I was also mighty curious. I told one of the guys that I liked his hair, and while we were exchanging hair regimens, a grungy-headed rasta man joined us. Soon afterwards, a bald-headed fellow started to ridicule our newcomer in taunting shouts of "kwasia, EnE wo so wo se woYE rasta (tr: foolish man, today you too claim to be a rasta). He jeeringly indicated that he never dreamt that our dreadloced newcomer would go that way, and called him a hypocrite. I asked why and he continued that some time in the past when others had worn their hair longer, our rasta man, who was then bald-headed had called them names, said they were weed-smokers, and been generally antagonistic. But now that he had seen that many of the guys who loc-ed their hair had managed to leave the country, he too had loc-ed his hair. At hearing this, my ears perked up and I prodded my new friend for more details. He called our rasta man a phony saying that he was wearing his hair that way to attract white girls and foreigners. I was rather disappointed to learn that what I’d initially thought to be a cool counter-culture; a rare oasis of non-conformist creative folk was merely a breeding ground for ordinary Ghanaian men aspiring to leave the land of their birth by any means necessary, in this case by wooing a gullible foreigner.
When the excitement had waned, one rasta man with a winning smile invited me to see his shack/store where he made drums, I obliged since Liz was still nowhere to be found and all attempts to reach her by phone had proved futile. On the way, many of the rastas called out greetings which made me feel a sense of belonging. When we got “home”, I pointedly asked them if they were just doing this to get out of the country, but they denied and assured me that they were true rastas who believed that their hair was their glory which is why they kept it that way. They heartily welcomed me and showed me their posters of Emperor Haile Selassie and his wife empress Wayzaro Menen, telling me that just like his majesty the emperor’s wife, I too am a queen. Now that felt good. I don’t remember the last time a regular
I’ve thought about these rasta people since then, and I’ve wondered if they’re really just doing this to get out of
It could also be simply because these men are good-looking. I don’t mean to objectify them(cough). Two years ago, a good friend called me out for doing this by saying that "We both attended splendid liberal arts college that taught us to disclaim our actions while commiting the very actions that we are disclaiming. You are judging me and being critical. There is nothing wrong in doing that". Since then, i've been careful when i'm doing this, but in this case, the feminist in me sees harm in objectifying men but i'm compelled to do so to make my point. Apologies in advance. That done, a look at both men in this photo reveals their gorgeous ebony skin, ribbed abs, and genuine smiles. If you ask me, they look shag-worthy (gulp!). They do not seem to own much, or be well schooled but they tend to speak an average of a quarter-dozen Ghanaian languages and possess multiple talents. For example, the guy who took me to meet his rasta family made and sold drums for a living, did his own hair, could tie a nice african head-gear with dexterity, could sew moderately well, spoke hausa, ewe, ga, twi, english, and God knows which other languages with ease, had this rasta religious thing going on, and was quite physically attractive. As if that were not enough, he also happened to be part of a local band that was good enough to be invited to play at the labadi beach hotel every Wednesday night! Will someone please convince me that such a man is not at least a bit intriguing?
I still don’t know if there is one particular thing about being rasta that gives men the allure but the combination of all their typical characteristics undeniably adds a touch of coolness to a son of Tweadeampong (God). Forget white girls and African-American women. These Ghanaian rasta men are interesting characters. If your kind of guy is the typical bald-headed, clean-shaven middle-aged banker type with a growing belly, flashy car and fat wallet who probably never gets the chance to leave the office long enough to do anything interesting, then clearly the rasta man isn’t it. But if you want someone to relate to you on a soul-to-soul level, in a let’s-just-hang, drink kube (coconut) and learn how to beat drums kind of chilling, then there’s really nowhere else to find ‘em but in rasta-ville at the Accra cultural centre.