‘I don’t take pics with girls who wear weaves’
2015-04-19 15:00 CITY PRESS
Legendary trumpeter Hugh Masekela caused a stir at Rhodes University when he refused to take pictures with girls donning weaves or hair extensions.
“You’re lucky that you were sneaky enough to have him take a picture of you next to me, otherwise I would have refused. I don’t take pictures with girls who have your kind of hair,” Masekela told a student who had taken a picture with him, according to student journalist Sanele Ntshingana.
Masekela also railed against weaves and hair extensions at a press conference.
“We spend about a billion rand on other people’s hair each year. I don’t even know where to begin on this issue,” said Masekela, who was at the university to receive an honorary doctorate.
Masekela, who was given a standing ovation, delivered an address which focused on his disdain for the youth’s dwindling sense of heritage. Among his issues were indigenous languages, storytelling and music, but his position on hair was perhaps the most provocative.
Masekela was described by some audience members as being “irritable” and “condescending”, while others appreciated his direct approach. On the subject of student activism and the removal of colonial statues, Masekela was dismissive, saying that the youth should focus on “bigger problems”, like poverty, inequality and crime.
The honorary doctorate from Rhodes University is the fourth such honour for Masekela.
I recently stumbled upon the above article, and I must admit, that I was mildly annoyed/saddened by the views of our much loved and respected Mr Hugh Masekela. If he’s not going to take pictures with girls who wear weaves because of the billions spent on them, then I’m afraid he’s going to have to strike off many people from his list, like those who spend on designer jeans and takkies, or even those who spend a lot on food, which usually ends up in the bin, not to mention many other industries where billions are being spent in a year.
I acknowledge the current crisis in the world and I empathise with each and every person going through hardship, I also recognise and fulfil my responsibility as a fellow human being and I contribute as much as I can where I can, and I TOTALLY agree that we should not be spending billions of rands on beauty while people are suffering, but I would also like to take a look at the other side of the coin.
I have to admit, like many people out there (men and women) I thrive on looking good while going about everyday life. While I do not spend thousands of rands on my hair or clothing, I will spend a fair amount on making myself presentable.
There are millions of women who spend tons of money on make- up and clothing. Does this mean we should snub them for looking good and dressing well?
My personal opinion is that black women are being “exploited” when it comes to their hair. It’s not fair to blame them for wanting to look good, (although I must admit, most women are just as beautiful naturally). But it doesn’t hurt to add a little Pizazz to our looks.
Unfortunately distributors/suppliers/manufacturers are using this to their advantage and are charging ridiculous amounts of money for their product, knowing that women don’t have much choice but to purchase their products.
The same can be said for women of other races, when it comes to “enhancing their beauty”. Most white women spend a lot of money on nails and make-up, some Indian women spend money on laser treatments, or the latest diet.
We are always looking for ways to look better. This is not wrong. However, it is wrong when we start to obsess and go to the extreme and spend ridiculous amounts of money on products, face lifts, etc
(I digress, I know) but, on the flip side of the coin, we as women, also contribute to the “exploitation” of other women. We tend to bring down our sisters for wearing something that is of a cheaper quality (no matter how good it looks, but if it’s from the ‘CHINESE SHOPS” and God forbid, if that weave is synthetic and not genuine, it’s like the worst sin you can commit )
I believe you should purchase an item because it looks good, not because of it’s price tag. Often I hear women give a compliment and then ask “where did you buy it from, and how much was it?” unless you also want one, how does the price tag or name of retailer matter, it does not change the way it looks.
We should stop competing with each other and criticising each other, instead we should help build each other up, so there won’t be a need to spend Billions on hair pieces or designer shoes just to prove something to our friends.
This topic has got me worked up and as I write, I realise that I could go on forever regarding the statement in the above article.
Just because Weaves are most highlighted does not mean it’s the only thing which people spend billions on. I could list many non- essential items people spend money on. So I don’t think it’s fair to judge those whose only intention is to look good.
JUST BECAUSE WE DIDN’T MENTION IT, DOES NOT MEAN IT’S NOT THERE.