Volta Hall's quiet revolt - Occasional Kwatriot Kwesi Yankah writes
Since we Legon people are in the celebration mood, I might as well add a note to our gender past and present of which I have already boasted. How do I handle this? Eye asem ooo! Hmmm.
Along with the gender strides in Legon, the all-women’s Volta Hall once upon a time pulled a fast one, while Legon authorities were not looking.
I had all along known that the Volta Hall symbol was Mother Hen, a humble submissive mother looking back to history.
The University in establishing the Hall in 1959 handed down the symbol along with its proverb meaning: ‘The hen knows it’s daybreak, yet looks to the cock to crow.’ (Akokobere nso nim adekyee, nso ohwe onini ano.)
This was obvious, isn’t it? A hen crowing to announce a new day was clearly a taboo in my village, and I am sure elders would have slaughtered the hen for the breach, and tossed it into the soup bowl. Except that these days of LGB something something, the hen’s plea could simply be, ‘I felt like being a rooster today!’
As gender trends evolved on campus from the 1990s, with increased women’s enrollment, appointments, etc., something else happened which could have drawn the whip.
Our Volta ladies with their polite upbringing did not touch the visual symbol as such; but they overnight amputated the proverb with its meaning, then quickly sneaked back to the hen’s coop. All this on the blind side of the masculine hilltop. The same symbol now means, ‘The hen also knows it’s daybreak.’ (Akokobere nso nim adekyee) Period.
The rest of the proverb was politely rubbished; the original meaning of subordination to male was dumped, and tossed down the ivory valley. Yaamutu! Call it creative deformation. It simply meant, the hen like the rooster, also knows it all. Equal access to knowledge. To top it all, a new slogan emerged: Ladies with Vision and Style.
The new interpretation puts greater premium on knowledge construction, the prime aim of universities. While both cock and hen demonstrate awareness of a new day, agency for announcement and public notice is secondary, say the ladies. After all, things could be announced even by a destitute gong gong beater. Eii Volta Ladies.
By the time the male gang at the top woke up and discovered the defilement, it was all over. To the query who said Tweaa? Lips were sealed.