Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Will Nkrumah live for ever?

The First President of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah, t...Image via WikipediaMany years ago, in the 20th century, a baby boy was born to an Nzema couple. This gifted lad grew up years later to become leader and President of a nation once colonized by the British. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, led the fight for Ghana's independence and drove the nation into its first republic. Nkrumah was celebrated by many from all walks of life, at least until 1966 when his regime was kicked out of power by the Nation's first coup makers.

I never met Nkrumah, he didn't grow old enough for that to happen, and I surely wasn't born early enough to witness this African legend. I read about him in school, visited the mausoleum where he was buried and listened to many scholars highlight his exceptional rule and governance tactics. A lot was done to preserve Nkrumah and what he stood for.

At this point I'm wondering whether these preserves will be present for the generations which will come after us to have access to. Can my great-grandchildren tell their children about Dr. Nkrumah? Or will his memory fade as the world begins to focus more on what technologies will enhance human lives on earth. I am slowly beginning to challenge the ''Nkrumah never dies'' assertion which seems to suggest the pioneer's legacy and memories will be kept till eternity (or at least for as long as possible). As the years pass by, and more pressing issues come up, will institutions have the luxury of spending time to transfer such knowledge from one generation to another?

The government's initiative of declaring Nkrumah's birthday Founder's day (or is it Founders' Day)  was welcomed by most Ghanaians as a step in the right direction with regard to attempts to idolize our former president. What we need to ask ourselves is, did Ghanaians applaud this holiday declaration because one more day had been added to the long list of holidays we already have? or we were excited because we finally get the chance to set aside a day by which we can remember Nkrumah by? A conscious effort must be made keep Nkrumah's history alive, else our great grandchildren might not get to hear about him, at least not the way Americans  about George Washington.
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MIghTy African said...

I believe Nkrumah's legacy will never die. We may forget a lot of history but not our founding fathers.

Ghanaian holidays have become marked with what we talk about. They should become about what we do with them.

Anonymous said...

The conscious effort will be made and I know one day people will tap into the ideas and visions of Dr. Nkrumah to make Ghana a better place.

Nana Fredua-Agyeman said...

I get what you mean. But if anything at all it will fall into legend and once it becomes a legend, believe you me, that's it. It will live for ever. We still talk about a lot legends, don't we? Besides, for it to survive this technological age, the geeks can create a computer game based on Nkrumah fighting for independence, provided with all the tools at hand. In this way, we can impart the story of history, our story, to the next generation without being part of the telling. Or without doing an active telling. What do you think?

gamelmag said...

Edward, the legacy of Nkrumah will remain forever. Your efforts, and that of others, are ensuring that. Happy Founder's Day!