Shreya has shiny luscious long hair. It\'s the envy of all, including a gang of kids at her school called \'The Haters\'. Her hair gives her the confidence to win every competition in school. Her hair even has its own fan page. However, Shreya has a secret, when she looks in the mirror, she doesn’t see the luscious locks at all, she just sees a blur where her face should be. That night she has a weird dream where she discovers a purple monster. The next day her dream becomes real, and the cheeky monster starts to appear and cause havoc in her life, which gets her sent out of class. On her way to the Principals office, she’s dragged into the toilets by \'The Haters’ who cut off her hair. She runs home and curls up on her bed in tears, the monster comforts her, she realises the monsters a friend. She wakes up the next day and the monster has disappeared; but she knows what to do. She convinces her Dad to take her to the Barbers and on her last day of school, she marches in ready to take on the world.
Mohawk is inspired by Samson in the Book of Judges - Chapter 16 and more specifically right at the end of Samson’s story in 16:28. Samson appears in earlier chapters where he is born as a Nazarite to God, and we see him demonstrating acts of strength and outwitting his enemies. However, in Chapter 16 Samson is finally outwitted by the Philistines who pay Delilah to find the secret of his strength, and Samson tells her that his hair has not been cut since birth as part of his Nazarite vow and ‘if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me’. This made me think was this Samson’s actual mistake. Not his trust in Delilah, but to believe that his only strength came from his hair and that god would abandon him completely if it was cut. Is this more about the loss and then restoration of faith, as a beleaguered Samson calls out to God to restore his strength in 16:28. It’s this belief that I wanted to explore in ‘Mohawk’ through the character of Shreya, a modern-day teenager who relies on her long hair to succeed.