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Dreadlocks saga: I stand with Achimota if debate about religion; against if about style – Samini

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Reggae artiste Samini has waded into the dreadlocks debate after Achimota Senior High School refused to admit two Rastafarian students because of their locks.

The school’s PTA, the National Association of Graduate Student (NAGRAT) and the Ghana Education Service (GES) have backed the headmistress’s decision not to accept the students.

However, others like the Rastafari Council, ex-MP for Kumbungu Ras Mubarak and some Ghanaians disagree with the position of the school.

Contributing to the ongoing debate, Samini, who wears dreadlocks, said in a Facebook post that he disagrees with Achimota school if the debate is centred around style and preference.

He wondered why someone cannot wear their hair the way they want it, to school in 2021.

He, however, noted that if the argument is about religion, then he would stand with Achimota School.

Speaking in favour of style and preference, the ‘My Own’ hitmaker observed: “If it is an issue of style and preference, then I would humbly plead that our authorities take a second look at this questionable ‘decree’ that smacks of intimidation, discrimination and even to some extent, racism! How will the locks make other students uncomfortable?”

“How will the locks affect his performance? Or wait, will the locks, perhaps, turn into snakes at midnight and hound other students?”

“Can someone please help me understand why I cannot wear my hair the way I want to school in 2021?”

“Let’s even leave the public schools and turn our focus on the private schools that allow any kind of hair preference on their premises. Do we have any records of any troubles being created? I don’t think so.”

On the other hand, the multiple award-winning musician noted that if it is an issue of religion, “if these lads who want to wear locks in school are insisting on that because it’s a religious requirement they cannot forgo, then, by all means, let’s all stand with Achimota because allowing it, could be very very detrimental!”

“A wise man, Eric Weiner, once said: ‘Religion is like a knife. If you use it the wrong way you can cut yourself’. Massaging institutionalised procedure to favour ones religion is a dangerous path we should not take! The repercussions could be terrible because once it’s done to favour religion A, it must be done to favour all and who knows what religion B might ask for?”

Read Samini’s full post below:

Been observing this Achimota School-Dreadlock drama for a minute. Here’s my take. Rules are rules. The many responsible men and women we see out there have all been shaped and fashioned by various rules, regulations and guidelines either from the home, church, community and in many cases, school.

But have all these guidelines, rules and regulations been truly helpful? Are some still relevant in this new age? I must admit I find it strange that in 2021, someone’s rights to education are being questioned over the “construct” of his hair. Not his intellect, not his ability to become a national asset in the areas of Arts, Maths or even the sciences…his HAIR!

But is the debate one of a personal hairstyle preference or a debate triggered by religion? If it is an issue of style and preference then I would humbly plead that our authorities take a second look at this questionable “decree” that smacks of intimidation, discrimination and even to some extent, racism! How will the locks make other students uncomfortable?

How will the locs affect his performance? Or wait, will the locs perhaps turn into snakes at midnight and hound other students?

Can someone please help me understand why I cannot wear my hair the way I want to school in 2021?

Let’s even leave the public schools and turn our focus on the private schools that allow any kind of hair preference on their premises. Do we have any records of any troubles being created? I don’t think so.

On the other hand, If it is an issue of religion; if these lads who want to wear locks in school are insisting on that because it’s a religious requirement they cannot forgo, then by all means, let’s all stand with Achimota because allowing it, could be very very detrimental!

A wise man, Eric Weiner, once said “Religion is like a knife. If you use it the wrong way you can cut yourself”

“Massaging” institutionalised procedure to favour ones religion is a dangerous path we should not take! The repercussions could be terrible because once it’s done to favour religion A, it must be done to favour all and who knows what religion B might ask for?

A school, like the military is a place to learn many things, but the most important from where I sit is discipline! I’ve heard many people speak about oppression, freedom and many others in relation to this particular subject. But guess what, without discipline, there cannot be real freedom! That’s why more than 6 decades after attaining independence we still question our freedom because we have not been disciplined enough in managing our own affairs as Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah declared. But let’s leave that debate for another day.

Achimota School is undoubtedly one of the finest intuitions we have in this country. The institution that nurtured and gave us legends like James K Aggrey, Joyce Ababio, Kwame Addo-Kuffuor, late former Heads of State, Jerry John Rawlings, John Evans Atta-Mills, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, musicians King Bruce, Reggie Rockstone, Richie Mensah, former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, Samia Nkrumah, TV star Berla Mundi and a lot more.

I am pretty sure that better than anyone else, they do understand the full construct of their crest. The black and white keys of a piano over an inscription that translates as “That they all may be one”. Is there a better way to express diversity?

To all my dreadlocked (religious or otherwise) out there. Let us not tear each other up or hurl invectives at one of Africa’s greatest educational institutions. Rasta is gentle. Rasta is wise. Rasta is strong. Rasta is obedient. Rasta understands and follows rules. Rasta is disciplined. If Achimota school cannot take Rasta, let Rasta move on.

That said, I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to some well to do Rastas out there. Can we come together to fund these lads through private school? Until Rasta builds schools like the Muslims, Catholics, Methodists, SDAs and so on have, can Rasta hold its own to ensure no one pushes Rasta about over rules Rasta must obey in everyone’s interest?

Life is one big road with lots of signs,

So when you riding through the ruts,

Don’t you complicate your mind

Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy

Don’t bury your thoughts; put your vision to reality- Bob Marley!

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