Infidelity has become the norm in society that the idea of having a side chick; the other woman or mistress is rarely shunned upon. We have camouflaged it’s presence with polygamy, excuse it with a brush of the hand reciting an African proverb ‘monna ke selepe wa adimiswana’ translated – A man is an axe therefore he is shared. Ms Becky with a good hair will always be a step away patting her weave standing by her man, or better yet in your case ‘bae’. We beat, scratch; go ghetto on her ass, all in the name of solidarity and love. However in all honesty did Becky do the chasing or was bae the one who trashed the sacrosanct layers of romanticism between you and your significant other. How is it, Becky gets called out for making the lemonade when all she did, was serve it.  Bae cheated however all we see is Becky as a beat down third grade hussy with good hair and Becky with the good hair can most certainly be a girl next door with a ‘fro’.

When the lemonade track by Beyonce made its debut, word on the street was more concerned as to who ‘Becky with the good hair’ could be. Was it Rita Ora or Rachel Roy? For me though it festered on the idea that Becky with the good hair could be a girl next door with a ‘fro’, and that the track was more of a palliative stance for any women down the street. It addressed the question of infidelity and the idea that as women we are Beyonce and there will always be a Becky with the good hair lurking in the corners. How many of us have a Becky story in the closet?  Placing your significant other in a panopticon or doing the sneaky and inserting a Becky alert bug on bae is hardly a solution.  The Becky with the good hair term is without a doubt polemic, sublime and audacious. It lays bare the question of infidelity and promiscuity, assures us that you can be a Halle Berry, Iggy Izalea or just an ordinary Zanele and still relate to the narrative.

Due to the superiority complex projected through the act of patriarchy where men feel they have control over a woman as a result Becky with the good hair will be that itch that just never seems to go away. Primarily within a unified environment, the manifestation of infidelity in the African context is further exacerbated by the brides rite of passage into marriage, when the newly wed goes through a process of ‘go laya’.

[1] “In this part of the ceremony a newlywed woman is advised by older women to protect their husband’s ill doing and infidelities, regardless. This is emphasized as important for keeping the marriage intact. As a Setswana proverb says ‘monna ke phafana o a fapaanelwa ‘meaning a man is a drinking calabash; he is shared with other women. However when she voices her concern she is reprimanded with yet another proverb ‘molomo wa mosadi o diretswe go ja eseng go bua’ loosely translated a woman’s mouth is designed for eating not for talking/complaining.”

The Becky with good hair beat down is one I fail to comprehend. I fail to get to grips with the idea that a guy hooks up with a side chick; mistress, and when his partner gets wind of this she lashes out on Becky. The algorithm for the partner’s infidelity becomes the concept of ‘annealing’ in science it applies to a heat treatment that alters the chemical properties of a material to increase its ductility and reduce its hardness making it more workable. Becky is thus subjected to such forms of ridiculing, insults and backhanded tactics. This is meant to denigrate, calumniate and traduce her, as It’s always best knowing that bae sneaked around in the garden of promiscuity with a tit bit hussy than a strong, independent, ambitious lady. However the idea that he left a diamond for a Lolita soothes our conscious.

I had a friend who was approached by a gentleman and she couldn’t stop gushing on how gallant, cultured, ambitious and down- right handsome he was. He perfectly ticked the right boxes and there definitely was chemistry between the two whether it was romantic or lustful is beside the point and insignificant. After questioning his relationship status it turned out he was off the market with a kid in the equation.  His darling wife was well schooled; she had a master’s degree from UCT, management position in a lucrative company and from the profile pictures she was gorgeous and they appeared to be living the black picket fence. Yet my friend was a Varsity drop out and trying to get by. Mr X persistently wooed her, had his hooks firmly locked on Becky and they explored the Garden of Eden, devouring the forbidden fruit. Case in point is that at times Becky with the good hair may fairly be a girl from next door without the trimmings of a carat.

I was once that lady calling out Becky and I realised we were just pawns in someone else’s game. Here I was confronting Becky with a fro asking questions, wanting to meet up with her and my partner at the time was just a mellow soul who distanced himself from the altercation. The next minute we caught up in a remake of Jay Z and Ms Solange’s infamous elevator fight. It’s amazing how bae will whisper sweet words over spahlo or take a stroll emlanjeni – by the river and the event gets swept under the rug. When the dust settles it’s all but a distant memory. In my script, after all was said and done Ms Becky with a fro and he took a taxi to ‘Kwa Mzoli’ to toast their happily ever after.

In a nutshell the Becky with the good hair syndrome will forever be engraved in society, until us women or womxn create a platform to ossify its presence from our societal fabric. Instead of seeking to be ‘blessed’ and finding comfort in another woman’s bae we can champion for respect and self- worth by strengthening the fetters enslaving the conduits that promote the Becky mentality. It should be emphasised that men on the journey to matrimony should be illicitly taught the importance of nurturing their wife to be; with Love and respect. The act of which dismantles the layers that contravene the art of faithfulness and the comprehension that womxn have a voice and that they are of equal footing and that a certain degree of empathy is practiced.

If a Becky can project a certain degree of pride from being a ‘makwapheni’- side chick, mistress surely our moral fibres are tainted among us woman. Correcting the anomalies begins with us instilling boundaries for ourselves for men to stand up and take note. For a man to have wooed me, that took a certain level of love, respect and attraction. Should he fill the need to stray, so be it, however show some decency by respecting me enough to call it off before you decide on knocking on Becky’s door, though should he knock on Becky’s door, Becky should politely show him the door. Such advocacy channels the emancipation of womxnhood and for that to happen it requires us steering this ship together for the sake of future millennial. We should bear in mind that Becky with the good hair is so much more than hair, she is me and you, she is grace, she is humility, she is love, she is strength and she’s all womxn.

[1] Unraveling and Reweaving Sacred Canon in Africana womanhood edited by Rosetta E.Ross and Rose Mary Amenga- Etego

 

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