Jazz icon Hugh Masekela explained his views on hair politics in an interview with Radio 702’s Azania Mosaka on Thursday. Masekela shared his background, which he said influenced his views when it comes to African women wearing weaves.
He first clarified that he was not saying African women should not wear weaves, but that he did not want to form part of the “movement” of people who wear or condone the wearing of weaves.
“I don’t object for anyone to wear them. I grew up a very traditional life. There was a government hair situation where if your hair was a certain way you couldn’t become a coloured [person]. But if your hair was smooth enough then you could be a coloured.”
“My mom was half white. Her father was Scottish. So we had coloured relatives. On my mother’s side also was the MaNdebeles and my father was Karanga … Pedi.”
Masekela went on to explain how his coloured relatives used to discriminate against him because of the texture of his hair, allegedly some calling him “curly head”. He also talks about how the apartheid regime used to discriminate against black people on the basis of their hair texture.