By Hama Tuma
Africans are used to the unkindest cut them of all, most leading to brutal deaths. Bad governance and tyranny, famine and poverty, ethnic cleansing and massacres—you name it and we have lived it even when the neo colonials pamper us with praises of non-existent double digit economic growth as we starve and die. Oh yes, Obama is an honorable man!
However, our dictators are having a hard time trying to compete with the unkindest Kim cut that the hapless North Koreans have been forced to endure. Not that they have not been trying to make themselves the master of the undercut. Kenya legalized polygamy and cut out the first wife from having say in the process. Oil rich and corrupted Brunei, where the Sultan rules under emergency laws since 1962 and has thousands of luxury cars and a palace with 1788 rooms, made Sharia and hudud into laws and said those who criticize the regime in Facebook will also be judged by 8th century laws. Maldives, a Muslim country but the lair of decadent tourism. also issued Sharia as law and since the age of criminal responsibility is deemed to be only 10 years made it clear that preteens will face the death sentence. Under Morsi, Egypt was fast surpassing Saudi Arabia as the country of harshest laws and Salafist Sheiks were quick to edict fatwas supporting husbands to see their prospective wives shower naked (to see what is hidden to make a good choice), the right of the husband to abandon his wife to her fate if she faces dangerous rapists (no obligation to try to save her),etc.. A 15 years old girl who was raped was given 100 lashes for engaging in premarital sex and India moved in with the unkindest cut against women by telling the women facing rape to enjoy it while it lasts. Burundi banned jogging in groups as it leads to subversion! A death sentence for all those who preach the mingling of men and women in Saudi Arabia which is ruled by medieval and otherwise decadent sheikhs.
But all such flimsy measures pale in the face of the Kim cut, the notoriously bad haircut of Kim Il, the Korean dictator. If asked many Koreans would surely prefer the lashes rather than have the Kim cut and yet they have little or no choice. Male university students in North Korea are required by the Sate to have the same haircut as their “beloved leader” though the cut is traditionally associated with the style of Chinese smugglers. North Korea has associated hair style with socialism of its brand and the State has sanctioned only 10 hair styles for men and 18 for women. The former and now dead leader Kim Yong Il had a bouffant style in order to look taller some wags had alleged. isn’t this a gem all over?
Some from Zimbabwe blame God for the unkindest cut of all times for giving Mugabe a long life. Many Africans consider China to be their curse, a land grabber and predator with a big and cruel stomach. The politics of the stomach defines all. Leaders are bought and corrupted to their core, countries are sold and innocent people die in their thousands. Eritrea has become the main exporter of citizens whose organs are harvested by vicious traffickers. Almost every religious extremist and terrorist group owes its existence to Saudi and Qatari money and support and yet these two rogue States are part of the so called coalition set up by Washington to combat against the ISIL. Whichever way one turns the cuts are curl and unkind.
To come back to the Kim Il cut the whole farce came to the fore when a mischievous (maybe good natured) barber in London posted a picture of the young Kim Il with his haircut with the caption : Bad Hair Day? 15% off all Gent Cuts through April. Two serious and very threatening gentlemen from the North Korean embassy visited him and more less forced him to remove the “disrespectful” poster which he promptly did though he did say “this is England and not North Korea”. Words! Reminds me of the days of old when we saw a film of Julius Caesar with the fatal stabbing scent cut out by the censors who had also simply banned a film titled King of Thieves which was feared of giving bad ideas to the subjects of Emperor Haile Sellasie. The Kim cut is really bad for African hairs (and for baldies) but then again it makes us laugh and enjoy a laugh . The African cut of our unelected leaders kills more often than not and, alas , the present day rebels have no redeeming side. They are crude, often lumpen, barbarian and violent. Al Shabab, Boko Haram, the LRA or Seleka and the Al Qaida affiliate groups are far from being classical liberation movements or guerrilla groups. As far as Africa is concerned their declared enemies have not changed their neocolonial face one bit.
What is in a haircut? Some and more actually. Those with a different haircut than their ruler may very well be advocates of difference and following one’s path as opposed to that of the supreme leaders. A dangerous tendency that smacks of dissent and possible rebellion. For want of a shoe a kingdom was lost and tolerating a different haircut may auger the doom of a regime. Oh yes, a small fire can lead to a conflagration–ask the Tunisian who burnt himself and burnt a regime as a consequence. Ask the Ethiopian teacher who also burnt himself and was royally ignored by his compatriots. The whole issue comes down to the question if there is the liberty to choose one’s hair style what about tomorrow? What may the people demand? Not only long hair but rights heaven forbid. The Korean tyrants are not fools as their keeping power within the family and ruthless way in which the young Kim executed his own uncle did show. For want of a different hair cut a whole regime may collapse. Beware!