Rastafarians being denied SHS admissions have become the talk of Ghana. It all started when authorities of Achimota School last week denied admission to the two students who were posted there under the Computer School Placement System (CSSPS) because the rules of the school did not allow students with dreadlocks to be admitted.
And it seems the talk of Ghana has touched a victim of this rule to share her inspiring story. For this Rasta lady, she defied all odds after being denied admission because of her hair and vowed to school at home.
The victim, Dr. Awura Abena Agyemang had to school at home because a few days after she was admitted to the public SHS, she was sacked because of her natural long hair. Even the 9 ones she had in the BECE couldn’t save her.
Below Is How She Scripted What She Went Through 2 Decades Ago – Unedited.
When I received my SSSCE results I wept like a baby. I ran to Kwashito (that man is a legend ) with my mother in tow. They both tried to console me. ‘You have no idea how well you’ve done’ they said. I had aggregate 14.
They were probably right. I had sat for the exam a year before my mates after attending not a secondary school, but Kwashito’s remedial classes (Vitac); and had passed at my first attempt. I was a science student who had never stepped in a science lab.
I remember when I sat for Elective Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The Part 2 of the exams which were the practicals looked so foreign to me that I spent most of the time sketching. I had no idea what the answers were. I mean I had never stepped in a laboratory!
So I guess I should have been grateful that under those circumstances I had gotten a grade that would get me into the University a year ahead of my mates.
But I wasn’t. I was sad. I was angry. Because I knew I had been robbed. If I hadn’t been sacked from school because of my hair a few days into secondary school, I would have had the opportunity to sit in a lab and understand the practical parts of the courses I was reading.
This country taught me a very bitter lesson at that young age. It taught me that it had absolutely no problem kicking a girl who had scored 9 ones out of 10 subjects in her BECE out of school only because she wanted to wear her hair long. At the time, it was for religious reasons.
Today my hair is locked. When I decided to lock it, it was just a fashion statement. Then I realised just how much sense it made- less demands on my time, no unnecessary chemicals entering my scalp, no getting sores on my scalp just because I wanted to ‘relax’ my hair. That term in itself sends the wrong message. Why did my natural hair need to be relaxed? Was it stressed and on edge? But it wasn’t until Brazillian- haired-Ghanaian -Christians started telling me that it was a sin to wear my locks that I became passionate about them.
Thinking people make us so uncomfortable here! We hate people who question our rules and our ways. We hide under the dirty cloaks of our so-called-culture when it suits us, while at the same time demonizing everything we are as Africans.
Almost 2 decades down the line and this country is at it again – teaching young people bitter lessons. Telling them in no uncertain terms that it simply does not give a hoot about their futures.
May posterity be kind to you who is jumping left, right, center defending the indefensible. Someday, when you and yours are the minority remember on which side you stood.