Sitting down enjoying a cold Tusker I was approached by a Ugandan man named Michael. He took one look at my hair and immediately decided that I should have some dreads. Apparently he’s the best in the business and my shoulder length hair was ready to take its next step.
After countless excuses for why I didn’t want the dreads including the fact that they’d be short little sticks, I didn’t have 400,000 Ugandan shillings to spend on my hair, and the fact that my girlfriend want prepared to endorse such a commitment he decided to let me in on a secret. The reason my girl didn’t want me to get dreads is because then I could wear “the big up”, essentially a huge hat to house this new hairstyle, and this would cause such tremendous envy that a relationship simply wouldn’t be possible. With the “big up” came respect. Respect from everyone, teachers, peers, presidents, and even the big white batman (apparently). Once you have the “big up” there is nothing higher, nothing more one can achieve, the top of the totem pole. Everyone will be so overcome by their sheer might that they will be forced to stand down and simply, respect.
An interesting premise thought I. 6 hours of hair pulling and twisting and I would reign over society for as long as I chose to wear them. I would simply feed off their power, said Michael.
I currently do not have dreadlocks, I’ve considered them simply for the convenience of lower hair maintenance. But after hearing about the “big up” with all its renown power, have I been missing out on something? A secret collective of dreaded hair that has coasted above the rest of society for thousands of years? For now, I’m more than content to enjoy luscious locks. But is the “big up” somewhere in my future?