“Freedom is not something that one people [person] can bestow on another as a gift. They claim it as their own and none can keep it from them.”
Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was not just the first President of Ghana but a very extraordinary man whose life and works contributed significantly to changing the world. He grew from a little village boy in Nkroful in the Western Region of Ghana to a world leader fully devoted to the struggle to free all black people from all forms of racism/struggle. He was also against everything which kept people irrespective of their color in conditions of slavery. He opposed oppression and exploitation in all its forms.
Many historians including Basil Davidson and F. K. Buah credit Nkrumah with the leadership of the struggle which led to granting independence to many African countries under various forms of colonialism. Indeed Nkrumah is placed in the same category as Albert Einstein, Karl Marx, Vladimir I. Lenin, Toussaint O’Liverture and Mahatma Gandhi whose ideas and actions helped to make the world a better place.
Amongst the many things which make Nkrumah stand out as an extraordinary personality was his realization that Africans everywhere ought to unite in common effort to assert their dignity and use their resources for meeting their needs and realizing their aspirations. His ideas for the unity of all Africans has come to be known as Pan-Africanism and they have their roots in his experiences as a colonial subject, his sojourn in the United States of America and the racist experience he suffered there and his association with Pan-Africanism thinkers of the time including W. E. B. Dubious, Marcus Garvey and George Padmore.
After completing his elementary school education, Nkrumah went to
Given the fact that Nkrumah came from a poor background, he had to work to pay for his education. He worked as a waiter and sometimes as a dish washer. He did anything which would put a few dollars in his pocket and help him fend for himself in a land which was obviously strange to a village boy from Nkroful.
Nkrumah experienced racism at first hand. He saw that Africans were all victims of racism no matter where they came from. In searching for to questions about racism Nkrumah joined black students’ organizations and became acquainted with the ideas of such activists as Marcus Garvey. He read widely and was transformed into an activist.
When Nkrumah moved to
It is significant that on the eve of Ghana’s independence on 6th march 1957, he declared loudly that “the independence of Ghana is meaningless until it is linked to the total liberation of the African continent” The organization of the All African People’s Conference in Accra only one year after the declaration of independence attest to the Pan-African Agenda of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. This conference brought together the newly independent states in
For Nkrumah the situation in which
Credit: Kwesi Pratt