Everyone knows that Hugh Masekela has one of the strictest hair policies in the entertainment industry, but did you know that he was once looked down upon for having “bad hair”?
Opening up to Drum magazine recently, Hugh said that as a child he would often hear people criticizing his hair.
“Growing up, my mother’s family would always say I had bad hair, or ‘K hair’ as they would call it. They were half-white so their hair was flowing. Sometimes I would hear some relatives say: ‘Oh, Paulina, your child has bad hair,'” he said.
Hugh added that the criticism left him frustrated, as he could not understand why Africans devalued their own culture, but adopted foreign ones instead.
“We are the only ones who think being anything other than African is better. From our hair, clothes and lifestyle, we continue to be exploited and prefer ‘their’ stuff instead of our own,” he added.
It is this belief that has seen Hugh make headlines over the years for his constant refusal to take pictures with fans who wear weaves.
Speaking to Sowetan in 2014, he admitted that he found it “difficult” to pose with women in weaves because he preached heritage, and would not want to be seen with “people who don’t look like heritage”.
Addressing the matter in an open letter last year, Hugh said that he found the idea of extensions disturbing.
“Today, African women the world over spend tens of billions in dollars to acquire Brazilian, Indian, Chinese and Peruvian locks, many from heads of the dead. From a traditional perspective, the practice is macabre and ghoulish…The new fads and fashions are a vilification and denigration of centuries old African tradition and heritage,” he wrote.