Florence Masebe

Nyamuthenga, Khadzi ya Makovhagada! Muduhulu wa Vhafamadi! Tshiongweeee!!!!


Khadzi's Diary


My Black Hair!

Black hair is making headlines right now and many of us are speaking out in support for the children being victimised for their hair. The sad thing for me is that this is not knew. The shaming of black hair had gone on long enough. The ugliest things that get said about my black hair are said by black people themselves.

So, right now, I get irritated by questions seeking to make us explain ourselves and our hair. It’s a tired trend really. I wrote this month’s ago, still relevant now. Please read and free your hair.

I want to talk about hair. Black hair. My hair. 

This is not a piece about what other people choose to 
do with their hair. I’m one person who does not want to bother myself with what is on the heads of 
others. That might just be the reason I find it odd that others get bothered when I don’t straighten or 
comb mine. 

My first primary school headmistress was one of very few adults I disliked as a child. She terrorised 
us so much with her obsession with our hair. She hated black hair so much she insisted that the 
entire school shave their heads at all times. We must have looked really weird at assembly. Her own
hair was stretched, of course. I always got in trouble for two things at that school. Being late and not 
cutting my hair. What was it about our hair that upset that lady so much? Why wouldn’t she let us 
grow our hair? She was not the only one. 
Other schools I went to would not insist on short hair, but we were not allowed to plait it. You 
would, however, get punished for not combing your hair. I still don’t get it. My father had long hair. 
In fact, I never saw his head shaved. Hair, to us, is sacred. As a child there were always people 
offering to plait my hair and I remember how I’d get into trouble for letting just anyone touch my 
hair. I was a kid and didn’t understand. When straightening and perming hair became fashionable I 
was in high school. At some stage I felt unloved because we were not allowed to put chemicals on 
our hair. Home rule. So everyone at school was stretching and curling and there I was with just this 
hair. I wanted the perm so badly. I couldn’t do this until much later in life. Then came the relaxer 
phase. It made the hair soft and straight but the discomfort of getting my scalp burnt each time I 
went to the salon became too much. So I became the braids girl. This was my safe choice for years. 
Most images you’ll find of me in my early career on television are braids images. 
I’m an actor. Wigs and clip-on extensions are tools of my trade. So, occasionally, I do get to use 
these. Over the years though, I’ve found myself getting back to the hair sensitivities of my childhood. 
Without even making a strict and obvious decision about it, I stopped letting people touch my hair. 
No chemicals. No extensions. Sometimes not even braids. I feel most free and strong when my hair is 
left alone in its natural state. Most importantly, I know it is beautiful. 
I have had the mourner’s shave for a while now. Culture and traditional customs are very important
to me. I am not forced to do this, I choose to. I have had to mute myself on so many occasions when 
people want to get involved and become too opinionated on what should happen with my hair. 
Ignorance is such a tragic thing. People who hate their own hair keep suggesting that I need to do 
my hair. Do what to it exactly? It was done at creation and I don’t really want to mess with the 
masterpiece any longer. 
This hair is mine. This hair is black. This hair is beautiful. This hair is befitting of the Khadzi that I am. I 
own a comb. I don’t use it much. My choice. 

Florence - 04:42:51 | 9 comments

  1. Mosadi Teffo


    DROPS MIC! Well said!

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