that makes it look so much better. Please. Stop wasting your hard earned money. The salon is ripping you off. It took them 30 minutes to an hour which is great, but in 2 weeks you know the expiry date would have been reached, right? No, I will not pay for your weave – are you on drugs? If your man or parent sponsored it – they must shoot themselves on the knee.

5. Get new friends who will tell you when your track is showing. You rocking up in my local Woolies store with your tired looking weave is putting me off the food. Ok, this is harsh. I’m not sorry.

6. Red, blue, purple, pink and blonde weaves are for unemployed people or celebrities. We can hardly say we have celebrities in SA so stop advertising your colourful personality by using your hair. It’s not a good look. Try shoes and hand bags. Those are tried, tested and work.

7. Weave strands in the bathroom sink, bathroom floor, bathtub, shower floor, carpet, couches, car seats, half the bed and in that one food dish is not working for me.

8. Does your hairline really deserve this backwards punishment? Yes, your hairline was looking a bit frail before this new do, but you DO realise the ‘fullness’ of the weave and where you decided to have the weave-split (that part where you decide this part will fall to the left and the other to the right? Yes! That) is making your hairline look non-existent? You can’t? Take a closer look:

Exhibit A - Naomi Campbell's Hairline
Exhibit A - Naomi Campbell's Hairline

9. Of course I’m going to lie about how the weave looks on you. You put me on the spot! That’s a monster fringe you got going there! Don’t you die of heat under this African sun? No, don’t touch my hat. Yes, I can smell that you were in an establishment where the “no smoking” bylaw did not apply. Is that some food I see stuck in your hair? Is that puke?? *grabs bucket* ( << I have witnessed this.)

10. You don't want or are too lazy to style your own hair so you would rather get a weave? What? Are you insane? Why did you get the weave then? No, I'm not saying shave off all your hair – that's extreme. I'm saying there are plenty other options. S-curl and cut? Old school, but definitely cool with a pair of shades. I approve.

That's it. Case closed. Go get those twists or even a Catherine Rapodile-like "Push back relax". I will personally love you for it. It makes you look like the CEO! The HBIC! ( << visit urbandictionary.com for a definition of that if you require one.) I will definitely help you undo your braids – terms and conditions apply.

Hairline healthy, no hair all over the show and… you look great! The twists, the lovely relaxed hair, braids… Yes they took an entire day and a half, but they lasted 2 months, you maintained them well and they look great in every one of your outfits. *moves in for a peck on the lips*

Finally – I love you ladies! What do I know right? If I could I swear I would start a weave business. I would cater for all markets – students, middle class and high-flying women and beat any international pricing. I would create jobs and behave like I'm a tenderpreneur! #Winning! Some of you look amazing in weaves. Please be sure it's worth it? Look after your hairline because your next weave will NOT grow it back. I've heard there are ways to preserve one's hairline. If you're in the business – I genuinely admire your grind. Keep at it. Grow it. Save women. Save hairlines.

(If a man is wearing a weave – please tell them to kill themselves and that if they don't do the world that service, then I hope they go bald).

*starts praying to God to ask for forgiveness for this post*


A game of political consequence

I have long felt that we indeed live in an interesting political climate in South Africa and with the national provincial elections coming up this rings ever so true. Now, I need to state that I do not belong to any specific political party. By this I mean that I do not carry a membership card to any organisation other than banks and perhaps Clicks, Discovery Medical Aid, Ster Kinekor and… that’s about it. This means I have the freedom, excuse my poor diction, to sway my vote whichever way I please.

What was I saying? Oh yes. A game of political consequence.

I can’t say I’m on the fence with regards to the political game. I’m a quiet observer as presidents are called down before the end of their term, where I see youth leagues throwing parties to woo voters. I too have witnessed teachers going on national strike for half a x-amount in salary increases for weeks on the eve of matric examinations. I’ve come across countless examples of corruption. And, by countless I don’t mean 20. I mean – countless. Quite frankly, if SARS refunded all my tax money I would gladly watch you all squirm at the abuse – hehe! Unfortunately I am indeed a tax payer. I am in my fifth year doing of so and in all that time I have wished for one thing really – public sporting facilities. There are people who dislike Midrand because it apparently ‘has nothing’. No mall, no museum, no theatre… It is basically one big residential area. And it is such a pity because there are so many businesses and tax-paying individuals who reside in Midrand. People who truly deserve more than they’re ‘receiving’.

Now, in no way am I even suggesting that the current priority on eradicating poverty should be abandoned – oh no. I am saying – c’mon! Really? All the black middle class deserve is traffic? Toll fees? Car guards? Beggars on every corner? Potholes? Let’s not forget the very meaningful name changes which cost us millions. And, for what? What has changed? Exercises I think can be easily prioritized as ‘low-importance’ on the agenda? Surely? Anyway, let me drive my point home. A public swimming pool. Public tennis facilities. Public netball and basketball courts. There are children here too – not just in the streets of Soweto. We contribute so why are we given ‘a miss’? Is it that no one of significant political importance lives in my region? We then hear all this talk all over the media about initiatives to uplift the youth in terms of running a business and to that I have a few things to say – I am what we consider a member of the ‘youth’. I run a business and I have come across so many people such as myself with visions and solutions for many of our problems but we all have 2 main problems:
– We don’t have the right surnames.
– We don’t know the ‘right people’.

We can’t all run event companies to gain ‘contracts’ from ‘government gigs’. This is not sustainable. What is the game plan for the long-term around education and health? Tenders are not going to work because let’s be honest – the best company doesn’t really get the deals. The company which is willing to split with the most bottom-line profit before a project starts stand a better chance. We live in a time where getting finance for a five hundred thousand rand car can take 2 days to complete and you drive off in a flashy new set of wheels. Let’s try the same for a house of the same value and you see how very different the outcome and conditions become. All some people need is a chance. I’ll be honest – I’ve done a few gigs for government agencies. Design and print jobs. The strange thing is – events that are planned MONTHS in advance are all but ALWAYS rushed. Time lines are tighter than a bolt and nut. It is as though we were presented with a golden opportunity to fail. Once I did. I was less than pleased to hear how ‘black businesses should just give up because you all just can’t deliver’. Really? 2 days over a weekend to produce a miracle? What ever happened to good old planning? How about our attempt to register with the NYDA where upon reaching the reception area we were told: “Do you know anybody here at the NYDA? If you don’t then don’t even bother, but you can leave you forms with me.” This is a true story which genuinely had me wondering which international destination I could flee to.

Now, I don’t live in Hammanskraal any more, but I spent 18 years of my life there. I know poverty. I know what it’s like to have parents who can barely afford my school fees. We all have a story. I may not look or sound it, but I do. Why should I feel punished though? If the government is the captain of the ship then can we get some direction please? Election promises mean nothing to me. In fact, less said – the better. A public hospital in Midrand would be great. Oh no wait – I keep thinking this is Soweto.

As if things could not get any worse – we hear of under spending in 8/9 provinces to the tune of over R200m. Unbelievable.

Let’s consider this as an outcry. Not from any political party, but from an ordinary South African Citizen. If this is a game then it is clear who the winner and loser are and I’m on the wrong side of that fence.

*raises white flag*

Taxi Driver. Motorcyclist. Cut from the same cloth?

I cannot start to express how much I do not respect taxi drivers. Yes, they take brunt of being responsible for some 16 million commuters on a weekly basis, but how do we even begin to justify the manner in which these commuters are transported? How refreshing would it be to WANT to leave one’s car at home over the weekend on the regular and utilise a public transport form instead? Truth is – by the time most commuters can afford to no longer use a taxi they breathe an eternal sigh of relief. They are also highly unlikely to revisit that avenue if they can help it.

Now, my biggest issue with the South African Taxi Organisations, which we’ll call SATO for this exercise, is that they don’t contribute towards the tax revenue of this country. Okay, I lie – they do, but like any cash business – how do YOU know if they don’t make 6 times what they declare? Anyway, that’s another topic altogether. Let me get into the heart of my gripe – red robots, speeding, poor condition of the vehicles, barrier line overtaking, tricks to avoid stand-still traffic… Now, I am generally not bothered by this because I’ve used taxis for much of my life. I KNOW how impatient the passengers are. This IS Gauteng and we’re all always in a rush. Very bizarre, but admittedly true. Well, if you’ve experienced any of this ‘horrendous’ driving I’m talking about then I have to ask – have you ever witnessed motorcycles on our roads and wondered – “Are taxi drivers and motorcyclists cut form the same cloth?”

Thailand - Bangkok - Public Transportation - Tuk-Tuk (Motorcycle Taxi)
Thailand - Bangkok - Public Transportation - Tuk-Tuk (Motorcycle Taxi)

There isn’t a single way in which I can differentiate between them – all are in a rush, they feel they own the road and have an incredible sense of entitlement. “Look at me. Why did you not see me? Let’s get off/out of our vehicles and battle it out then!”

It’s a damn shame. On a lighter side – I love witnessing quarrels between the two. Much like sibling rivalry. Truly one and the same.

Quite the sight.