Ghanaian Student’s Scholarship Withdrawn for Hateful Attacks Against LGBT Individuals

A Ghanaian student who was awarded a scholarship to study in the US has lost his funding after he posted homophobic comments on social media. Derrick Boadi Sakyi, a 27-year-old engineering student, was selected by Ohio University to receive a full scholarship for his PhD program in Biological Science, which covers tuition fees, living expenses, and travel costs for four years of study. However, his scholarship was withdrawn after the university received complaints about his online posts, which included calling LGBT individuals “abominations” and “sickening”, and threatening to rape and blackmail them. He also targeted Ama Governor, a prominent Ghanaian activist and journalist who advocates for LGBT rights.

The complaints were filed by Papa Kojo, another Ghanaian activist who identifies as intersex and gender nonconforming. Papa Kojo said he received a death threat from Sakyi on Twitter, and decided to investigate his profile. He discovered that Sakyi had been inciting hate against LGBT people for years, and had recently moved to the US to start his PhD program. Papa Kojo also found out that the scholarship Sakyi received was meant for LGBTQIA+ community members, applicants from the Global South, first-generation students, and people with disabilities. He said he was shocked by the contradiction, and wrote a letter to Ohio University informing them of Sakyi’s hateful remarks and actions.

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