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Four One One

My dating mares: Why I would date a Rasta

Khalifa gestures with his Rastafarian fan Snake at Twinkle Star Agency. PHOTO BY ISAAC SSEJJOMBWE

Khalifa gestures with his Rastafarian fan Snake at Twinkle Star Agency. PHOTO BY ISAAC SSEJJOMBWE

I had never imagined dating a Rasta or anyone dreadlocked and I would swear over and over that I never dated one. Then I recalled Chez, the guy that I dated for a semester through my campus. Wasn’t he dreadlocked?

He loved me to the marrow and I had no worries showing him off to my friends because he had the cutest of eyes and a beard only I would want to touch. Although I could not take him anywhere close to my not so conservative parents, I would still date a Rasta for many reasons.

Chez had a sense of self-confidence that most men I know of don’t have. He was articulate like a Makerere graduate before the strikes began. He was obsessed with the Rastafarian lifestyle even when he was based in a hot city that would only favour clean shaven heads. When shopping, he would fill his basket with vegetables and fruit. I always restrained myself from asking him why, because I knew he was only trying to stay healthy. But that was a long time ago.

A week ago, while swinging my hips in one of the hangouts, a guy one would mistake for a taller version of Bebe Cool signalled me in his direction. I thought he did it abusively so I made for my way to the bar and lifted myself onto the stool, making every effort to ignore him.

The following day a phone call from an anonymous fella woke me up and it happened to be him speaking on the other side of the phone. He says he asked a friend of mine who passed on my number. Even when I expected him to be rude and may be ‘diss’ me for ‘feeling sweet’ on him the previous night, he was sweet and calm. He offered to take me on a date that evening and in all honesty, it was much better that all the sober dates I have had.

He kept cool, and kept swaying his head left to right, slowly, while following the rhythm of reggae in the background. We did not have much to talk about so I joked about his looks. “You look like Bebe,” I muttered.

He replied that many people he meets say the same. I must say I now have an idea why Zuena has stuck by the dreadlocked guy’s side all these years—Rastas have this kind of tender loving care that would sweep one off her feet, and they are not afraid to show it.

I have always been fooled into thinking they all take weed and all forms of drugs. But no! When I tried to be cheeky fooled him into giving me a stick of weed so I try it for the very first time, he said: “No Ethel, Rasta will not kill ya wid stuff that’s uncool”.

He matched me to his neighbour’s door and showed me what a nuisance he had become and said most people ask him for weed because of his dreadlocks but end up disappointed.

Rasta kept jumping from the cock to the donkey; I had to ignore the fact that I could not understand some of the words in his speech. Instead of him rushing to shower me with saliva in the name of kisses, like it’s typical of most men on the first date, he planted little kisses on my forehead and cheeks. I imagine what would happen if the two of us did more than talk about us and our families.

He said he was divorced and the reason was the woman was quarrelsome. At some point I grew cold and he peeled his heavy jacket off his dark skin and planted it on my shoulders. He made me feel like the prettiest girl in the world, with constant reminders. Show me one girl who doesn’t want to hear these compliments.

He literally blew life into my then hopeless heart before he went to the bar to order his round of tequila shots. In his circles I made about six friends in a single night, with the rest of the girls looking on, waiting to see which of them would invite them to join us.

When my friends showed up in the same spot, he was too liberal. He told me to go join them and have fun. Wasn’t he even jealous? To round off the list, with his beautiful grey jacket, I hit the road to my place. My mind still tells me a sober guy (my opposite of a Rasta) would require payback for the money spent in a short time. I think dating a Rasta is a roll with butter.

But I also think they have a great turnover of girlfriends. Besides the whole marriage and divorce story with his white wife, Rasta has had four girlfriends in a space of one year. Chez too, had a number of sexual partners. It’s almost possible that everyone would date a Rasta.

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