A Ghanaian Muslim journalist has revealed that she was rejected from the auditions for flagship reality TV show ‘Ghana’s Most Beautiful’ because she was wearing a hijab.
Zainab Alhassan, graduate of the Ghana Institute of Journalism, auditioned for the show as a representative for the country’s Upper West Region which has a large Muslim population in the region’s capital Wa.
However, her dream was cut short when she was told by TV judge Prince David Osei: “Zainab, you are very good but since you decided not to remove your hijab there is nothing we can do.”
Alhassan said on Facebook: “During the auditions I did great, I didn’t flop for once, I didn’t shake or become super nervous in fact I was exuding confidence but it took a different turn when the issue of my hijab came up.
“I was asked why I wore it to the auditions, I explained, again I was asked if I will take it off in the course of the contest if I’m asked due to one activity or the other, I told them in this day and age, there’s really nothing that one cannot do in a hijab.
“In fact about 40 percent of the questions asked were based on my hijab.
“The time of reckoning came when they were to pick those moving on to the next stage, they mention your name and tell you your fate. I was the fourth to be called and I stepped forward and he said ‘Zainab you are very good but since you decided not to remove your hijab there is nothing we can do’.
“I was devastated but I kept it cool. I am sure the girls there selected to move to the next stage were very good no doubt, and I cannot tell if they did better than me which is very possible. What I did not understand why my hijab could be a hindering factor to my progress in the competition.
“Will I keep losing opportunities because of my hijab? Most definitely, but will I ever take it off to please someone, hell no.”
According to local media, several demonstrations and social media debates were held across Ghana last year in protest at discrimination in schools and workplaces against Muslim women.
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