When, in September 1968, 11-year-old Daniel Kofi Baku arrived at the mountain town of Akropong-Akuapem, in Ghana’s eastern region, to enrol at Salem Boys’ boarding school, books, school uniforms and a box or two of sweets were not the only items in his baggage – he was carrying prejudice as well.
This was young Baku’s first long journey from Kpong, in the Volta region, where he had grown up among his Ewe ethnic group.
“Initially, I had all sorts of ideas about other people, and they were equally suspicious of me,” he said.
“But, within weeks of sharing a dormitory, we had discovered that we were all the same.”
Nearly 40 years on, his prepubescent epiphany holds. Now a historian at the University of Ghana, Baku cites Ghana’s predominantly boarding school system as “a key social leveller”. Read more