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…and listen to Dr Akwasi Osei when he speaks!


Our Chief Psychiatrist, Dr Akwasi Osei has repeatedly confirmed what I had myself suspected all along: Most of us, (about 40 per cent of Ghana’s population) are either psychologically unbalanced, very creaky upstairs, psychiatrically challenged or gone all the way round the far bend.

In varying degrees,  the entire population OF Kwame Nkrumah’s republic has gone cuckoo, loony, brainsick, demented, disordered, dotty, badly cracked, maniacal, moonstruck and all said and done, completely tuned off from sanity. Oh yes, we are bound for the nuthouse, Jomo.

The evidence is there all around: If you mentally demarcate an area of some 100 meters square within the open spaces, you will find that nearly everyone is busy breaking the law or misbehaving in some dangerous, annoying or downright criminal way.

If you are entertaining any doubts about my thesis, consider this infamous headline this week: “Three final year female students of St. John's Grammar School prevented from writing their final examination papers in West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination.”  Why? Well the story says two invigilators kicked them out of the
examination hall because they had each failed to have a haircut before coming to write the examination!

This kind of crass stupidity defies comprehension, Jomo. How an educationist, could with such calculated malice, jeopardize the future of young people by frog marching them out of an examination because they had bushy hair takes he idea of “the man with a bended mind” to hell in a dirty handkerchief.

If this kind of thing has gone on for too long, it is because the Ghana Education Service appears to have countenanced it. No parent will encourage a ward to break a school rule requiring students to trim their hair but what in the name of rank nonsense has bushy hair got to with a student’s final examination?

The Ghana Education Service has ordered St Johns to register the students to write the paper they were made to skip, at the school’s expense but methinks sanctions should go much farther than that if the nonsense is to stop.


Someone shaves his head right down to the scalp, so that he is as bald as a grandfather coot, and no one sees anything wrong with that. Another person goes round wearing a fairly generous crop of hair on his or her skull, and a Third World War breaks out. What kind of nonsense is that?

I have been harassed at more airports than one on account of the out-of-fashion tropical jungle sitting over my skull.

Out of scores of already checked transit passengers making their way to the waiting lounge of a boarding gate at Heathrow more than 10 years ago, a female immigration officer stopped  me and took him aside. Then she began rummaging through my briefcase while asking me silly questions...

All the while, her blue eyes were fixed at a point a couple of meters above the base of my skull. Several hours of flying had left the jungle a bit unwieldy and wild. I thought to myself: If she thinks I have weapons of my mass destruction hidden in the jungle, why does she not rummage through my hair instead of my briefcase?

The tale gets even weirder with regard to the equipment for combing my jungle. The problem has always been with my back-up comb. Let me explain: My normal comb is a custom-made one which looks not too unlike a plastic garden rake. It is the only type that can do the combing job thoroughly, see?

Then, I have this back-up comb made of long metal spike-like teeth attached to a plastic handle. I carry both along when I travel: Should I leave my hair uncombed for a day, I usually look like a member of the ape clan which zoologists somehow neglected to give a scientific name.

The idea is that should I ever lose my plastic rake while on a journey, I can always reach out for my smaller but fairly efficient back-up.

Yet anytime I buy one, airport security people seize it, Jomo. They seized one at Gatwick, seized one  at Heathrow and seized one at Cardiff Airport. I found a way of denying them the pleasure of seizing my the rake for mu bushy hair at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam but they seized my deodorants. The scanner usually detects the metal comb in my luggage and lets out that shrill alarm and in no time the security people are usually all over me like the trans-global anti-terrorism squad.

The last time they seized my backup was at Murtala Mohammed Airport in Lagos. When I protested an immigration officer bellowed: “Na di rule dat, Oga!” Don’t mind them, Jomo. Wear some bushy hair. It keeps the skull cool and the gumption in good working condition. Ask Dr Akwasi Osei.


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