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Hairgate? Why is everyone talking about Ghana's new Gender Minister's hair?

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"When you ask me about my hair, you are discriminating against me" - New Gender Minister Otiko Djaba

play New Gender Minister Otiko Afisa Djaba in her much-talked about hairdo (Daily Graphic)

Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisa Djaba has defended her outlandish hairstyle, which has been the subject of criticism and ridicule on social media over the last few days.

READ MORE: Done! Otiko Djaba gets approved as by majority votes as NDC walks out








The outspoken Djaba was recently sworn in as Minister following a controversial vetting session that saw the minority in Parliament reportedly walk out in protest of her eventual approval.

play Ghana's new Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection Otiko Afisa Djaba (R) greeting President Nana Akufo-Addo.


The Central Regional chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has described the new Minister's hair as a "gladiator cut".

"I mean she’s qualified (for the ministerial post). The only problem I have with her is her gladiator cut," said Allottey Jacobs.

Meanwhile, Ms Djaba has cried foul about the public obsession with her hair, which many have pointed out as being similar to that of global pop star Rihanna, thus rendering it 'inappropriate' for a government official.

play Pop star Rihanna sporting a similar hairdo as Ghana's new Gender Minister Otiko Afisa Djaba


"When you ask me about my hair, you are discriminating against me," she told JOY News.

"I have the right to maintain my hairstyle. It is not crazy; it is very African. The students call me the 'Swagger Mama'; they enjoy me because I am young at heart. When I hit the campuses, they are happy."

READ MORE: NPP Gov't Two NDC MPs drag Otiko, Attorney General to court

"Look, my hairstyle doesn't affect the price of Kenkey," she continued.

"My hairstyle doesn't affect poverty. My hairstyle is a winning hairstyle and it encourages the young people. Ghana has about 65% of our population being the youth, and being a 'Swagger Mama', I believe that I am the best person to engage the youth. They feel comfortable with me because they see themselves in me. They are ok with me and I'm ok with it," she added.