Senegalese people have started asking us why we shave Pape’s head. We don’t. But they think we do because the poor kid looks bald as a peach. It took me a while to figure out why people just recently started asking. Why not since birth?
The answer is this. In Senegalese tradition, a baby’s head is shaved on the day of their ngente (naming ceremony), usually at eight days old. So it’s normal for a teeny baby to be bald, but in six months the baby’s locks should have grown back. But Pape appears to them to be shaved regularly, so they ask why.
This inevitably leads to two things:
1) A closer inspection of his little toubab head.
2) Me saying, “See? He has hair. There’s some… There’s a patch… Oh, and here’s some more.
Actually, compared to how bald he was before, he’s practically got a thick mane these days. We can even style it. See?