Brief Profile: Kwame Nkrumah

by Duke Magazine

Kwame Nkrumah, (21 September 1909– 27 April 1972) was a Ghanaian politician revolutionary. He was the first Prime Minister and President of Ghana, having led the Gold Coast, now Ghana to independence from the British in 1957. An influential advocate of pan-Africanism, Nkrumah was a founding member of the Organization of African Unity, and a winner of the Lenin Peace Prize in 1962.

He had his tertiary education at the Lincoln University, Pennsylvania. After 12 years of his academic pursuit abroad, and having carved out his own niche of political philosophy and met with diaspora pan-Africanist, Kwame returned back to Ghana to launch his political career as an advocate for the country’s independence. He then formed Convention People’s Party which was successful enough to earn Kwame a Prime Ministerial appointment in 1952, the position he occupied till Ghana’s independence from the British in 1957. With the streams of success speaking volume for Kwame, the Ghanaian constitution was formed and he was favorably elected as the President of Ghana.

His administration was characterized with a duo of socialist and nationalist. Hence, it funded national industrial and energy projects, developed a strong national education system and promoted a national and pan-African culture. Ghana really played a leading role in African international relations because of its successful immediately after independence.

Kwame was later made to abdicate office in 1966 due to a constitutional amendment in disguise of coup d’état by the National Liberation Council that was constituted of the army and police with the support of the civil service. He left Ghana for Guinea, where he was exiled, was honored with the position of a co-president by the Guinean president.This warm reception from the Guineans embracing the welcome of Kwame, made Ghana to severe ties with Guinea and other eastern blocs. They now formed ally with the western blocs, thereby inviting the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank to help them drive their economy. Ghana lost its Africa reputation to this move towards working with South African Apartheid which the African communities detest.

Kwame read, wrote, corresponded, gardened, and entertained guests. Despite retirement from public office, he felt that he was still threatened by Western intelligence agencies. 

In 1971, he was flown to Bucharest, Romania for medical treatment after being diagnosed of prostate cancer, and there he passed away in April 1972 at the age of 62. 

Kwame was buried in a tomb in the village of his birth, Nkroful, Ghana. While the tomb remains in Nkroful, his remains were transferred to a large national memorial tomb and park in Accra, Ghana.

In memorial, Kwame has been given so much recognition for bringing pan-Africa onto the fore-front of human recognition in his ideas, beliefs, and perceptions.

He was voted as the Best Man of the Millennium 2000, by the listeners of BBC World Service, and was described by BBC as the “hero of independence”, and an “International symbol of freedom as the leader of the first black African country to shake off the chains of colonial rule.”

In September 2009, Late President John Atta Mills declared 21 September (the 100th anniversary of Kwame Nkrumah’s birth) to be commemorated as Founders’ Day, a statutory holiday in Ghana to celebrate the legacy of Kwame Nkrumah. Also, in April 2019, President Akufo-Addo approved the Public Holidays (Amendment) Act 2019 which changed 21 September from Founders’ Day to Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

WeCreativez WhatsApp Support
Our support team is here to answer your questions. Ask us anything!
? Hi, how can I help?