Professor Honoré Kahi is being hailed as a “hero” after photos of him with a baby tied to his back in a blanket spread like wildfire on the internet.
The story behind the photos that have been shared thousands of time on social media is touching: one of Honoré’s students is a young mom, and had to bring her baby to his class — but the little one wouldn’t stop crying.
The professor, who teaches communications at the University of Alassane Ouattara in Bouaké in the Ivory Coast, explained to news website France24 that his students often have to bring their babies to class with them. About a week ago the mother in question had to leave the class three times to soothe her child.
Eventually, With her permission, Honoré scooped up the infant and tied it to his back with a blanket – the tot stopped crying almost immediately and fell fast asleep.
His students were so impressed that they shared pictures of their lecturer with the sleeping baby on his back online.
The lecturer said his students were surprised and began to laugh. Then they realised that “this is a good father, this is a real man… a role model,” he explained.
“I’m the teacher, and teachers are human beings — we are not robots,” he said, justifying his actions. He also added that he learned how to secure a baby on his back by watching the women in his country doing it with their little ones.
“Men are able to do certain things, and usually it’s the way society sees men that prevents them from doing these things.”
Girls in Africa are far less likely to receive an education than their male counterparts, according to a report by the United Nations. They are also not well represented in higher learning institutions like universities.
Professor Kahi says he, “wants to young mothers to get an education, even if the odds are stacked against them”. He encouraged moms to have “perseverance,” “optimism” and “fighting spirit.”