Another Zimbabwean has his dreadlocks shaved and stolen in South Africa
2013 February 27 16:13:47 | 8568 Views
- Zanu-PF chairman's son up for stocktheft | 2013 May 15 09:08:14
- Another Zanu-PF chairman up for stocktheft | 2013 May 09 06:40:51
- Tsvangirai's ally faces theft charges | 2013 April 25 00:53:41
- Zanu-PF provincial chairpersons up for stock theft | 2013 April 09 06:29:35
Jack Maseko was recently mugged by three men in South Africa - they wanted nothing but his mobile phone and the dreadlocks he had spent three years patiently cultivating.
"They had a knife and cut off my hair with scissors. I still feel pain when I think about that night," the 28-year-old Zimbabwean tells the BBC.
"I used to see people selling dreadlocks on the streets and didn't know where it came from," he adds, still battling to believe what happened to him as he was walking home late at night in Johannesburg.
Dreadlocks can take several years to grow but many people do not want to wait and it is this need for instant long hair that is pushing the demand for ready locks in the black market, according to hairstylists.
The thieves are quick and sometimes ruthless and will use anything from a knife to broken glass to steal the prized hair - known on the streets as a cut and run.
I didn't go to the police because I didn't think they could do anything about it,” said Maseko
The gangs operate in Johannesburg but the practice has also spread to the coastal town of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.
Shoulder-length dreadlocks are sold for between 200 rand ($23; £15) and 700 rand, while longer ones cost as much as 2,000 rand.
Stylists use a new method known here as crocheting - using a thin needle, they are able to convert relaxed and European hair into dreads by weaving additional human hair pieces into the straight hair - giving a client long-locked hair instantly.
Because this is a fairly new technique, stylists have not built up stockpiles of natural locks, competition is intense and whoever has the locks has the market.
Most South Africans first heard of this phenomenon when the case of another Zimbabwean national Mutsa Madonko, who was attacked and had his hair shaved off outside a Johannesburg night club, made national headlines last month.
Those who have fallen prey to the hair thieves are not hopeful that their plight will be taken seriously.
The police however are calling for people to open cases of assault.
"We have only heard stories but no cases have been reported to us," says Johannesburg police spokesman Captain Lungelo Dlamini.
The police say that victims would be assisted in opening a case of assault, but add that there is no suitable charge for the theft of hair.
Other police officials said they believed people were reluctant to come forward out of embarrassment.
Embarrassing or not, many people are fearful of the now notorious hair thieves. For Mr Maseko, just the thought of having locks again is traumatic.
"I'm afraid to have dreadlocks, I'm afraid that they are going to cut them again. My friends have warned me not grow them, next time they might kill me," he says. - See more at: http://bulawayo24.com/index.php?id=editor&di=new_page#sthash.V1irPp8p.dpuf
Most Read Stories
- Dead woman returns home in tattered clothes after her burial | 18858 views
- Baba Jukwa predicts the fall of Jonathan Moyo | 18770 views
- SA Cop caught on camera having sex, suspended | 17973 views
- Baba Jukwa promises to reveal more Zanu-PF dark secrets | 15321 views
- Pastor impregnates 6 married women from his church | 14717 views
- Boy (16) gets stuck while having sex with a married woman | 12655 views
Read more from iBlog:
Dr Clifford Chitupa Mashiri | 2013 June 20 | 74 Views
Sports reporter | 2013 June 19 | 1324 Views
Staff reporter | 2013 June 19 | 1582 Views
Sapa | 2013 June 19 | 1205 Views
BBC | 2013 June 19 | 897 Views
Reuters | 2013 June 19 | 1357 Views
Staff reporter | 2013 June 19 | 1611 Views
Business reporter | 2013 June 19 | 666 Views
Staff reporter | 2013 June 19 | 1425 Views
Business reporter | 2013 June 19 | 953 Views
Staff reporter | 2013 June 19 | 1094 Views
Staff Reporter | 2013 June 19 | 2016 Views
Staff Reporter | 2013 June 19 | 1624 Views
Staff Reporter | 2013 June 19 | 1979 Views
Fin24 | 2013 June 19 | 911 Views
Violet Gonda | 2013 June 19 | 1309 Views
Nomalanga Moyo | 2013 June 19 | 1491 Views
Finx | 2013 June 19 | 1005 Views
Finx | 2013 June 19 | 660 Views
Staff Reporter | 2013 June 19 | 723 Views
Moyo Roy | 2013 June 19 | 1489 Views
Staff Reporter | 2013 June 19 | 1729 Views
Staff Reporter | 2013 June 19 | 2099 Views
Thabo Mlilo | 2013 June 19 | 2040 Views
Staff Reporter | 2013 June 19 | 1002 Views
guardian.co.uk | 2013 June 19 | 1814 Views
Staff Reporter | 2013 June 19 | 1673 Views
Staff Reporter | 2013 June 19 | 1329 Views
Staff Reporter | 2013 June 18 | 2785 Views
Staff Reporter | 2013 June 18 | 1587 Views