My choices are not the problem, the problem is your lack of inclusiveness.EZIOMA KALU.
Vimbai is the best hairdresser in Mrs. Khumalo’s salon, and she is secure in her status until the handsome, smooth-talking Dumisani shows up one day for work. Despite her resistance, the two become friends, and eventually, Vimbai becomes Dumisani’s landlady. He is as charming as he is deft with the scissors, and Vimbai finds that he means more and more to her. Yet, by novel’s end, the pair’s deepening friendship—used or embraced by Dumisani and Vimbai with different futures in mind—collapses in unexpected brutality.
The novel is an acute portrayal of a rapidly changing Zimbabwe. In addition to Vimbai and Dumisani’s personal development, the book shows us how social concerns shape the lives of everyday people.
This is the kind of book that gets you hooked in the first line. It doesn’t wait for later, it grips you from the first word and refuses to let go, till you’re done consuming the goodness that it is.
Vimbai, a skilled hairdresser and single mother of an adorable daughter, dreams of one day becoming a great hairdresser in Harare and running her own business. She lives in the apartment she inherited from her late brother who died in the UK, and is being ostracized by the other members of her family, simply because she refuses to let go of her rightfully inherited property.
To be dispensable is a woman’s worst nightmare and I was beginning to live it.Tendai Huchu, The Hairdresser of Harare.
But all she has is her dream. In her place of work, Khumalo Hair and Beauty Treatment Salon Harare, Zimbabwe, she’s the best stylist, because she transforms the women into whom they could only dream of becoming, a gorgeous white woman.
Her customers adore her and praise her expertise, but her days of glory will be cut short, when Dumisani, a handsome and talented hairdresser comes into the picture.
Their relationship becomes what is expected in the actual sense, sour, because who would accept a competition with a hug and kiss? Dumisani comes into the picture and revamps the salon. First, he changes the posters they hang around, and even the music to more modern ones. Then, he introduces new hair and beauty products to be sold in the salon for the maximization of income and profit. He is greatly skilled and soon becomes Ma Khumalo’s sweetheart, and this makes Vimbai dizzy with envy, because Dumisani takes all her customers from her.
The only consolation Vimbai has is that she’s still Ma Khumalo’s favorite stylist, and will be appointed the manager of the salon. But her entire world crashes when Ma Khumalo chooses Dumisani for the role. She hates Dumisani for coming from wherever, to take her place, and doesn’t even do so much to hide her irritation.
I can only say that friendship should rise above man-made laws, which tend to be capricious by their very nature.Tendai Huchu, The Hairdresser of Harare.
But the dynamics of their relationship turns around into something beautiful, something priceless, when Dumisani comes to live as a tenant in Vimbai’s home.
The world becomes a sweet place for Vimbai, who is now living her dream, when her destiny continues to glitter in positivity.
But will it be all sweet and rosy for our dear Vimbai? will her relationship with Dumisani blossom into a forever affair?
I enjoyed reading this book and learning some Zimbabwean words like Kombi.🤭
It’s difficult to stop loving someone, even when they have done something that you once thought unforgivable. There isn’t an on off switch for love.Tendai Huchu, The Hairdresser of Harare.
This book explores some serious themes in a subtle way. There is the theme of women inheritance of property in Zimbabwe. As shown in the book, Vimbai’s family blatantly refuses to concede her inheritance to her, even after her late brother willed the house to her, even after the lawyer makes it clear that the house belongs to Vimbai. According to her family, women are not supposed to inherit any property, simply because they’re women. And this boils down to many African societies, where women are not allowed to own buildings and other landed properties.
Men don’t take rejection so well. It’s like they’re raised expecting that they can have whatever they want.Tendai Huchu, The Hairdresser of Harare.
Then there is the issue of inclusiveness. Dumisani is also ostracized by his family because of the way he chooses to live his life. Why will a man be a hairdresser? It is un-African to do so. But people should be allowed to be whatever they want to be without facing any judgment whatsoever. There’s also the issue of low self-esteem. The women of Zimbabwe think the only way to be beautiful is to look like a white woman. No. There is no one way to being beautiful. Being beautiful is being comfortable in your skin, your color, your hair. You can be black and be pretty, you can also be white and be gorgeous. Everyone is beautiful and there is no standard to measure what’s beautiful and what’s not. This is a great book, one that reveals the day-to-day activities of the Zimbabweans and also satirical to an extent. The book shows and condemns the tyranny of the government officials and it is so beautiful to read. The characters are relatable and the plot, fascinating. I’ll rate it as 4.8/5.
Have you read the book? What do you feel about it? Please share your thoughts with me in the comment section. Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter, follow me on all social media platforms and share with your friends.
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