This will be the fourth and the shortest paper I have authored. And if I am not sheepishly hiding my feelings as Okwonko did, I must say, that I could not help but be emotional in the course of putting down this opinion. Before relocating from the Great Akuafo Hall(Annex B, Gonja) to TF Hostel, I used to engage hawkers, most of them being students, who took it as their part-time business to move from room to room, selling all sorts of merchandise. I did not dissuade from this demeanor even when I moved to TF Hostel in my second year as a Law student. TF Hostel is on the Main Campus of the University of Ghana which does not only accommodate University of Ghana students but also other students from the kinds of GIMPA and UPSA. This paper was provoked by an encounter I had with Efua when she chanced upon me and my roommates in the course of doing her room-to-room trade.
We became Efua’s customers and I believe all my floor mates also did. Indeed her bread was always fresh and the price was very good. She remains one of the most naturally endowed ladies, after several ladies in my class, I have come across during my two decades of hustle in this world. I used to have conversations with her whenever she comes to supply bread in my room. For the avoidance of doubt, these conversations were not held solo but involved my roommates and some of our visitors.
One day, after doing business with us, Efua said, “I want to be the SRC President of my time at the University of Professional Studies, Accra”. Her statement resulted in several seconds of silence in the room. I was really impressed by the confidence with which she made the statement but I was still on my silence break without uttering a word. The first person to break the silence after Efua had made her Abraham Lincoln-like proclamation was a guy called Kwame. He is also a UPSA student. He was not my roommate but was fond of always being in my room to engage in boys-boys chit chat with us. Kwame said, “My sister, kindly find an intelligent guy and vice him instead. Let him be the presidential candidate and be his vice in order for you to stand a chance.”…“You know as a female, you are doing nothing more than building castles in the air by holding such goals. The Presidency is not meant for females, please. Unless maybe you use your ‘bottom power’ ”, Kwame ended. By ‘bottom power’ he obviously meant trading one’s body for a favor. While I was still dumbfounded by Kwame’s response, everyone else seemed to have given their cold support to Kwame’s reaction to Efua’s SRC Presidential goal. I could see that his disheartening response personified a fountain of despair and discouragement to Efua who had no choice but to pack up her remaining loaves of sugar bread and leave without saying anything. I could feel her pain.
Honestly, I used to be an advocate of the kind of archaic parochialism Kwame exhibited but for my Gender classes and my chats with ladies like Miss Nana Adwoa Brempong, Miss Duah Comfort, Miss Nana Esi, etc., which transformed me into a male feminist. I remember I once asked Mr. R.K Anim about the distance between his home and Legon campus and he said the distance is a certain number of miles. I further asked him that “do you think it’s far from campus” and he said, “it depends on your appreciation of distance.” I learnt a lot from his last response. When I say a male feminist, in the words of Mr. Anim, “it depends on your appreciation of ‘Feminism’”
I think I concurred with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie when she said, “Yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better….All of us, women and men, must do better….we must raise our daughters differently. We must also raise our sons differently.” Although I enjoyed Administrative Law classes with Prof. Atuguba and Dr. Ali Nakyea, I am still remorseful for not doing the second part of Gender and the Law.