Let’s admit it, sometimes men with neatly done cornrows or dreadlocks look charming. Perhaps it’s easy to think them charming when you are not dating one of them.
By Vivian Agaba and Vicky Wandawa
Let’s admit it, sometimes men with neatly done cornrows or dreadlocks look charming. Perhaps it’s easy to think them charming when you are not dating one of them. Some women will even argue that they are not their hair. That they are men of integrity, are respectful, know just how to treat a woman and the list will go on, just to prove that whether with dreads or plaited hair, a number of them might be ‘real men’, even better than those with ‘normal’ hair.
However, if you fell in love with one, would you stand by him and his hair? Or would you give in an d ask him to cut it off because you are drained by the numerous debates in which you have to defend him? Obviously, the debate about men’s hair is bound to come up over and over again.
How comfortably will you introduce him to your parents as you witness their astonished expressions? Or even blatantly asking why, of all men, you chose one who plaits his hair?
Certainly, some of your friends will outrightly tell you that you can do better than a Rasta! And if he is into cornrows, most likely it’s a woman who will do his hair and if you are the overly cautious kind, you might not be comfortable with another woman’s hands in your man’s head for at least three hours every month!
The woes of dating a man who plaits his hair or wears dreadlocks. Racheal Nabasa, 22, a second-year university student, is facing such a dilemma. Her siblings rejected her boyfriend, Mugisa who wears dreadlocks.
Nabasa and Mugisa met at the university and have been in a relationship for a year. Nabasa’s friends and siblings are telling her to stop dating him if he cannot shave his head clean. “I come from a staunch Catholic and traditional family where it is taboo for a man to wear plaited hair. However, I love my boyfriend so much that I would not want to lose him. What can I do?” Nabasa wonders.
“To make matters worse, my siblings have threatened to tell our parents, and knowing them, they would even call a family meeting to ‘discipline’ me,” Nabasa adds. The issue has not left her relationship with her girlfriends unscathed. Some of her friends keep making fun of her for dating ‘a Rastafarian’, adding that such men are considered irresponsible and are usually life’s biggest losers.
Surprisingly, Nabasa has not disclosed her dilemma to him. “I fear he may leave me, yet I love him,” Nabasa says.
Jean Nuwagaba, a counsellor at Kyambogo University, says it is unfortunate that society frowns upon men with plaited hair and deems them criminals or irresponsible. She advises that when someone is faced with a situation where friends and relatives detest their choice of partner based on their physical appearance, they should highlight the person’s good qualities and beg that they be given a chance.
“This man may have a good character, which may be overshadowed by his hairstyle, but if one interacts with him, they may end up accepting him,” says Nuwagaba. She adds: “Explain to them that other than considering the outward appearance, they should take time to study the person.” People have different reasons for wearing dreadlocks.
For example, if it were because they are artistes, it would be unfair to label them criminals, yet they are actually trying to market themselves to their target audience, Nuwagaba adds.
On the other hand, Joseph Musaalo, a counsellor at the Uganda Christian University, advises that: “Couples in that situation should sit down and discuss where the relationship is heading. If it is for a short while, the man need not cut off his hair. But if the couple plans to take the relationship to another level, it is advisable for the man to respect the woman’s family by shaving off the hair.”
He also advisescouples faced with such a dilemma to seek professional counselling.
Would you date a man with plaited hair?