Another Zimbabwean has his dreadlocks shaved and stolen in South Africa
27 February 2013 | 9634 Views
- 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
- Magistrate, lawyer in trouble over stocktheft fine | 07 July 2014
- Man gets 14 years behind bars for stock theft | 19 June 2014
- Illegal livestock and meat agents stimulates stock theft | 18 June 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,√¢‚Ç¨¬ù 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
- 'Chiwenga orders Mugabe to endorse Mnangagwa as Zim's next president' - Report | 52196 views
- President Khama election rival killed in car accident | 44288 views
- SA to renew all Zimbabwe dispensation permits | 43408 views
- Mugabe's 17-yr-old son smokes for the camera - Photos | 43182 views
- 'Grace Mugabe Seriously ill in Singapore' - Rumour | 40498 views
- TB Joshua exposes chilling secrets of top illuminati members - Video | 35427 views
Ihechukwu Njoku - freelance Nigerian journalist | 02 September 2014 | 736 Views
Staff reporter | 02 September 2014 | 752 Views
Unknow | 02 September 2014 | 552 Views
Staff reporter | 02 September 2014 | 1047 Views
Staff reporter | 02 September 2014 | 888 Views
Staff reporter | 02 September 2014 | 1764 Views
Staff reporter | 02 September 2014 | 830 Views
Staff reporter | 02 September 2014 | 827 Views
Sibhekisipho Fayayo | 02 September 2014 | 755 Views
Michael Magoronga | 02 September 2014 | 618 Views
Marvelous Moyo | 02 September 2014 | 1099 Views
Tichaona Zindoga | 02 September 2014 | 957 Views
Staff Reporter | 02 September 2014 | 1144 Views
Staff reporter | 02 September 2014 | 737 Views
Staff reporter | 02 September 2014 | 320 Views
Staff reporter | 02 September 2014 | 568 Views
Staff Reporter | 02 September 2014 | 962 Views
Staff reporter | 02 September 2014 | 772 Views
Bongani Ndlovu | 02 September 2014 | 409 Views
Staff Reporter | 02 September 2014 | 1597 Views
Staff Reporter | 02 September 2014 | 1772 Views
Tawanda Marwizi | 02 September 2014 | 1240 Views
Staff Reporter | 02 September 2014 | 1198 Views
Prosper Dembedza | 02 September 2014 | 871 Views
Munyaradzi Musiiwa | 02 September 2014 | 420 Views
Court Reporter | 02 September 2014 | 545 Views
Staff reporter | 02 September 2014 | 692 Views
Tendai Rupapa | 02 September 2014 | 677 Views
Nyasha Weluzani and Heather Charema | 02 September 2014 | 480 Views
Farai Kuvirimirwa | 02 September 2014 | 797 Views
Simba Media Consultants | 02 September 2014 | 445 Views
Staff Reporter | 29 August 2014 | 2280 Views
Sophia Chese | 29 August 2014 | 2006 Views
Staff reporter | 28 August 2014 | 1683 Views
Staff Reporter | 28 August 2014 | 2214 Views
Staff reporter | 27 August 2014 | 2701 Views
Staff reporter | 27 August 2014 | 2605 Views
Showbiz Reporter | 27 August 2014 | 4925 Views