Darling, please love my weave
I am yet to meet that man who truly loves my weave, for the minute they discover that what I wear on my head is a weave, I never see them again. So if you are not in my life right now, then you had better know that you are one of those men who despised my weave or mistreated it by throwing it in the dustbin, or laughed at it. And if you want to love me now, you had better love my weave too!
One boyfriend, Tim, declared that he could not recognise me because sometimes I was blond, at times dark-haired, and the next moment I was a Brunette. Sometimes I looked like an Asian, with a long horse hair sliding behind my back like a wedding trail. Sometimes, he said, when I put on my blue wig, I look like a white woman in dark skin. He said at times I looked young and at times very old and he could not quite place me. We quarelled and he walked out late in the night, never to pick up my calls or be seen again.
My fiance Kanja said I could not be trusted because I kept changing my appearances. When Kanja invited me to meet his parents in the cold steep slopes of Murang’a, he had already told his mother that I was a decent woman with short black natural kinky hair. When Kanja met me at the Bus stop he looked disgusted but I could not understand why. His mother was not as friendly as she had sounded on phone and his father remained aloof.
It was only later that I was to learn that my yellow weave was a bone of contention and that after deep consultations within the Kanja family, it was agreed that I was too fake to be married in that family.
“My father even thinks you might forge the family documents and sell them to strangers,” Kanja said laughing, yet after that I never saw him again.
For me the weave has been the true test of a man’s love. I may do everything humanly possible to make my relationship work only to be spoilt by my weave. “You wear a weave, you are fake, so fake!” One man shouted at me after what I had believed was a wonderful night. He walked out of the door and I never saw him again. And my heart was broken…all because of a poor weave.
The other day as I walked down Accra Street a chokora (a street boy) pulled my weave from my hair and ran away with it. My head was bold and I heard people jeering and laughing hysterically as they shouted, “fake, fake woman. Bad woman, prostitute, she has no hair! You witch,” they bayed for my blood and I narrowly escaped from being lynched. I walked into Tusky’s Supermarket and bought another weave and I felt normal again.
The weave is my second companion. We are bound together for life and I would not give up my weave for anything else, not even love.
When my friend Liz was daignosed with cancer her lovely long hair fell out after Chemotherapy. I remember taking her round various beauty shops until we got a really nice weave that fitted her to perfection. It was a happy day as we celebrated her new weave. It boosted her confidence and made her presentable among her friends and colleagues.
The weave, such a good companion. For Becky, whose hair fell off after taking ARVS for 20 years, the weave has just been a miracle healer in all its womanly glory, transforming her into a beautiful woman.
Truda had a brain surgery that left an ugly mark on her head and in came the weave, covering the unpleasant scar and making her look fantastic. Those who do not know the weave simply do not understand it. But it is not only a huge chunk of men who hate the weave. Some women hate it too. Some women hate it because their men hate and and so to please their men, they just hate it to maintain their relationships. To please their men, these women leave the house in their natural hair, but wear the weave in the bathroom as soon as they get to the office. They shed off the weave in the evening and lock it safely in their desks in a regular secret ritual that will continue the following day.
My friend Jessy, a medical doctor hates the weave, especially Human Hair. Jessy swears that during her visit to India she witnessed some temple prostitutes shave their hair in a ritual to the gods. The hair, she alleges were sold all over the world as weaves. Jessy will never wear a weave…maybe a synthetic one, she says. She will however not tell me the side effects the weave has on human health
But Bertha, my neighbour claims that men loathe the weave because it makes every woman look attractive to other men. “It’s just a plain case of jealousy for these weave haters. They want to control their women but they have no power over the weave so they hate it,” says Bertha.
My buddy Alexis hates the weave. “Every time I kiss my girlfriend the weave moves or falls. Honestly, it makes me uncomfortable and suspicious of my girl-friend,” says Alexis
There are many myths and prejudices people have over the weave. For me, the weave is here to stay. I love my weaves. I must confess I have ten at the moment. Some are braided, straght perms, yellow wigs, green twists. I love my weaves very much when they are new and I usually try to wear them for as long as possible. I really do feel sad when the weave gets old and smelly and I have to let it go!
The weave, such a powerful tool in women economic empowerment. Such a creator of jobs to both men and women in the beauty industry.
The weave for me is a cheap economic affair and saves me expensive visits to the Salon. I can wear it for three to six months and only use oil or a spray on it. It makes me look sooooo beautiful. Beauty as they say, is in the eyes of the beholder. My beholder is the mirror in my bedroom and it likes me with my weave on. I stand in total solidarity with my weave.
So thank you dearest weave for always being there when I need you. You are a friend, a true friend indeed. You know that I am not fake at all and you keep my secret of why you are on my head. You are here to stay and trust me, I will always be with you. I love you!
Copyright Omwa Ombara, 2012