There was drama in Bukedea District on Friday after a man had his dreadlocks forcibly shaved off by his in-laws on account that he was shabby.
The incident happened as 26-year-old Paul Ongelecha, a resident of Kanapa Village, Ongino Sub-county in Kumi District, had gone to visit his wife’s parents in Kachabule Cell, Bukedea Town Council.
He had gone to take wife Akanya Christine, who had left their home following a misunderstanding.
According to Mr Dan Okiror, a family member, Mr Ongelecha arrived with the shabby hairstyle, which annoyed all the relatives.
“We saw our in-law appear with dreadlocks and as a family with a Christian background, we felt we had a responsibility to tidy him up. Who knows? It could help make him change his lifestyle and start treating our daughter well,” Mr Okiror said in an interview.
Ms Christine Apio, another family member, said Mr Ongelecha was disrespectful as he sat cross-legged when asked to tidy up before greeting his in-laws.
Mr Robert Ejiet, the father-in-law, in an interview said his son-in-law appeared drunk.
“This young man arrived riding his motorcycle at a high speed. He nearly knocked me right in the middle of my compound. We discovered that he was drunk and under the influence of drugs,” he said.
Mr Ongelecha admitted that his hair was in bad shape, adding that he gave in to be shaved because he wanted to go back with his wife.
“I admit that I look smart now. However, I gave in to their demands because I love their daughter and could do anything to go back with her,” he said.
Mr Ongelecha said he likes dreadlocks because he dreams of becoming a reggae artiste.
Shaving an in-law’s head clean is a taboo in Teso culture. It was usually done after either a woman or a man had lost a spouse as sign of grief.
Dreadlocks are ropelike strands of hair formed by matting or braiding hair. Locks have been worn for various reasons in each culture. They are common in the Rastafari movement. However, many conservatives associate dreadlocks with criminals.