News

    Ghanaians Reflect on Legacy of Kwame Nkrumah

    Anna Boiko-Weyrauch

    This week, Ghanaians are marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of their first president, Kwame Nkrumah, who championed independence from British rule and promoted the liberation and unification of the entire African continent.

    Musicians with horns and drums helped usher in this week's ceremony at Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park and mausoleum in Accra.  People from all parts of Ghanaian society attended the event, commemorating the national holiday.

    President John Atta Mills spoke of the independence leader's example for all Ghanaians.

    "Kwame Nkrumah stood for so many things: unity, hard work, perseverance," said John Atta Mills. "And we should always be guided by these values, which I believe are the only values that can help us in building a better Ghana."

    Nkrumah Memorial Park sits on what was once British colonial polo-grounds where Mr. Nkrumah declared Ghana's independence in March of 1957.

    "Today from now on, there is a new African in the world," said Kwame Nkrumah. "That new African is ready to fight his own battles and show that after all, the black man is capable of managing his own affairs."

    "March 6, 1957, we were young men," said Victor Nortey, who was there to hear Mr. Nkrumah's historic speech.

    "It was so exciting," he said. "The euphoria for national independence then took off and whatever it was that had to be done for national independence we were all for it.  And we were running up and down - up-country and down-country, everywhere that Kwame Nkrumah went, we needed to go there.  And it was like you have ignited a fire, which everybody was basking in."

    President Nkrumah worked to industrialize Ghana by building dams, schools, roads and factories.  He was a leader of pan-Africanism, organizing meetings of African states and writing a number of books on the subject.

    Later, he imprisoned his opponents, abolished rival political parties and declared himself president for life.  Mr. Nkrumah was overthrown in a CIA-backed coup in 1966 and lived in Guinea for several years before his death in 1972.

    Today, he is widely remembered as a hero for his contributions to Ghanaian independence and contemporary political thought.  This week, many people marked the national holiday of his hundredth birthday by visiting Nkrumah memorial park.

    "When we come around this place it gives us that spirit of togetherness," said one visitor. "It brings the people of Ghana together and everyone who comes here is full of joy.  You know he is our hero, and we really adore him.  We wish he is here now."

    "Kwame Nkrumah means a lot," said another. "The man who helped Ghana to gain our independence and it is a very great achievement.  I remember when I was in school I learned he was man of passion.  He have this kind of human sensitive and all that.  So Kwame Nkrumah means a lot to me, a lot."

    "I was not there, I was not born, from what I have heard ... he is a great leader," said another person. "He has done a lot for us and he make Africa proud."

    "His legacies are relevant," said a visitor to the Nkrumah memorial park. "His ideologies are relevant today as it was then.  Talk about unity. Talk about economic empowerment.  Talk about freeing yourself from neo-colonialism, colonialism and imperialism."

    "I see Kwame Nkrumah as a god-given son, to Ghana, to Africa and to the world," was the opinion of still another visitor.

    Ghana was Africa's first European colony to declare independence.  On that night 43 years ago, Mr. Nkrumah said the future would demand a lot of hard work.

    "I am depending on the millions of the country, the chiefs and people, to help me to reshape the destiny of this country," said Nkrumah. "We are prepared to build it up and make it a nation that will be respected by every other nation in the world."

    This year's commemorations have seen the creation of a new political party - the Nkrumah Never Dies Party.  Elsewhere, other organizations are marking the anniversary by launching new social programs, including a scholarship fund and anti-malaria campaign. 

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora