I recently visited a salon at the famous UTC a.k.a “Kwa Rujugiro”, though rumours have it that the good old man sold the place to somebody else.
As of now, the building is taking another new name; NAKUMATT! The NAKUMATT craze is the latest to invade Kigali.
As I was saying, there is a lot to be desired when it comes to the so called hair cutting (hair dressing or kwogosha).
There are too many “salon de coiffures” in town that, one wonders where to go.
In the olden days, we used to go under a huge mango tree. The barber would use several wooden combs (ibisokozo), pairs of scissors (imikatsi) and the famous manual hair clippers (exclusively for the well to do and their kin).
Who needed the vibrating machines on top of their heads? The guys used to trim the hair to a constant height of about an inch from the skin a.
Then, we wore our hair in the afro style. Nowdays, guys in the name of ‘amajyambere’ have moved away from the tree shades to exotic looking buildings in order to establish their trade, imagine a crown of Coiffures packed in a room; all of them busy chopping clients’ hair, all this flying here and there! Notwithstanding the various head ailments that those people bring along with them!
I once suffered from a very severe skin ailment on my head, I had so many sores and sub-boils on my head that my friends and foes used to refer to me as rotten head.
This is the ugly side of salon de coiffures. Under our muvumo trees, nobody would be allowed to contaminate the village salon de coiffure with any head ailments. After all, the like of Matiansi (the village barber) would never allow such to happen.
The trimming off of hair, leaving the scalp as bare or even worse than the Sahara desert, was not traditionally acceptable.
These days, it is very difficult to tell as to whether one is really bald or it is an ‘artificial’ bald!
When we were young, it was an abomination for anyone to cut off all the hair right down to the scalp; this was only reserved for very old men and women.
It was taboo to shed all your hair when you still had a dad. This practice of shaving off everything was for orphans only.
Surely, if you lost a dad (God forbid), however valuable your hair was, it would get shaven off by use of a razorblade, no compromise.
Now, here I am, having all my hair removed in such a manner as to either hide the greying edges of my head or trying to disguise the rapidly growing bald. This is really bad.