white wigs africa judges

ACCRA — Silky, white, and made from horse hair, old-style European wigs—periwigs—are uncomfortable (ill-fitting and itchy) and downright ludicrous.

They also carry a hefty price tag. Manufactured by two large British oligopolies, these wigs cost anywhere between 1,000 and 6,500 USD per wig!

So exactly how much money do our governments have in their coffers, to be spending that much on unnecessary trinkets? (And how much of a kickback per wig do our politicians receive for continuing this useless habit?)

Would the International Monetary Fund, which drastically slashes budgets of borrowing countries, also cut these frivolous wigs for austerity measures? Certainly not, since British companies obtain easy profits from the wasteful spending of those who obviously refuse to think for themselves.

Besides money, the aesthetics (really, lack thereof) provoke further concern. A white wig on a white European looks nonsensical enough, but a white wig on a Black African just looks like the worst kind of caricature of a “cultured slave” that ever existed!

Perhaps we should each contact a lawyer or judge friend we know to inform them of their missteps in African culture, fashion, and identity.

While I am by no means any genius, I do possess what little mental facility one needs to question inane acts such as wearing white horse hair as a prerequisite to conducting judicial procedures.

Why do African governments continue to engage in foolish behaviors that drain their economies? How, on the one hand, can we proudly trumpet our independence and ability to think ourselves, and meanwhile on the other hand retain the very symbols of past subjugation?

Why on earth do judges and lawyers retain these gowns and wigs when they clearly have no link to traditional African culture? Why do African professionals continue to devalue themselves? Is this too difficult to comprehend? Are our brains that obtuse?

Africans from the motherland to the Caribbean still wear costly wigs, paying a pricey sum to former colonial master Britain.
Africans from the motherland to the Caribbean still wear costly wigs, paying a pricey sum to former colonial master Britain.

If wigs are important to deciding legal cases (which I am certain they are not), why not have African nations provide them, thereby supporting African economies, and why not craft them in the likeness of African hair textures and colors–not in light yellow, grey, blonde, and white? Why do we not have our judges and lawyers make these changes right now so we do not have to discuss this preposterousness hereafter?

At least Kenyan judges have discarded their wigs and no longer refer to judges as “my lady” or “my lord.”

But why can’t all our judges and attorneys bring their dress code into the 21st century, one where they do not follow silly colonial mores? Are we so missing colonialism that we want to remember this memorabilia brought to use by former colonial masters?

It may well be psychological: the history, slavery, the colonization of the mind from which the Black African, sadly, still has not released himself.

Maybe we could all use some words of wisdom from the prolific Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song:”

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds.

23 COMMENTS

  1. I certainly agree. The wigs are ridiculous and make them look like maccaca monkeys with white hair. Even in the US, the most culturally and genetically connected to England, they do not wear those silly wigs. I therefore find it very funny and pathetic that in Ghana, they still wear those contraptions on their African head. If they don’t realize that, then they are well trained monkeys or Afropeans to be more diplomatic and not educated Africans.

  2. Hahaha My Sister Nefertiti you are too much. Great observation and very aptly put… Hilarious and I 100% agree.

  3. “I do possess what little mental facility one needs to question inane acts such as wearing white horse hair as a prerequisite to conducting judicial procedures”… love the quote from you. Lol.

  4. Those wigs are downright ridiculous. They look like kakai motobi with those contraptions on their head. They better get rid of that and transition from trained monkeys to human and educated Africans.

  5. The Business of severance from Westminster control at Independence was half hearted. We wanted to become a grown up country but retained all the various Establishment trappings that no longer should have applied. Why pick on the Wigs and not the Gowns and the Laws and the Legal traditions followed by our Lawyers and Judges because that is what is taught in British Law Schools? In those days the British believed that such high Officers in the Law had to be both Dignified and anonymous. The accused had to stand in awe of the Judgement handed down by these wigged but faceless men in authority. Attitudes are changing in the UK and even they now question the relevance of such attire in the modern society. The Question is what will Africa do when the UK decide to change? We would be left still wearing those robes and wigs because we have failed to work out our own destiny and traditions in Independence and simply hang on to the past. I would not be surprised if we become the only customers for these items even after the British Courts would have moved on!
    Sadly, it will take generations for AFrica to evolve as Africa in the same mould as China is Chinese and India is mainly Indian. It is an inverted problem. The Arabs were Arabian first before now adopting Western fringe habits and ideas as suits. Africans were British or Belgian or French or any other Colonial influence first and still find it a struggle to ‘down evolve’ into being African. It is subtle but that is the situation we find ourselves in and no amount of picking on the odd anomaly like the Judges’ wigs is going to solve our need for cultural evolution and colonial atrophy.

  6. Lack of knowledge of THYSELF….our people are comfortable promoting foreign culture and lifestyle that is leading the country astray beyond imagination……How can we refuse to use our beautiful kente designs to promote ourselves with identity as Africans…..No wonder part our budget is finance by foreign countries that sell this colonial dress to the government…..‪#‎Rezpecktt‬..

  7. Omg! I had to inspect the pic to see if my ex was in there! Seriously, those wigs are just ridiculous, they should be banned.

  8. Some people on Facebook have even tried to associate the white blonde wigs with ancient African history and claim the wigs resemble the shape of Egyptian royal headpiece…LOL. ahhhh no. More so, the whiteman used it to cover as he became gray and/or bald and to associate it with him resembling his depiction of lord–a god (which the wig was often times powdered to give it a whitier look).

  9. In the year 2015 and this type of cultural colonialistic vestige is still present in Afrikan nations who claim to be independent. What about the white Jesus adorning the walls and homes of the Afrikan Christians? Can they not see Jesus as a Black god if they are going to practice Christianity at all. To see the pale skin, blue eye, blond image in Afrika shows just how much Afrika was fractured from 500 years of European enslavement and exploiattion. Last but not least it is also sad to see just about every Afrikan female with their hair straightened and their skin ligntened from the use of bleaches.

  10. Hysterically funny, in a tragic way that is unsure emoticon Just shows how old their law system is..Like several hundred years and totally outdated. & in every way sick…

  11. under normal circumstances every judge should be dread locks but because they themselves cant withstand the truth they have to be fake..they far far far away from the truth and realities.. they look like kkk associates..

  12. On January 18, 1960, LIFE magazine, the American news weekly featuring full page photography and a large scale format, began a series of articles on democracy around the world. Part1 featured the newly independent nation of Ghana (1957), and the cover photograph was Augustus Molade Akiwumi (Akiwumi were one of the first Yoruba migrants in Accra/Ghana and they started operating Makola), the Speaker of the House in Ghana, dressed in British style wigs and robes. The title of the feature article read, “Ghana’s Leap from Stone Age to Eager New Nationhood.” For a national magazine in 1960 this title reflects a shocking ignorance of African cultures. Inside, the
    article focuses on law, directing attention to the introduction of modern Western law and linking it to progress, democracy and modernity. It explains that “Courts are being built, and in lower courts the temporary local judges are being replaced with more qualified appointees to settle local disputes and initiate the people in the mechanics of Western justice.”(87) A full page photograph of Ghana’s first chief justice who held law degrees from two English universities, Sir Arku Korsah, dressed in wig and robes, accompanies the article.
    This LIFE Magazine`s article which sought to imply that without the British wigs and robes, Ghanaians were like in stone age is very shocking, when as far back 1400`s Ghanaians were wearing dress before the Portuguese came. The first Portuguese who landed in Jabi (Shama) in 1471 did not report seeing any native in nakedness nor the people lacked laws. In 1472, Don Diego de Azambuije`s landing in Elmina, the Portuguese captain also never recorded seeing the natives in nakedness. Indeed, Azambuije had full respect to the King, Nana Kwamina Ansah (Portuguese records refers to him as Camaransa) for the wisdom he displayed and went on to describe his court and elders.
    Many Western nation still had some weird views that all Africans were naked or in stone age before the Europeans arrived. Ben Carson, US Republican presidential hopeful, also have that assumption that Africans were in stone age when the Europeans arrived.
    By the way why are our judges and lawyers (in criminal court appearance) wear this colonial British wigs and robes? Change from colonial mentality into our own national consciousness must also start from the judiciary!

    • It is not a ‘Shocking ignorance’ of anything. Anything Europeans can’t use to their advantage is ‘barbarism’. The same way that their intellectual forefathers (The Greeks) considered anyone who wasn’t one of them literal barbarians. It’s a propaganda move, nothing else.

  13. The Ghanaian legal fraternity fully took on Nkrumah for daring to ask the to cast away the colonial relics. The deliberate misinformation are indeed part of elaborate plan to dominate us.

  14. Two outdated colonial mental enslavement remains that the Ghana Judiciary ought ABOLISH:

    1. those silly wigs and gloves worn by the justices. 2. the silly wigs atop lawyers heads.

    2. referring to judges as Lords; we don’t have LORDS in Ghana; and in Britain where they claim to have, they are doing away with that title.

    3. those silly robes.

  15. If only anyone would hear you. Maybe the people who should take the decision are making a hell of money from such a worthless practice so we have to wait for officials who would save the public such wasteful expenses.

  16. white wigs wore by African court counsels is nothing more to express who they are whether it their professional as lawyers,arbitrators or whatever they claim off to be. This symbolism practice is a slave mentality that have a reminiscent of European Imperial court cultures, which evolved during 18th century, the same kind of medieval cult rituals that proudly reflect the white man’s natural hairs. Nowadays, African leaders officially assumed these kind of stupid roles that enshrine their own mind condition and farther destroy the image of black man in a more authoritative ceremonial attuned attitudes. The puppet states of Common Wealth belt, are continue worshiping the crown of queen Elizabeth of Britain. China was once under this mind conditioning, but the Chinese people realized it earlier and they banished all white wig practicing rituals and formed their own indigenous court dressing codes which is unique to their national emblem and theme………Many contemporary black professional lawyers and legal graduates when wore these white wigs that imitating white man’s hairs on their heads, they developed fake-confidence that boosting about meritorious academic superiority with presumptions that support the white wig. Lawyers see the white wig as it apparently denote their professionalism, court impartiality, justice and difference from other common layman, which is somehow true, but the main problem they don’t seemingly detected is the hidden subliminal mental slavery the white wigs, psychologically desolate them whenever on top of a black man’s hair, it is an insult being a black person in general. Questions: Why the association of black lawyers can’t change this white wig to black wing so that it matches exactly with their own natural hairs? White man invented white wig, because it matches with white man’s hairs… When will a black man design his or her own black wig if measuring as being a lawyer is only when a person honoring wig rituals ?

  17. I totally agree that Ghana and other African countries should jettison this colonial relic of blond or white wigs on the heads of jurists. I only got this post via the former Inspector of Detectives at Scotland Yard, David Michael. He was born in Dominica which, at independence, opted for Republic status and did away with the wigs as well. So not all Caribbean islands are that unconscious. In fact, Dominica has a history of Pan Africanism.

    Dominica was the birthplace Pan Africanist lawyer George James Christian – an organizer of the the first Pan African Congress in 1900 held in London. He went to Sekondi in 1902 and became a member of the Gold Coast Legislature where he advcoated for the independence of what is now Ghana. He passed away in 1940.

    Good article. We Africans must emancipate our minds as George James did.
    See Heritage at http://www.marylandattorneyatlaw.com

  18. ACTUALLY, WHITE PEOPLE CUT THEIR HAIR TO GET RID OF LICE AND USED WIGS TO PRESENT THE APPEARANCE OF VIRILITY AND GREAT NOBILITY. SO WHAT IN THE WORLD IS THE RATIONALE FOR CONTINENTAL AFRICANS USE OF WHITE WIGS TO PRESENT THEMSELVES LOOKING LIKE FOOLISH CLOWNS? AND IT’S ALL OVER BRITISH RULED WEST AFRICA AND EAST AFRICA.

    WEST AFRICA IS FAR FROM BEING FREE! FREEDOM IS A STATE OF MIND. (IF YOUR MIND IS FREE YOUR BEHIND WILL FOLLOW!) LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION IS ENGLISH. JUDICIAL ATTIRE IS BRITISH. RELIGION IS WESTERN – PRIMARILY “MY GOD IS THE ONLY GOD AND MY GOD LOOKS LIKE ME – LILY WHITE”; BEAUTY STANDARDS ARE “WHITE”; AND BLACK MEN LOVE WHITE WOMEN WHO CONDESCENDINGLY LOOK UPON BLACK WOMEN – EVEN SISTERS, MOTHER, AUNTS, OF BLACK MEN; LET’S NOT FORGET THE WESTERN PATRIARCH -RULE MENTALITY THAT DID NOT EXIST BEFORE THE COMING OF THE PINK PEOPLE! NONETHELESS, WE MUST BEGIN TO DISMANTLE THE MENTAL SLAVERY FROM WHICH MOST BLACK PEOPLE -EVERYWHERE – SUFFER.

    STEP 1. REMOVE THE MONKEY WIGS!! STEP 2. REMOVE THE ROBES STEP 3. ADOPT “JUDICIAL KENTE CLOTH
    GO FOR IT!

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