As fellow students join their new schools in pursuit of secondary education, a 17-year-old girl in Kisumu County stares at a bleak future after she missed a Form One place because she refused to cut her hair.
Sharon Akinyi was set to join St Mark Obambo Secondary School in Kisumu West but was on last Tuesday turned away after she refused to have her head because of her religious beliefs.
Ms Akinyi had met all the other requirements except point number 11 in the student’s rule book that states: All students must be tidy, hair cut short and well groomed.
The teenager who is being supported by a guardian however remained adamant, saying she could not betray her God to satisfy earthly needs.
“1st Corinthians Chapter 11, verses 14 to 15 says: Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering.” Akinyi quoted from the Bible when journalists sought to know what word she was referring to.
Akinyi who lost her father when she was eight years old with her mother leaving over a family dispute, insisted that if she failed to get a place in Form One, she would rather find a favourable course in the local polytechnic or better still stop her quest for higher education and serve God.
“I don’t think the policy is aimed at victimising students. It is just for purposes of keeping the students neat because this place is very hot and dusty and it would be too demanding for them to keep long hair. And it would be unfair for other students to allow some of them to keep long hair as others abide by the school regulations,” a teacher at the said school explained as quoted by the Standard.