The Hair Story

Image of Kensley Peter Charlemange
Image of Kensley Peter Charlemange
Independent Eye by Kensley Peter Charlemange

HOW do you start a hair story? The one thing I find is that it is very personal and you have to be circumspect as to how much information you give away or it will become a cellular diagnostic test that goes into your inner core at an atomic, molecular level.

But how do you begin a hair story on a man’s head? Oh, come on, Kensley, like, duh? Samson and Delilah! Oh, yes, you duppy. That is your strength. So why did you have to cut it off? The assumptions that are made when you have locks on your head.

Hello, Lucians! Not everybody who has locks on their heads areRastas. And I am not saying I am (present tense) not Rasta. In fact, I am more Rasta than most, but not according to this dreaded guy at this event in Soufriere, Dreamphoria 2017, where I was keeping the gates.

For him, I was not blazing any ites, green and gold and I was refusing the dreads free entry into the park, so I could not dare be Rasta. Oh, he let go his river of insults and it came with a heavy flow for about thirty minutes.

I cannot forget this young man a few years ago who met me in Castries and hurled at me, “What you going to do if you win an election? Legalize marijuana?” Of course, he never got an answer to his question; not because I was unwilling to answer, but because he never intended to have one.

The thing I have found about Saint Lucians is that they do not like discourse, intellectual discourse that is. I am very approachable. You do not have to make assumptions. Ask me. The reactions to my cutting my hair have been endless and mixed. For those who now say they will vote for me, if that is what it takes to get your vote, believe me you can keep it. If you want to vote for me, ask me where I stand on particular issues. Have a discussion; don’t make assumptions.

A lot of people approach you with their preconceived notions and there is nothing wrong with that. You have, however, to be willing to listen and adjust accordingly. For many people, I am a mad man in this election circus until they take the time to listen to me or ask questions of me or read (which not enough Saint Lucians do) my opinions in my articles.

But back to the reactions: those who told me I look like a vagrant and the young man from Choiseul who said I look like a little bulla now. Or those who thought that some white woman from England send for me. Mercy, Lord, dealing with Saint Lucians. For some, I would be selling a lot more books/products if I had my locks. Well, hello, darling, I had my locks on for sixteen years and I am no richer yet.

For those who know me well, not just family or close friends, but those who read my articles continuously, they know that I did not and would not cut my hair because of heckling from some bastard dreads in Soufriere. There are still some sensible people out there, but believe me if that is what Rasta is, it is nice not to be so associated but I know better.

Some say I have lost my crown and my strength. To them I say my word is my strength. And for those who still call me Rasta, understanding that you don’t have to be dreaded to be Rasta, big up to them. I am still me. I don’t feel any different, any lighter. I am still that honest, patient stubborn, ambitious, forward and out-of-the-box thinking me. End of story.

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