Brother Mashaba, you were good for Jozi but I still want you to pay for my lost hair

25 October 2019 - 08:16
By fred khumalo AND Fred Khumalo

Dear Hairman

I'd just logged on to my Twitter account when the all-knowing social media platform recommended that I follow a number of people, and your name, Brother Mashaba, was top of the list.

I was about to click "follow" when I stopped myself and thought: Wait a minute, you're following this chap but where is he going now that his stint as Joburg mayor is about to end?

Surely your long experience with his Black Like Me products, which destroyed your hair, must have taught you something about the man.

You see, the recommendation on Twitter came on the exact day you tendered your resignation. At the time, I had no idea where you were going. Therefore, following you would have been ill advised.

I knew, Brother Hairman, that wherever you were due to go was certainly not back to the hair salon, not by a hair's breadth. I'm not making fun of you, brother. Just hair me out.

Going back to the hair industry would be ill advised. Jabu Stone has cornered the market and I'm told his products are very kind to African hair, unlike your grease, which robbed many people of their hair.

You were smart to use the name Black Like Me. It sounded radical. It stirred something in a black person's soul. Say it out loud, conjure with it: Black Like Me!

When I was a young man I permed my hair numerous times using your products, trying my best to look like Peabo Bryson and Lionel Richie. But now, Hairman, I have no hair.

We need a TRC. Your business, Hairman, was like the apartheid regime. Your chemicals conspired against African hair. We need reparations for our missing hair and scarred scalps.

Hairman, before you disappear into thin air, may I suggest that you just go to Harvard, that little American college that's become the dumping ground for DA rejects?

Having spent time at Harvard myself I know it's not a place for rejects per se. During my time there I bumped into Tyra Banks - see, she's not a reject! - who was taking classes at the business school. She had no bodyguards. I greeted her. She greeted me back.

I wanted to sing praises about Tyra's figure that looked like that of a wasp. That's what we Zulus say to thin women: Ifiga yakho ingikhumbuza umnyovu!

But I didn't think Tyra had been shellaed the Zulu way before. The compliment would probably have caused offence. So I kept my peace.

Brother Hairman, if you went to Harvard who knows who you might bump into? Beyonce? Michelle Obama? Limitless possibilities.

Also, your homeboy Justice Malala now lives in the US. I can imagine you guys sitting down for a plate of Americanised ting and morogo, reminiscing about good old Hammanskraal. You see? I care about you.

By the time your Harvard stint is over and you come back home, every top local company will be offering you a seat on their board. To be honest, however, the main reason I want you at Harvard is so I will know where to find you once I have raised support for my Hair TRC. I need follicular justice.

In penning this missive, I wasn't trying to get into your hair. This is a tribute. Everybody knows your right-wing streak, but they fail to admit that under your leadership, Johannesburg began to break the shackles of ineptitude. You clamped down on corruption. You began to clean up our streets.

It's a pity that the ruling party look at people's political affiliation instead of skills and experience in good governance. As a result, I don't see them considering you for a top managerial position.

Hairman, you're a good man, an excellent manager. But I still want my hair back.