Dreadlock trade becoming a safety concern
In what is seen as a growing phenomenon, growing dreadlocks seems to be a trendy fashion statement.
There has lately been a great demand for dreadlocks, by dreadlock growers, who want to extend their dreadlocks.
Some natty dreads don’t have the patience to wait all those years for their locks to grow longer.
So they rather prefer buying existing dreadlocks to extend their own.
Gaborone Bus Rank is an established market for dreadlocks.
It is where most of them are sold to local hairdressers.
Salons, barbershops and beauty parlours around there have lately been speculating and trading in dreadlocks.
Before moving to Gaborone and working as a hair dresser Lesole Mokokong stayed at his parents’ cattle post at Mogadintsi Lands in Good hope.
But because he has always loathed farming he decided to move to the city and set up a business.
He explains how speculating in hair (dreadlocks) removed him from the deadly jaws of unemployment.
Lesole is now a busy, hair dresser based at Gaborone Bus rank, who owns a stall underneath the main stairs, behind Gaborone Hotel (GH).
He now earns between P6000 and P7000 a month from his stall of which he uses his income to support his family back at home.
Lesole says dreadlocks prices go according to quality which is their quantity, length and thickness, “bongos can cost up to P500 but the normal average prices range between P200 and P300 when I buy them in most cases.”
To connect the dreadlocks, he uses a sharpened crotchet, originally meant for knitting jerseys with wool.
“It costs an extra P200 to connect then twist the dreadlocks, which takes about two hours to finish,” he adds.
“Anyone can come with dreadlocks claiming they’re his or hers, so he never bothers to ask where they come from.
Once I’ve bought them, I wash them with shampoo, dye them with black tint, brush and finally iron them.
It’s difficult to tell which hair belongs to whom, and besides, dreads don’t even last long on my shelves because they sell quite very fast.”
Meanwhile Boitumelo Sephobe, who grows dreadlocks, has labelled the trade of dreadlocks as being dicey.
“It’s a big life gamble, we’ll end up dead if the government ignores this, because of late, dread thieves have been lurking around the city.”
Gobitsa Kesupile says “sometime last year, I got apprehended by dreadlock thieves who snipped off my dreadlocks and sold them to unscrupulous hair dressers around the city.”