Another Zimbabwean has his dreadlocks shaved and stolen in South Africa
27 February 2013 | 9729 Views
- 'Hungry' man in trouble for robbing Good Samaritan | 20 October 2014
- Prostitutes up for theft | 26 September 2014
- Bank teller theft cases rise | 08 September 2014
- 30 prison guards fired over $700 000 theft | 03 August 2014
- Catholic Relief director in court for theft | 01 August 2014
- Man collapses after theft | 22 July 2014
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; √Ç¬£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
- Mugabe celebrates killing whites | 18317 views
- Picture of plane allegedly behind Tb Joshua Church collapse released | 17086 views
- Mugabe discusses Mnangagwa power handover in China? | 15516 views
- Sex organ shoots to 30cm, doctors baffled | 15393 views
- Hugh Masekela reveals his Zimbabwean roots | 14664 views
Latest Classifieds (Click Here For More)
Staff reporter | 25 October 2014 | 36 Views
Staff reporter | 25 October 2014 | 92 Views
Staff reporter | 25 October 2014 | 119 Views
Staff reporter | 25 October 2014 | 131 Views
Sikhumbuzo Moyo | 25 October 2014 | 175 Views
Lethokuhle Moyo | 25 October 2014 | 160 Views
Plaxcedes Hove | 25 October 2014 | 286 Views
Sukulwenkosi Dube | 25 October 2014 | 322 Views
Bongani Ndlovu | 25 October 2014 | 931 Views
Staff Reporter | 25 October 2014 | 675 Views
Staff Reporter | 25 October 2014 | 2470 Views
Farirai Machivenyika | 25 October 2014 | 3582 Views
Staff Reporter | 25 October 2014 | 2674 Views
Staff Reporter | 25 October 2014 | 3721 Views
Kennedy M. Mandaza, ZANU PF SA Secretary for Information and Publicity | 25 October 2014 | 2413 Views
Staff Reporter | 24 October 2014 | 5171 Views
Zupa | 24 October 2014 | 3648 Views
Themba Mthethwa | 24 October 2014 | 1588 Views
GP Ndlovu | 24 October 2014 | 8562 Views
Byo Residents | 24 October 2014 | 2044 Views
Staff reporter | 24 October 2014 | 8347 Views
Thubelihle Mabhena | 24 October 2014 | 5253 Views
Farirai Machivenyika and Felex Share | 24 October 2014 | 3311 Views
Suitable Kajau | 24 October 2014 | 4966 Views
Staff Reporter | 24 October 2014 | 3781 Views
Staff reporter | 24 October 2014 | 3777 Views
Staff reporter | 24 October 2014 | 3037 Views
Staff reporter | 24 October 2014 | 6907 Views
Staff reporter | 24 October 2014 | 3382 Views
Staff reporter | 24 October 2014 | 5778 Views
Staff reporter | 23 October 2014 | 902 Views
Staff Reporter | 23 October 2014 | 2116 Views
Staff reporter | 20 October 2014 | 2861 Views
Staff reporter | 20 October 2014 | 5262 Views
Staff reporter | 19 October 2014 | 1580 Views
Staff Reporter | 19 October 2014 | 2810 Views
Staff Reporter | 17 October 2014 | 1827 Views
Staff reporter | 16 October 2014 | 2139 Views