My grandma often warned me never to touch a girl’s hair. Any African in his right mind would not dare confront, let alone question an elderly woman’s instruction pertaining to maters of lineage or tradition. For reasons known only to our elderly, ‘our ways’ vehemently stipulated I keep my rough manly hands miles away from the black keratin serenating the soft scalp of a member of the opposite sex; that is, a woman’s hair. Grandma’s words, just like my father’s, God rest his soul, somehow never connected with my intuitive brain. Their words often reminded me of those boring mathematical formulas which students repeatedly recited with priestly devotion but rarely applied them correctly when solving examination questions.
Curiosity to approach the mystique lady gripped my mind harder than a hyena’s deadly bite. So vicious is a hyena’s bite that once this laughing creature clutches its prey’s flesh, its ‘steel jaws’ naturally lock only to open after it rips off a massive chunk of meat from the helpless moaning animal. The spell now cast, emotions somehow overriding all logic, my feet begun marching forward meticulously, merging perfectly with the rhythm of my heartbeat. It felt like I was walking on a tight-rope with a blindfold tied tightly around the eyes and handcuffs solidly securing my arms behind my back. Oshun, Orisha of Love, must have felt pity on my foolish self that she swiftly birthed an idea in my mind just as I sat down beside ‘lady mystique’……………..