I am not my hair

Recently, I have been growing my hair out as a form of social and cultural protest. For weeks, my Ghanaian friends (mostly my students) have been telling me to cut my hair, remarking that “it’s not nice.” Saying that a haircut was for my own benefit, one of my students even attempted to provoke me by telling me that I “look horrible.”

But I don’t believe that these comments were for my own benefit. I am convinced that Ghana does not embrace diversity as much as it should – even in hairstyle. This concerns me as someone whose main purpose in Ghana is to spread the gospel of entrepreneurship – an activity that requires crazy thoughts and risk taking and tolerance of a diversity of ideas. So to spite them, and to make bare the conformist nature my friends were unwittingly succumbing to, I simply refused to cut my hair. Each week its has grown, I have received more and more suggestions to get it cut, but I simply refused.

Today, however, the laws of pragmatism and the Ghanaian heat finally defeated me and I cut my hair. It really is just too hot to have all that hair. When I returned to school, I heard many compliments and at least one person uttered, “Finally!” I have no problem keeping my hair short, sometimes (especially in extreme heat) I actually prefer it, but I take serious issue with a culture and a society that does not tolerate differences. If my students had such difficulty accepting the fact that I liked to keep my hair long, how are they going to expect the rest of Ghana to accept their forward-thinking entrepreneurial ideas?

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2 Responses to “I am not my hair”

  1. Daisy Baffoe Says:

    Kwabena, i told u a dozen times, how i loved your new hair style.

    Over the years, Ghana’s youth have not been empowered, i have not been encouraged to do things my way!!! it always had to be the teacher’s way.

    Thanks to western influence on governments, we are learning to do things in our owm unique way.

    But Kwabena, i can only say that this is gonna be gradual. when you next come to Ghana (maybe in a couple of years) you will be applauded for ‘talking with your ears’ πŸ™‚

  2. Daisy Baffoe Says:

    Hi Jareau,
    the address http://www.women2.org/kofo
    does not work. cld u pls check it and resend to me?
    i guess you are home now and having all the fun πŸ™‚
    cheers!!!

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