Monday, 20 February 2012

Hairdos: Mother, Grandmother and I-Part 2

Hello people. I know its been long, tooo long but this lack of a computer is really affecting me but I know I will prevail. So here is the part two of my true hair story that I wrote for O'Naturals. I hope you enjoy it and I wish you a very happy week. God bless


Saturdays came fast! My hair was loosened and washed every other Saturday. I really liked this hair time because the water cooled my head and I loved the smell of the shampoo. My happiness was always short lived because it also heralded the painful process of having my hair weaved. Grandma had given me a sample of her hair making skills two weeks ago and I knew I was in serious trouble!

At 4:45PM, Grandma called out my name. She had the adiagbon, the ilari and iyari (coconut oil, one toothed comb and hair comb) by her side. I put my stool down and reluctantly sat on it. And just like the first time, she clamped my head between her legs and started weaving my hair. As if this wasn’t painful enough, intermittently, she would release a foul blast of wind straight into my face and no matter how hard I wiggled, she would hold my head down and keep weaving.

I cried and cried till I was weak. My mother came out several times to ask her to be gentler but Grandma ignored her. The third time my mother came out, Grandma admonished her: "Look Mama Tope, if you come out one more time, I will leave her head alone and if you like carry her to those who charge you! I know you will look for any excuse to spend my son’s money but no one can say I didn’t try to curb your reckless spending!". At this my poor mother rubbed my back and went back into her room.

And so by the time Grandma finished my hair, my face was swollen and I looked defeated. I staggered to my parents’ room where my mother, on seeing me, grabbed me to herself. I begged my mother to cut my hair, but she said she couldn’t as it would only give Grandma another excuse to complain about how she disrespected her. And so the torture continued. At 4:30PM every other Saturday, just before Grandma weaved my hair, my mother would leave to attend the officers’ wives meetings she never used to have time for. The pain never got better and there wasn’t a time that Grandma didn’t pass wind. I thought it would never end.

Salvation came in the most unlikely way. I had moved into a new class for a new term when a little mixed race girl, Lucinda Ramos-Whyte, joined our class. I was the smallest in my class but when Lucinda arrived, I became the second smallest. Mrs Okondore, our class teacher, put us to sit together at the very front of the class so we could see the blackboard. For a couple of days, Lucinda didn’t speak to anyone and Mrs Okondore would sit with her at break time and go through the lessons with her. One day, Mrs Okondore asked us to share a book and read from it together. So we had no choice but to put our heads together and look at the book.We smiled at each other, I offered her sweets and by long break, we had become firm friends. I taught her all the games I knew like ‘ten-ten’ and ‘my mother told me’ and she taught me hop scotch and single Dutch skipping.

One week to my appointment with Grandma, Lucinda’s dad came to our class to speak with Mrs Okondore. He was very tall and skinny and he spoke very slowly. After he left, Mrs Okondore went around the class inspecting us and telling us what she had discussed with Lucinda's dad. Lucinda looked at me sadly as she asked me if I still wanted to be her friend. I threw my arms around her laughing: of course I would still be her friend!

As soon as I got home, I ran up the stairs into the kitchen where I knew my mother would be and announced proudly "Mommy, I have lice!" I didn’t care about shaving my head to gorimapa and hearing the gorimapa song being sung for me because Grandma would never have to weave my hair again. I could almost sense the relief in my mother’s eyes. That evening my hair was loosened and a scarf tied around my head. Mom bought some head lice medicine and took me to Oga Barber whose shop was down the street.

I felt no sadness when he cut my hair to a short comb through. He applied the medicine and combed the lice out. I sat waiting for him to give me gorimapa but he just smiled and asked me to stand up and go with my Mom. I looked up at her, puzzled as she led me back to the car. "This should be easier for you to manage now, abi?" I nodded happily. "Thank God!" She exclaimed. "Why don’t we go to Apapa Amusement Park next Saturday?" We both laughed happily as we returned home: lice free, hair free and definitely pain free.

Thank you Omozo for the opportunity to do this for your blog. I'm grateful and thanks for the editing. I hope you're doing sometjing with it, you have the gift babe. God bless xx