One of the fathers of the two students who were denied admission into the Achimota Senior High School because of their dreadlocks has expressed his disinterest in campaigning for diaspora Africans to relocate to Ghana.
Ras Aswad Nkrabea has told journalists that he is now on a mission to alert all black people in the diaspora who wish to relocate to Ghana to be wary of the prejudiced stance institutions take in the country.
With the discriminatory experience meted out to his teenage son who was denied admission to the Achimota School due to his dreadlocks, Ras Nkrabea said he now views Ghana as a place that may not be ideal for Africans in the diaspora planning to return home in President Akufo Addo’s Year of Return policy.
“I am going to make a very massive appeal to the diaspora community to not come to Ghana and see Ghana as a gateway. The President has invited us to come here as part of the Year of Return and a lot of us have decided to come down and settle down in the system, so am gonna put out a strong appeal that we should not look at Ghana because Ghana is very prejudiced,” Ras Aswad said.
His two children were denied admission by the Achimota SHS because their dreadlocks hairstyle is not acceptable by the dress code of the school.
The issue has generated a lot of heated debate, with many on social media taking sides.
According to Ras Nkrabeah, even though it is only the Achimota school that has rejected students on grounds of dreadlocks, he thinks that warning brethren in the diaspora about coming down is not taking it too far because the Ghana Education Service (GES) has backed the school’s decision.
“The GES has sided with that position so what is gonna happen is that the GES is gonna set up precedence for all the other schools to follow and as you recognized. It’s not so much about generalization; we have to alert all the diaspora people that this is not a place to come because you will find yourself having the same prejudice that you have in a white man’s country; racist laws over there.”
It is worth noting that Accra Academy, another public SHS has admitted a dreadlocks Rasta student.
In Ghana, the reputation of dreadlocks have come a long way from the hairstyle often being associated with rogues, street urchins and downright lunatics, to now generally being accepted as just a hairstyle.
Dreadlock is a hairstyle that has been in existence, since prehistoric times, with the likes of the prominent Ashanti priest, Okomfo Anokye, known to have spotted dreadlocks.
Ras Tafari’s association with dreadlocks begun when local devotees of Ethiopian Emperor, Haile Selasie, alias Ras Tafari, vowed never to comb their hair until Selasie who had been chased into exile, returned.
Ras Tafari is believed by Rastas to have been a direct descendant of Solomon in the lineage of King David of Judah.