2014 March 8: Les Locks


Portrait of the Self, Sly…

by Selaelo “SlyPod” Mannya

My name is Selaelo, affectionately known as Sly, the Pod, Poddle Puff or whatever else takes the fancy of the woman I am with. I’m 26 years old and work as a strategist in digital advertising. I am also head of the social media department of a political party. If I had to classify myself for a medical discovery, I would say I am androgynous.  I loathe the idea of being boxed in by self or others

In December 2007, I rocked a big afro, the Pitch black type of big. My grandmother did not like it because it would get untidy from the dust in rural Polokwane. I was born and bred and will be buried in Polokwane and so things like dust do not bother me. Village folk did not see a dusty fro, they saw it as free hair color.

One day my cousin and I were bored and she decided to give me a head massage so I obliged, it was a win for me!! She decided to go ahead and twist my hair, to actually start the hair locking process. I will forever be grateful to her. She reminds me with each inch my hair grows. My hair is her project.

Given the location where my hair was started, little did I know that I was further confirming my lesbianism.
I’m tall, medium toned, with dreadlocks. I’m certain that you can write a list of 5 lesbians who fit that description. Apparently it’s a typical lesbian look. It’s the easiest look to go for because it looks good on a lot of people. I do not know if I am good looking or if my hair accentuates my features, but you will be the judge as beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

My hair is fairly long, and besides my cousin’s foundation, I have had the same hairdresser since I started my locks.   I am very anal about people touching my hair. He charges me R150 for a wash and re-twist. I try to keep to my 2 week hair twisting interval.
Gift, my hairstylist, gives the best head massage.
The only problem I have is that his crotch rubs against my shoulder when he moves during the twisting process.

I would lie if I were to say I’m not my hair, I mean why else am I so attached to it. Besides, my hair has been the only consistent thing in my life. It is stuck on me, therefore stuck with me. Ok, maybe that sounds like a description if a psychotic, abusive relationship. And I don’t want to rip my soul to pieces by making a statement with my hair. It will be misunderstood anyway, so it’s more of a fashionable one than a deep rooted, heartwarming, poetic one. So I answered a few questions about my hair. Check below.

1.     Ever met anyone who likes YOU but not your hair. 

Who hasn’t? I work for a political party, and so when I am at the adult table, I have to contribute to the conversation to curb the idea for those who might assume I smoke weed.

2.     Are you defined by your hair 

It is a part of me; it is part of my package. Others may define me by my hair, but my hair has no voice. It is like wearing a watch. Some may assume it is to tell time, but I might just be wearing it as an accessory.

3.     What would happen if you cut your hair?

I would die.

4.     If there was a death in the family, will you be forced to cut your hair? 

Not at all it would be unfair to end a 8 year relationship over the end of someone’s life, which is natural to our natural timeline.

5.     Does your hair interfere with your sex life ( for example, when going down on her)

Which hair are you referring to? The hair on my leg doesn’t interfere unless the woman I’m with has a leg fetish, for which she’d have to look forward to having hair stuck in her teeth. As for my pubic hair, which is always kept at a reasonable length, which is, less than a centimeter. I normally tie by hair during sex, this means I need to add an extra 20 minutes to the session to look for a hair band and retie during thrusting because the closer to cuming we both get, the faster and aggressive the movements and the higher the chances of my hair coming loose.
But I tend to make love to women who love it untied. In fact, they untie it during sex. I don’t know how the tingling caused by hair on flesh contributes or heightens the sexual sensation.

6.     Would you wax your pussy, but not cut your dread locks?

Yes, not entirely though. I do not piss with my head. So the comparison is unjust. These are two organs with two different functions, even though they are synched.

7.     Do people’s perception of you change when they realize what hair you have.

Yes they do, Rastafarians and the girl used her dreadlocks to traffic drugs fucked it up for all of us. The other breeds an untidy, weed smoking, no meat eating perception and the other grants me stares and prompts people to touch my hair, just to make sure I’m not a drug mules.

8.     Does your hair make people assume you are Rastafarian?

Hell yes, and no I don’t mind the assumption. Rastafarians are social beings, so I get high fives, ola rasta pleasantries because of my hair.

9.     Who has the best dreadlocks according to you? 

(Dreadlocked icon)

Tracy Chapman. Her soul and music influenced this choice.

10.  Are your locks African rooted?

No, they are head rooted.

11.  Do you plan on ever cutting your hair?

Never, but I think my family is waiting for me to die so that they can chop it off.

12.  What is your cut off length that you plan on growing your hair to?

As long as gravity can pull it.

13.  Do you ever get disregarded because of your hair?

A lot, until I speak up and everyone that was paying no mind to me, realizes I’m very smart.

14.  Are you spiritually connected to your hair?

Oh yes I am. It has taught me a lot about consistency, beauty and patience.

15.  Does your girlfriend like your hair?

Women I sleep with love my hair.

16.  If a girl you like asked you to cut your hair, would you?

No I would not. My hair is part of the package.
There is no Sly without the hair.
There is a lot to me than my attraction to women.

2014 March 10 Sly & Friends

Sly in a red jacket featuring some members of Vintage group in the background


Previous by Sly

2014 March 1: Journeyed 3 cities in less than 30 hours

This entry was posted in 1988 - present, 7 years of lock-ing, Adoring, Another Approach Is Possible, As we are, Before You, Black Female Body, Black Queer & Gifted, Power in our hair, Women's power, Writing is a Right, Youth voices and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to 2014 March 8: Les Locks

  1. Pingback: 2014 March 13: SA Black Lesbian invades San Francisco | inkanyiso.org

  2. yv says:

    that was the article i needed to end my préjugé about locks. i start to think that the problem is not the locks when they looks bad, but it’s the person who wares them. I noticed that south africans like locks but for the area where i am i think for some locks mean boheme, hippy… i am always in shock when i meet a white person with locks(not every white though!) it looks like he/she just stop washing his/her hairs for a long long time.
    I was impressed by the “2 weeks” wash!

  3. Pingback: 2014 June 26: When photography is our religion | inkanyiso.org

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