Jok Madut Jok, an analyst on security and democracy, and a professor of history speaking recently at an Africa Centre for Strategic Studies - Note his dreadlocks after treatment
Jok Madut Jok, an analyst on security and democracy and a professor of history speaking recently at an event. – Note his fine dreadlocks recovering dreadlocks

Los Angeles: Doctors treating the dreadlocks of Jok Madut Jok have announced a historic medical breakthrough that could bring hope and restore pride to Rastafarians whose dreadlocks have stopped growing as a result of traumatic experiences.

The experimental treatment – that just takes a couple of months to complete and is quite expensive – could be rolled out to other Rastafarians who have been on the receiving end of the unceremonious brutality against dreadlocks like the one carried out by the organized forces of South Sudan.

Mr. Madut, a South Sudanese born Professor of History at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) returned to South Sudan on the wake of its independence in 2011 with shoulder-length dreads and served as an under-secretary at the national ministry for Youth and Sports in South Sudan. It was around that time that his dreadlocks got this rare condition and started to refuse to grow back.

According to an eye witness who still vividly recalls the incident, Mr. Madut was supposed to pick up his kin from the airport in Wau – one of South Sudan’s major town – around the same time the President was expected to land there. Madut’s kin was arrested for reasons unknown, so the dreadlocks rasta went to have a chat with the arresting authorities to have his kin released.

“I did not see much but, after some a while, I heard them saying ‘Agut tehet! Agut tehet!!’ to the man with hair like a woman (referring to Madut),” the witness recounted how the SPLA soldiers ordered the history professor to sit down.

“He tried to show them his ID-card saying he was a big man and so on and so fort… but they told him they do not know how to read….”

Instead, the soldiers had a different kind of lesson for the dreadlocks history professor.

They started to slap him, kick him and beat him like he had impregnated someone’s wife and refused to pay the fines.

The highly respected analyst on security and democracy must have let his guard down as even him did not fore-see what was in store for him.

“More soldiers who did not know what happened joined in… some started to grind their pangas ready to cut off his hair…..Even the snake that caused Adam and Eve to be kicked out of Eden was not beaten like that…,”

As resourceful, learned, knowledgeable and patriotic as he is, rasta Madut’s mauling continued for some time in the hands of the liberators.

After what seemed like 21 years of clinging to life, Mr. Madut – a highly respected analyst on security and democracy who must not have foreseen what was to befall him on that day – was finally liberated. Bu, according to the doctors in Los Angeles, the trauma had already been inflicted and the dreadlocks had already decided never to grow again.

“Experiences such as these cause a condition in which the brain shuts down or slows down the hair-growing gene…. the trauma is a preventive mechanism in our brains. You can say the brain knows that growing more hair only makes the dreadlocks longer and as such exposes the whole body to more danger,” explained one of the doctors.

“When Mr. Madut came to our clinic, the condition of his dreads was not very critical but with our treatment, you will soon see his dreadlock fully grown.”

Jok Madut has been advised to stay away from the SPLA during the course of the treatment.

Saakam congratulates the professor.