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My hair

My hair has always had a mind of its own Stays doing whatever it wants whenever it pleases Just never bothers to do any of it, at my convenience Will take its sweet time to grow When I'm most keen to own a 'fro Loves to split into these little bushy clusters Kept in their place by tiny lines of bare skin, They crop up unevenly to cover my scalp just like the scattered shrubs that grace the plains of semi arid Nhabe I love my hair the most when its short that's when it gathers into ridges that rest in little patterned furrows across my head, They resemble the beautiful ridged sand dunes I used to scale in Tsabong When it feels neglected my hair tangles up and literally cracks up into woolen clusters in protest! I often end up having to trim off the tangled bits reminds me of the mud cracks at makgadikgadi salt pans when it does that Sometimes I coax it into braids and traditional threading styles But if not skilfully done my hair slips out of its confines and sticks out in open defiance On a good day it can easily steal the spotlight Showing off its coils and gloss as it coyly curls around the neat rows of plaits My hair couldn’t care less about being defined by length as is the current trend Unless its lovingly crocheted into dreads, it prefers to either curl into tight little coils that hug my scalp like a knitted hat Or billow out into a huge irregular shaped halo of kinks and curls similar to the cotton puffs harvested from mbuya's farm in Chitomborwizi That has to be lovingly tamed with special butters and oils Flowers and beads compliment its unique beauty and texture well I lovingly wrap my hair in turbans and headscarves to protect it during its treatment and conditioning Or just to rock my traditional headdress style My afro swishes, hisses or whistles melodiously as the wind rushes through it depending on its mood at the time Sometimes I catch it mimicking the thickset tree tops of the African jungle, causing my heart to ache with instant nostalgia With its bushy top, that has kinks and knots for branches sticking out to blatantly defy gravity At times I style my hair into spikes and moulds just like the tsodilo hills I even twist it into Bantu knots to honour my ancestors on occasion When humidity rises my coils and knots suck in all the moisture and shrink back to my scalp snapping quickly into survival mode without warning Saving all the moisture like we are still in the kgalagadi desert My efforts to be stylish immediately rendered null and void just like that I never take any of my hair's antics to heart though I love and accept my crowning as it is It's a proud display of my heritage and my origin An interesting conversation starter A unique and under appreciated work of art It’s a one of a kind crown of glory That I’m honoured to carry and pass on to my descendants A precious traditional sacrificial gift rich in tribal essence that I burn as offering to connect me to my ancestors instantly Resilient and wild, it’s as untameable as my Mother Aferika

Copyright © | Year Posted 2021




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Date: 2/7/2022 1:13:00 PM
What a beautiful poem full of profound imagery! I really enjoyed reading this poem. My hair is acting defiant at the moment. Falling out like leaves from trees in autumn. I think it needs deep conditioning. Take care and God bless!
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Olor Avatar
Stafish Olor
Date: 2/21/2022 11:00:00 PM
Thanks sister. I like that line “ falling out like leaves from trees in autumn “ definitely time to pamper your lovely hair indeed. Love and blessings to you too sister xx