ORITS Willik needs little or no introduction. He is a household name in Nigerian music.
He is also a Rastaman. But one thing that distinguishes him from most Rastas is his clean dreadlock and disdain for Indian hemp. In this interview with AYODELE LAWAL, he reveals the secrets behind his looks. Enjoy.
How long have you been keeping your dreadlock?
It’s been a long time, let’s say about 16 years now.
Why did you throw away the comb?
It’s just to set a good example, because before now, most Rastas wore their dreadlocks virtually unkempt, and because of this, a lot of people do not want to associate with them; and that put a lot of discrimination between Rastas and the message they preach. And knowing fully well what the society is all about, you are like the eagle’s eye. For your information, we Rastas see the future and we talk about it. We see the oppression, the brutality, and the corruption. I sang about corruption long time ago and see what’s happening today. But because we are Rastas people never took us serious. And in order to correct that impression, I refused to smoke hemp and I decided to keep my dreadlock clean. With my dreadlock, I have wined and dined with the kings and those that matter in the society. And I’m proud to say that it’s what a lot of people admire in me, most especially the women folk. But if it has been dirty, I wouldn’t have been accepted today and I won’t be talking to people in the society.
How have you been taken care of the dreadlock?
Hmm… it costs a lot of money to maintain the dreadlock.
I do it once in a month and the stylist comes to my house. It takes almost a whole day off me. It involves a lot of stuffs. Well, if you want to be a dread man, you can come and I will tell you how I do it (laughter). Obviously, it’s very expensive to maintain. We have special shampoo, cream etc. In fact, everything is special; things like mango shampoo, olive oil and lots of stuffs. I must confess, it’s very stressful but it’s worth the stress.
Have you ever measured it?
Yes, I did a year ago and it was 1.4 metres, and it’s still growing.
Do you use any cream or drug for the hair to grow?
It grew by itself because if you feed the hair very well, it will definitely grow. And it doesn’t fall off; it’s a very healthy hair.
What are the benefits of keeping dreadlock?
That goes a long way to show to you that Rastas are well to do people and we are clean too. If we spend so much to keep our hairs that means we are comfortable. It is in this part of the country that people look down on Rastas. In Jamaica and other parts of the world, we have Rastas that are judges, doctors and other professions, and they are doing well.
But some Rastas look dirty?
Yes, but we are like role models to most of them now. And they have been keeping it clean also. It’s very spiritual because if you wear the dreadlock, you’ll see things that others don’t see.
What about the disadvantages of wearing dreadlock?
The disadvantage could be the stress you pass through in making it look good, and your purse too, because it’s expensive keeping the dreadlock. I spend close to N50,000 buying the stuffs I use on my hair to look good, which may not last for two months. In addition, I will still pay the stylist for home treatment and other things.
Who has the longest dreadlock in Nigeria?
I’m not competing with anybody because Rastas don’t do that.