Over the last few days I have monitored the rants of my good friend Daniel about people’s reaction at his office to his beard and all I can tell him is, welcome to the world I knew some years ago. I believe it is Indi Arie and Akon who sang the song “I’m not my hair” which literally is very true with most of our Ghanaian ladies since the wear weave more than their hair. Before I digress, let me just stick to the reason of writing this note.
In the Ghanaian community, there is this colloquial prejudice about young men growing beards. As to why people find it irritating to see young men grow beards, I’m yet to hear any convincing and tangible reason for these pathetic reactions. Some years ago I had the pleasure of telling an elder of the church I attend my piece of mind when he told me not to come to church on Sunday with my beard and that if I dare come with it, he will shave it for me. Those who know the no nonsense part of me can just imagine how I reacted. I’m sure he regretted ever raising that issue because even my Dad later on told him that even he, my father had no say in how I wanted to keep or kept my beard since I was an adult.
One of the growth traits that come with the aging of a Billy goat is the growing of a beard. So from afar we can identify a Billy goat from others. Beards are beautiful and a natural part of a man’s face. I cannot fathom fighting a daily battle against something my own body does naturally. Its masculine qualities. The fact that men can grow beards is a characteristic that nature has given us to distinguish ourselves from the female gender and add more character to our individual personality. Before I joined my new company, one of the many things some friends and family told me was to shave off my beard before I go for an interview. I found this laughable because at the end of the day it was the experience I had gather over the years and how impactful I was going to be that mattered most. My beard was therefore not going to hinder my capability to deliver on what was demanded of me and knowing the industry in which I worked, whether you had a beard or not was not a determinant of whether you’ll get a job or not. Most of us wear our beards for different reasons.
Some wear their as defiance to society, some because of physiological reasons, some because they can’t afford to be going to the barbering shop every week and some because of philosophical reasons. So tell me, who are you to tell a Billy goat to loose its beard?