South African students speak out against ‘aggressive’ ban on afro hair

Sep 1, 2016 by

Image result for Malaika Maoh Eyoh afro photos

Students describe prejudice at prestigious Pretoria school where natural hair was deemed ‘untidy’ and ‘un-ladylike’

Malaika Maoh Eyoh, a 17-year-old student at the prestigious Pretoria high school for girls, remembers the first time she was told by a teacher that her afro was “distracting others from learning”.

She said the comment was “aggressive”, and made her feel “really scared to come to school”. With her hair now braided, Eyoh was one of more than 100 young women to protest against the school for allegedly forcing black students to straighten their hair.

“There were a lot of emotions because the last five years of our high school student careers had built up to this,” said Eyoh.

“[After the march] it blew up a lot faster and harder than we thought it would,” she added. Images of the protest went viral in South Africa and an online petition against the alleged hair policy gathered more than 10,000 signatures after it was created on Friday.

In response, Panyaza Lesufi, the head of education in Gauteng province, has ordered an independent audit of the school “to investigate all the claims of racism”.

Source: South African students speak out against ‘aggressive’ ban on afro hair | World news | The Guardian

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