Zim celebrities turn to dreadlocks

HARARE - Years ago, it was considered untidy and unprofessional to wear dreadlocks in certain places in Zimbabwe but with the passage of time this has changed as even the first lady Grace Mugabe now dons them.

Teachers and students were not permitted to attend classes with dreadlocks and also lawyers had trouble representing clients in court while wearing dreadlocks.

While men with dreadlocks have been a common feature in Zimbabwe over the years, the trend has fast spread to women, among them personalities in showbiz and entertainment.

Singer and Kumabhebhi founder, Clare Nyakujara said she twists her own locks, to cut costs.

“I do them myself. I twist, I wash them and I only visit the salon when I need a tint.

“They are easy to maintain, I have had my locks for the past three years.”

It takes an average of four hours in the hairdressing salon to have one’s hair relaxed and plaited.

It can take up to six hours in a salon to have certain complicated hair-dos done such as micro bonding of Brazilian hair.

Nyakujara said she does not have to endure such lengthy periods in the salon as she can easily do her hair at home and in less time.

Top shot gospel musician, Fungisai Zvakavapano-Mashavave is currently wearing dreadlocks. She is a Christian and finds the natural look appealing.

“I am naturally an African woman. I just love going natural. I have done a number of hairstyles from short weaves to Brazilians but I guess natural locks are my thing.”

Mashavave refused to say when she started keeping her locks opting to keep it a secret.

“I have a regular hairdresser who twists my hair and does everything. I have had my locks as far as I can remember, I cannot tell you because that is my secret.”

Nonku Vundla better known as Blackbird in the music circles said she had kept her locks for a record seven years and she cut them.

She then started keeping them again for three years and cut them recently.

“I cut my locks to commemorate my mother’s death to cancer. I felt I should just cut them to remember her death to cancer 18 years ago,” said Blackbird.

However, she said she will eventually start growing the locks once again.

“I don’t like the idea of chemicals in my hair. A little beeswax would do because I don’t want relaxed hair.”

For the years that Blackbird had locks she used to have her hair done at Natural Lock Centre in Harare by one hair dresser, Rutendo.

“Rutendo used to do my hair and no one else used to touch it. That was the way I liked it.”

Olivia Charamba known as Mai Charamba in the music industry alternates between dreadlocks and chemical processed hair. She cut her locks.

“I cut my locks because I needed them for a short time to allow fresh air into my hair. I once had locks and I cut them again. I do not keep them permanently.”

Dreadlocks can be a form of ethnic fashion and can be religious to some, but Mai Charamba and other celebrities agreed that it is just a hairstyle.

Among other notable female personalities in Zimbabwe who have dreadlocks are musician Selmor Mtukudzi, legislator Jessie Majome, mbira players Hope Masike, Virginia Mukwesha and Stella Chiweshe and the late Chiwoniso Maraire also had dreadlocks.

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