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“She’s the school of whom we BOAST; she’s the glory of the Coast, A C H I M O T A!!!!!

I cannot stop rolling my eyes at this latest brouhaha! This funkdankulous nonsensical debate is currently raging in the Ghanaian news! DREADLOCKS? REALLY? I would have hoped that this prestigious institution, Achimota Secondary School (“Motown”), which has produced and boasts of ex-presidents, academics, professors, doctors, lawyers, etc. worldwide, AKUA DEDE AS3MP3 included, will be in the news for winning national quizzes in math, science, history, geography, and literature, BUT instead, my old school is in the news for denying entry to two male students! Huh? Did they commit a crime? No? That would be too easy, right? The two teenage students with excellent academic entry qualifications to this school have been denied entry because of their hairstyle – DREADLOCKS! I know… I know… I know… I had to pause for a second to scoop up this wickedly delicious creamy coconut ice cream with sliced almonds into my As3mp3 mouth and savor the flavor for a second… mmmmmhhhmmmm can you hear me moaning? I digress…

Seriously, putting aside the comic relief this dreadlocks saga is providing the entire nation, I am ecstatic at the opportunity to address what, in my view, has been one of the unnecessary, pointless, and useless traditions of the school. Last night, I had a conversation with one of my classmates regarding the Motown’ HAIR’ rules, and she raised two issues. First, she said, “Ah, but As3mp3, the students need DISCIPLINE, and allowing them to break the traditional rules by allowing them to run around the school with dreadlocks will not be appropriate.” Ooooooops! DISCIPLINE? TRADITIONAL RULES? Heeeeeeeeeeyyyy wait for a second, having dreadlocks is a sign of indiscipline? Can somebody please tell me how the hairstyles of students negatively impact their abilities to do the following: perform as functioning members of society or the school; Wake up in the morning, shower, and complete their chores before breakfast; Timely attend breakfast in the Dining Hall with their fellow mates; Show up for classes on-time; Appear for sporting activities organized by the school; show decorum whilst studiously reading and preparing for classes during ‘PREP’ (Motown Slang) time… the list is endless!

Hang on! I AM NOT DONE! My friend’s second issue was the fact that these two male students belonged to the Rastafarian religion. “Oh As3mp3, but where do we draw the line? If we allow Rastafarians into the school, and they decide to smoke marijuana, then what?” JESUS! MARY & JOSEPH! Say what now? I attended Motown too, and I do remember many of the senior students and some of the teachers smoking marijuana! Let me not digress again! Lol! I am sure Ghana has something akin to the US doctrine of Unintentional Neutral Laws of General Applicability, which falls under the Free Exercise Clause. Basically, the school can prohibit the use of marijuana if smoking marijuana is considered a crime under Ghanaian laws.

Lookey here! There are important issues currently plaguing Motown that need to be addressed! Stop the male teachers from sexually molesting young female students! Provide a healthier, clean, and sanitary environment for the students… Oh, oh-oh, As3mp3! Did you mention the taboo subject of sexual molestation of students in Motown? You bet your bottom dollar I just did! Guess what? I am going to discuss it further in my next blog…


  1. Basically you have shared opinions and made suggestions. What are you going to do to help make change happen??

  2. Brilliant piece. Makes so much sense. I don’t even recall the last time Achimota school made it to the finals of the NATIONAL MATHS AND SCIENCE QUIZ

    1. Tell me about it! If you ask me, it’s the teachers and so called Educationists that need discipline and rules.

  3. Please get the OAA Akoras to start rallying behind the students and their families to show upport for their placements. Ensure their safety, and that tolerance is expected from all students and adults in the school by conducting inservice trainings on tolerance, respect, human rights and the law. Please pass this on.

    1. Yaaba! Thank you Sis! I am on it! I agree with you, more of us need to rally behind the students and their families. I am definitely going to quote you on my next blog regarding this issue, in terms of solutions etc.

  4. Akua Dede, my opinion is that this admissions issue is not about hair although it’s started a much needed debate that I hope ?? would continue and reach a productive logical conclusion.

    It’s more about children being allowed to observe their religious beliefs without hindrance in a formal educational setting. That’s all. It could be a fabric head covering, a necklace, a ring, bracelet, tattoo, footwear, robe, anything, so long as it is a symbolic reminder of or represents a covenant that bars the person from doing without it. What should the student do then, and should schools bar such children from getting an education when the criteria for entry into the school is a particular grade in a certified exam that the child has successfully sat and qualified in?

    If you ask me, on the face of it, both parties (the parents/students and the school) are right. But it’s the school that can make it better by granting the exemption that the students need without necessarily doing away with its core rules and regulations and whatever else they abide by. This won’t be the first time they ‘bend the rules’ and won’t and be the last. If only people can get past their egos and biases. ??‍♀️

    Also, if possible, this should go to court so it’s settled once and for all because it stretches to the workplace as well and has implications for any institution that has a dress code. What happens if a Rastafarian wants to join the army or navy in Ghana? Would they be forced to cut their locs? ?

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