Monday, September 14, 2009

3 things I learnt about Nkrumah over the weekend

On Sunday 13th September, the Nubuke Foundation had an art exhibition in its gallery. In the gallery were some photos of Kwame Nkrumah and other pan-africanist who had contributed immensely to the liberation of the African continent. The exhibition was followed by the Poetry Talk Party; a literary program for poets and lovers of poetry designed to encourage discussions around very interesting topics. This weekend’s topic was "Kwame Nkrumah" (of course!). During the exhibitions and the discussions I learnt three things I never knew about Kwame Nkrumah.

(1) Nkrumah is Immortal.
The immortality of Osagyefo was accepted by most people among the audience. Years after his death, his writings and speeches are still alive. A contest on BBC to select the Man of the Century was won by him, even against other stalwarts like Nelson Mandela of South Africa. I learnt over the weekend that at a certain point in our Ghanaian history, most of Nkrumah’s writings were confiscated and destroyed. People even were banned from quoting him in public. These actions notwithstanding, Nkrumah’s works can still be found online, in bookshops and galleries. Nkrumah lives on.

(2) There were more than 1 attempt on his life.
Until Sunday, I personally thought there was only one assassination attempt on the life of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, I was dead wrong! The first attempt on his life was made when a bomb was placed by his residence in November 1955. There was also the major Awhaltey plot to assassinate Nkrumah while he was abroad. This plot is reported to have been planned by the opposition. Fortunately for him, a loyal official who had some information regarding the plot reported it to the authorities who then went on to foil this unbelievable attempt. Then was, the infamous Kulungulugu (a border town between Burkina Faso and Ghana) bombing on 1st August 1962. A bomb was placed in a flower supposed to be presented to him by a young girl at a ceremony in Kulungulugu. He escaped the attack and was hospitalized for a few days, but the young girl died.

(3) Nkrumah never saw Fathia again after they separated.
When Nkrumah was overthrown in 1966 whiles he was on a mediation mission in Viet Nam. He was prevented from coming back into the country by the coup makers. Nkrumah then went to Guinea where he was made the co-president of Guinea. That marked the end of the love story that existed between his Egyptian wife, Fathia and himself. They only communicated through letters. Nkrumah later died of skin cancer in a Romanian Hospital, Fathia died several years later. Today they both share the same resting place at the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum in Accra.


Nana Fredua-Agyeman said...

Hi Tagoe...interesting piece you have written. Very interesting. Get David Rooney's work 'Kwame Nkrumah: Vision and Tragedy' by read it with care.

Gameli Magnus Adzaho said...

Thanks Edward, now we all know a little bit more about Dr. Nkrumah. It would be interesting to know why Nkrumah did not see his Egyptian wife again after his overthrow.

Edward of PathGhana said...

@ Nana|| Yea I will try as hard as I can to get Rooney's book. Might probably go ahead to emulate your idea of setting a budget for some African books every month....So help me God!

Edward of PathGhana said...

@ Gameli || I did some research into that , unfortunately couldn't find anything concrete on the issue.

I am thinking they were planning on meeting, Kwame must have died before the Edward (my mind!!)