Khafra Kambon ‘sickened’ by hair incident at alma mater

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Khafra Kambon –

FORMER head of the Emancipation Support Committee, Khafra Kambon, says he is sickened, pained and disturbed by an incident surrounding the hairstyles of male students at his alma mater.

He slammed “outdated” restrictions on students’ hair in TT, saying many of those rules “try to keep African hair as hidden as much as possible.”

On Tuesday, a group of male students from Trinity College, Moka, were not allowed to go on stage to collect their certificates with their classmates during graduation.

A Facebook post by the relative of one of the students, which has since gone viral, claimed the students were “segregated.”

A photo accompanies the post, showing the hairstyles of the students, which included plaits, canerows and short curls.

The school’s rules says students’ hair must be “worn short, neat and appropriate for school as determined by the college.”

Many have since slammed the school for the incident and Education Minster Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly has since said there will be discussions about these types of rules soon.

Kambon, who attended Trinity College from 1958-1965, told Newsday it seems that “African hair is always becoming the cause of some kind of problems.”

When he initially learnt of the incident, he said he was disturbed and wanted to know “what the background story was.”

Recalling his time as a student there, he said, “I don’t remember any comparable episode.

“There was a focus on neatness and things of that kind, but I don’t remember (anything like this). I don’t know about anybody not being able to come out to graduation for any reason…So it struck me as strange.”

He said he is uncertain of any changes made after he graduated.

“I think that a lot of foolish rules are made…They aren’t made with consideration for some of the cultural strands among African children.

“I think we should be far more advanced than that because we have had to deal with plenty instances in this country in recent years.”

He added, “It is time for us to get over those hair things,” and that it’s a “major backward step” in allowing it to continue.

“It’s sickening to see it happen. It pains me to see it happen in the school I went to.”