Spill Writing

Because of Hair (the dichotomy of culture and identity) (Vivian Chinasa Ezugha)


Yes, I’m here because of hair. Predators, sometimes venomous ones have followed me because of hair. I’ve been told I can’t take a compliment because of hair. So because of hair I am outside Ipswich Town Hall, in the square. Desperately waiting for news because of hair.

I arrive and she is already here. She is here! She is here because of hair and her face is concealed behind it, her body obscured, buried beneath reams of cloth, a human flag of green, white, brown, red and white and orange, pink and brown pinned to her mast like feathers ready to fly. But she is heavily rooted to the earth, because of hair. She is in disguise, I can tell, because of hair.

Because of hair, here is a woman so powerful and commanding, men have to avert their gaze, pretend not to notice. I spy on them, watch them behave like fools, dangerous fools who disrupt because of hair. But because of hair, she dares to stand alone. She’s used to it, because of hair. Because of hair she cries: “This day.” Tomorrow she will cry: “This day” because of hair again. She will point to the sky because of hair. And the women will stop, gaze, mirror her hands reaching out; point phones at her; or spit something out. For many, many minutes because of hair.