Standing With Katanga? Stand At Ease or Stand Aloof!

With the quest for university management to churn some halls of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology aka KNUST, into mixed halls, there have been lots of uproars against the decision. Many are those that campaigned with hashtags and flyers and posters and blog posts, but all to no avail as information on the university website has approved all formally male halls as now mixed halls.

University Hall, popularly known as Katanga, opened on the 19th of January, 1963 as one of the first all male halls is undoubtedly a good hall by all standards. They are known for their unwavering fidelity when it comes to students issues and taking it to the authorities. They are also highly acclaimed for their popular “jama” sessions known to students and alumni alike as Morale. They are indeed better at this than Conti. (you can argue on your wall – LOL). Their processions popularly known as Proce (pronounced Pro-s3) , are a spectacle to behold. The DO THE DANCE dance though resembles how horny chickens behave, is one of the commonest dance moves in town now. It’s dance-able anywhere in the world, everywhere – even in church.


Kat hall has provided some of the finest SRC presidents, MPs, Ministers, you name it. I’m sure the best adhesive factor that fosters goodwill from this hall is for the fact that it is an all male one. Being an all male hall gives them that power of the Man to command, to enforce, to ensure and to dominate. Though a good thing, we’ve had our bad times. I for one, am an Alumni of KNUST. I was instituted into Independence hall but found myself in Kat and Conti most times than i can recount. I even stayed in Conti for over a year when i moved to SRC hostel which is just a spitting distance from Conti. I know for a fact what that fidelity with the “boys boys” attitude can do and undo.

Let’s not forget that Kat students were responsible for some misbehavior that went on during a congregation event about two years ago. Some students were arrested and tried. I’m not aware the of the gravity of their punishments. Another incident happened with Kat hall when they clashed with Conti over trivial matters. This issue led to bloodshed. There’s been recalled deaths during some of these clashes in past years, but i wont let it hold water because of lack of proof on my part. There was an incident when the boys dressed in their ritual apparel roamed the streets of Kejetia. Unfortunately one kid met his dad. This man had to be doing menial jobs just to gather something to make sure his son is comfortable in school, yet, here he was – “worshiping Aboagyewaa”. According to the story, it was an interesting scene to behold as the dad beat the crap out of the kid till he escaped his grips, only to join his comrades again few moments later- back to worshiping the gods. Kat hall is known for humiliating females who dare chatter known or unknown paths to or through Katanga. Conti is also known for beating gongs and clanging metals at the site of a female few feet away from their territory. You should experience one of these outbursts. Though funny, it is noisy and humiliating. During hall week celebrations, Kat hall has been known to bring coffins and traditional apparel depicting ancestral worship and the like.

They have converted some of their boys into girls for the public spectacle of their hall week celebrations. Hall weeks and morale nights are that once in a blue moon opportunity where you can make a mess out of yourself and not be judged. And so has it been since the inception of the hall. They tend to indicate, there are times you cannot find yourself in the halls or at certain parts of the halls cos it’s prohibited to the student populace. They claim it’s only for members of the traditional council and traditional council “matters”. Woe betides you if you falter whether as a resident or a visitor. I am not saying all these out of hate for what some overprotected boys who finally gained freedom from their parents decided to do. I’m talking about what was agreed in the prospectus for students to come obey in school as against the reality on the ground. I have seen pastors’ kids turn into Odikros on campus all because of peer pressure or the mere fun of it. I’ve seen prayer warriors leave their spiritual mandates just so they can freely enjoy a morale session in virtually no pants. You will see boys completely nude singing and dancing to profane songs with their third legs dangling. They do not care about the audience of which some are females from other halls and hostels who come to catch a glimpse of what they thought was myths. Some partially ashamed ones cover their faces as they confidently show the rest of their not so bodily male anatomies.

The popular Miss Conti can’t go unscathed. This is where you see boys pretend to be girls, not for the fun of it, but to be crowned the best in their girly crafts. Costumes and makeup meant for females are forgotten about but used on males to bring out the female hormones in them. Homosexual dons and pimps have their kinpins in these all male halls. Check the stats. You never heard Filla radio talk about “Your male roommate is someone’s wife”? Then you missed. These halls publicly watch porn and promote vulgarity. Filla radio once reported a case ;someone had been caught with 90gigabyte worth of porn on his laptop. Apparently he had all the types you could imagine – midgets, horse, arabs, indians, eskimos, etc, you name it. These halls have their own private profane versions of any known and unknown gospel song and go a long way of recording in studios. They dont stop there, they mix it and add cover arts. You can attend the early parts of morale sessions to catch a glimpse of the lyrical beauty and musical dexterity. Alcoholism is publicly proclaimed with the analogy that “we are all adults here”. Does it look like i’m spilling all our dirty linen in public? Well, it’s for the greater good. Property have been damaged all around campus and Kat and Conti boys have had the luxury of walking free. People have been traumatized and their perpetrators have walked free. Lives have been threatened and the only sanction was two wasted hours with the Disciplinary committee.

From my research, management of the university want to bring a balance when it comes to girl education as against boy education. With some of their mechanisms, mixing some halls will go a long way to foster unity, balance and educational equity. I believe they all know how long some of these halls have remained all male, but yet they are ready to make effective changes to aid posterity in their educational pursuit. I dont think this just happened overnight. The tit-bits of this info go way back as 2016. So i’m sure there have been debates, concerns, discussions, court sessions leading to this final verdict. And instead of the country to embrace the change and see how well to make the best use of it, we’re standing against it.

I’ve listened to campaigns and watched demonstrations against it, all in silence. But what struck the construction of this controversial article is the fact that alumni have joined hands to look at the negative side instead of the positives. And shameful enough also decided to run a campaign with it. Lemme quote some findings of mine. This is from a post on My Joy Online and i quote

But former hall president of Katanga hall, Nana Otu Turkson sees the move as a calculated one intended to put the all-male hall, Katanga down. “We have always known since our saint, K.A. Andam passed away that all the vice chancellors will come chasing Katanga because we are the only hall on campus that has the testicular fortitude to take them on.” Giving a chronology of events by the university authority to put Katanga down, which have all failed, Turkson said the authorities have simply run out of ideas to execute their agenda. He clarified, however, that they do not have a problem with the opposite sex, they are against the manner in which they are being used against them. “We have absolutely no difficulty, ladies are our wives, girlfriends, colleagues, concubines…we love them to bits. They are using ladies as pawns to try and keep down men.” He said if the university was so bent on expanding access for females as it states, changing all the halls to mixed ones is not the solution.

This is one of the worst public expressions i have ever come across especially coming from a former hall president. “calculated one intended to put the all-male hall, Katanga down” and i ask myself. Does this guy think if indeed the university wanted to put the hall down like he indicated, he would have a say in that decision making? And that the university is using females to come against them. Such impudence! You’re a male who came to school to learn. Another female is getting the same opportunity and your best defense is that she will be used against you? WHO IS THIS GUY? That he’s allowed to spew nonsense as such into global mainstream? Maybe he’s too young.

Let’s look at someone older, an alumni by name Dr. Samiu Kwadwo Nuamah, the MP for Kwadaso constituency in the Ashanti region. He said, according to a post by Peace Fm

There is no gainsaying the fact that the halls on campus are not adequate to cater for the increasing number of students. Moreover, there is no denying the fact that male population on campus far exceeds the female. However these two key factors have been in existence since Adam and have nothing to do with halls compositions.

As an alumnus of the University and a proud member of the University Hall (Katanga) I would like to urge the authorities to reconsider their decision as mixing the halls plays no role in solving the issues so far put forward.

The reasons underpinning this move, as have so far been made public would, it seems, only weaken the student front. This I would find very unfortunate, if that is the case.

From his earlier comments, he made sense. Where i started losing the drift is the quoted part above. If the problem is about giving equal opportunities to both sexes and the solution is mixing halls to give them all that equal opportunity they need, is that not in line with solving that main problem, at least, for the start? Or this MP wants a new building or a new hall? How long will a new building take to complete? How much will it require? Is it a feasible idea to allow mixing halls for now as works go on till completion? What are the factors that will hinder this? How can it be curbed? The questions can keep coming and coming. I don’t want to go ballistic on this MP but i think he can do better. Way better. Already as i’m told Kwadaso constituency lacks an SHS, a hospital and proper sanitation. The populace all depend on Komfo Anokye or KNUST hospital. Crime is on the green bar there, yet his V8 and his allowance is assured. Can we just pass by without having a fix today? Please?

Another post from

The Alumni of University Hall, also known as Katanga, at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has said that females may face harsh academic conditions if they are brought to the all-male hall. The Greater Accra Press Secretary of the University Hall Alumni, Raymond Laud told Accra-based Citi FM that they cannot guarantee the security of the females sent to the hall even though the university plans on ensuring they are safe.

Is this a realistic thing to say? It’s like you have received admission to Harvard. and you’re told, the university will not be responsible for you as their student should you get there. How repugnant!

“We are of the view that once you mix the boys with women, there will be silence… when have you heard that Independence Hall, or Republic Hall or Queen Elizabeth Hall have come out to agitate on something? They don’t.” Other alumni, is this true? You see the issue with some blacks? and then see the latter part of the post –They have, therefore, dragged Vice Chancellor, Prof. Obiri Danso – who serves as Chairman of the University Council and Hall master of Unity Hall – to court. The alumni and hall executives opted to head to court after school authorities announced in January plans to convert Unity Hall and University Hall, popularly known as Katanga, into mixed halls.

My point is, KNUST is a great university. A lot more can be done for this school. There are lots of talented and skilled and highly educated people in our communities who are still unemployed because the courses they studied in KNUST have no application here in Ghana. So these people are waiting on miracles to get outside the country to actualize their dreams or at least, make meanings out of their courses studied and degrees attained. The engineering college is still finding it’s feet to get out a project that will last and change lives.

We’re all waiting for a plane to fly. The potential is there but where are the funds and the enabling environment for research.

I’m made to believe the college’s website was worked on or is still managed by 3rd party companies that have virtually nothing to do with the computer science department. Architecture is offered yet, no plans of the university were handled by students or alumni alike. Drainage issues are affecting the university, but it can’t be used as a case study for Rural Planning and community development graduates. All the forests on campus, how are they being managed? Can someone studying forestry have something tangible for the government to take a look at? Katanga has dilapidated amenities yet alumni will rather stand with them over hall gender mixing than effect maintenance or renovations. Even if done, it takes years because contributions will have to be done one alumni at a time. Have we asked how the girls will cope when they settle in? Their washrooms, spaces, even security? Have we thought about the decorum the presence of females will instill in these often recalcitrant and rowdy boys?Can we change our mindsets over certain subjects of discussions? Can we dissect and look at the endless positive possibilities instead? Can we look at the possibility of the next best SRC president being a female from Kantanga or Conti? Can we set our priorities right as a nation? Can we handle things right as a people? Can we offer ourselves the luxury of looking even beyond the bigger picture than just what’s readily visible? Let’s not jump into any boat because of the aesthetics, only to realize later that the boat wasn’t even moving. You think Harvard will fight because they want to change or mix halls?

In conclusion, lemme pose these questions to you. If you’re a father, will you be willing to watch your daughter miss out on her medicine course in KNUST because they told you the only hall available says they dont want to accept females into it? Will you spend outrageously on her first year outside campus when that hall was her salvation? will you watch her go waste and wait for next year to compete with the already ever-growing applicants? If you’re a boy, will you allow your sister miss out? Your girlfriend? Your side chick? If no, let’s change our mindsets and look at the bigger picture. After all, morale nights will still go on and even be spiced up with female counterparts. Drink ups will also be spiced up in Kat and Conti. As against the days when all you see are fellow males’ hard bodies. Mensah Sarbah hall in the University of Ghana, legon has been a mixed hall since Adam grew beards, yet they still have the Okpomates who are rivals to Kat and Conti should there be a ranking. Do they or have they cried about it? The bulk of you standing for Kat or Conti will do nothing about it should the females start trooping into the halls. You will do nothing about it if you’re given the opportunity to donate to renovate or build new structures. You will do nothing about it when asked to take a tangible stance for any of these halls. Yet, you publicly cry out because you want to feel belonged to something. For the adults, who all they care about is seeing females walk among the boys in and around the halls, look at the bigger picture. As for the foolery, it happened without the girls. It will happen with them around. We are adults now, how relevant has being in a male hall been for you in your career life? How much has it added to your mobile money account? Look at the opportunities for the next generation and stop publicly participating in some nonchalant campaigns, as if you really truly care. For the youngsters, If you’re standing for Kat or Conti, remember the boys who would have to make do with Africa hall. Are they crying as much as you are? In Sarkodie’s voice, forgeti yawa no!

Perry Tintin

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