As the news unfolds, many have come out to give give detailed accounts of similar cases and how much effect it had/has had on them.
The latest and most interesting piece comes from a popular Ghanaian feminist who was once a student of the accused lecturer.
Dela-Goldheart stated that the professor started harassing her as early as her days as a fresher in the University of Legon, Ghana.
She gave the details about her abuse on a post on her facebook timeline. Read the post below;
I didn’t think I will narrate this story in public this soon with a name tagged. I knew I was going to get justice and ensure that other women’s and girls’ education are not threatened because of men who cannot keep their zips closed. But here we are. I know what I am about to do is a bit risky for my future, but I also know this is a good time to say something.
I was not going to talk about this until I become a powerful woman who can protect myself. But this week’s happenings have forced me to say something. My hope is that, by sharing my story today, the University of Ghana, Ghana, and the world would be more assured that lecturers like Prof. Gyampo need to be removed from the higher education system if women are to have equal opportunity in advancing their education programs.
In 2010, I was a freshly admitted student to Ghana’s biggest university, the University of Ghana, to read Political Science, my dream program (smiling). I was super excited, and that meant that attending every lecture was a must for me. The idea of discussing socio-economic issues and politics and international events and everything was something I had always looked forward to.
Prof. Gyampo was one of my lecturers in my very first semester. He was young, super smart and always had a friendly/relaxed/snobbish attitude in class. I admired him a lot. He was in several ways, the dream of many of us, young students. We didn’t want to be old and boring before we get to positions of power. Prof. Gyampo was exactly that. Young, smart and powerful.
The first time I will speak to Prof. Gyampo directly was after class. We had closed from lectures, and Prof. Gyampo asked to speak to me. I was standing below, and he was on the podium. Most students had already left the classroom. I always sit at the front so walking up to him when he asked to speak to me was easy. He said that I am beautiful and smart; why was I always asking so many questions? I smiled. I didn’t know about smart, but I knew I was beautiful.
I had a figure that very few people didn’t compliment me on. I was used to being told I am beautiful. Before coming to the university, I had already won my first beauty crown and many beauty and fashion related awards in High School. So in my mind, there was no doubt about how I looked. Prof. Gyampo was simply saying what he so.
But compliments about my appearance didn’t ‘wow’ me as it did to other girls. I simply said thanks. Prof. Gyampo said I should come around (to his office) for a chat. I said okay. But I never went (unintentionally).
About three weeks after our first encounter, we will speak again. This time around, Prof. Gyampo asked why I didn’t come around as he asked. Typical of my age group, I only smiled. I had no excuse. I didn’t go because maybe I didn’t take his request seriously. So I promised that I would come and I went. In his office, Prof. Gymapo asked if I knew how to prepare okro soup (I am Ewe. Okro soup is my people’s staple dish).
I said yes, I knew how to prepare okro soup. Prof. Gyampo asked if I could come to his house to prepare okro soup for him. I said no, I couldn’t. He asked why I said nothing. By this time, I had learned from Prof. Gyampo’s choice of words, tone and facial expressions that okro soup in his house meant something else, not food. I was young, but I was not totally naïve or stupid. I had met many men like Prof. Gyampo before starting school in Legon. If the men before him could not get their way with me, he wasn’t going to either.
This was the beginning of my next four years’ ups and downs with Prof. Gyampo. In subsequent meetings, which I had to go to because I was his student in various semesters, and that meant seeing him on academic-related issues even when I didn’t want to, Prof. Gyampo often repeated his okro soup request and how beautiful I am.
I made him understand in one of those meetings that visiting a married man in his house to make soup for him, especially when he is your lecturer is wrong (it took a lot of courage to do so). But Prof. Gyampo said he was not married. I later found out from my colleagues that, that wasn’t true. Most of my colleagues said he had a woman whom he has kids with. I never verified that information, and I still don’t know if it is true.
But that knowledge and the fact that he was my lecturer made me never to honor his okro soup request. But I did not know that will threaten my many years of hard work and sacrifices at the university.