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A Rastafarian Girl Was Banned from School in Kenya Because of Her Locks

Her father is now suing the school for discrimination.

A Kenyan school is under fire for turning a young girl away from school because of her hair.

Makeda Ndinda, a Rastafarian student who wears her hair in locks, says she was forced to pick between "hair or books" by the deputy principal of Olympic High School in Kibera when she showed up for class wearing hear hair in a wrap. She was told that only Muslim students were allowed to cover their hair.

The 15-year-old student told Kenya newspaper, The Standard, that the deputy principal sent her home, saying her locks were not acceptable and that she should wear her hair like other pupils instead.

Her family had reportedly already paid for her tuition in full and supplied her books when she was turned away. Ndinda's father, John Mwendwa, has expressed his disappointment and believes she is being discriminated against due to her Rastafarian faith. According to Kenyan outlet Citizen TV, he is taking legal action against the schools' board.

Student who was joining form one has been denied the chance because she is a Rastafarian youtu.be


According to The Standard, there are no laws in the constitution that regulate dress codes on the basis of religion of for any other reason in Kenya. Instead, schools have a mandate to respect religious views and practices.

Folks have been reacting to the story on Twitter, with some pointing out the negative perceptions around people who wear locks in the country.




Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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