A SCOTTISH schoolboy whose afro hairstyle has grown so big that he can’t see properly is going to shave it off for charity.
Ten-year-old James Browne, from Edinburgh, was left in agony after his afro hairstyle grew to a foot high.
And the sporty youngster hopes shaving off his locks will increase his abilities in swimming and football.
His mum, Juliana Abizie-Browne, 44, said James had suffered from extreme pain from his afro despite her attempts to braid his hair into tight cornrows.
She said his hair had become unmanageable.
“Despite the fact he absolutely loves it,” she said.
“It is starting to cause some unforeseen problems in that he is a very keen swimmer and he now can’t see where he is swimming as it completely covers his face when wet.
“James is also a keen footballer and golfer and hopes this haircut will greatly assist him in both sports. In fact, his football coach Joan McKenzie is fully expecting him to gain some extra pace without the weight of the afro.”
James is hoping to raise more than £700 to donate to the Sick Kids hospital in Edinburgh.
The Craiglockart Primary pupil is following in his older brother’s footsteps, as John decided to cut his afro six years ago when he was 14.
Mum Julia said: “Six years ago his elder brother John, who was 14 at the time, hjad a huge afro and decided to cut it for the charity Children with Leukemia, raising £630.90. He too suffered from extreme pain when he had the afro braided into corn rows and at one point we even had to take him to the Sick Kids at 3am.
“James has decided to raise funds for the Sick Kids Friends Foundation as he, like most other ten-year-olds, has been a fairly regular visitor to the Sick Kids over the years, mainly for minor things like stitches in head wounds. The time he has spent there has, however, exposed him to other kids who have had far more serious illnesses and he wants to be able to help in his own little way.”
“His target is to beat his brother and hopefully raise £700. At the moment he has raised £555 so he is well on the way.”
James said he was looking forward to being able to see properly again after shaving his afro off.
He said: “Right now when I have it in corn rows it’s quite painful. I want to play football and go swimming more, but at the moment my hair covers up my goggles.
“I’d like to raise more than £700 – and more than my brother. My brother has kept his hair quite short now and I will too, probably. I wanted to do what he did, though and raise money for charity.”
James will have his hair cut in his school hall on September 12 with help from headmaster Derek Law.