Monday, 21 September 2009

Kwame Nkrumah: African Man Of the twentieth Century

As we celebrate the 100 years of Kwame Nkrumah, one should cast an eye over the activities of African leaders who came after this great son of Africa. It's a shame, for none of the new generation of African leaders emulates Kwame vision of scientific and industrial age. Rather they have become stooges, harden dictators and looters of our national wealth. Their short vision has put us in abject poverty, sickness and unending wars across the continent.

Born on 21 September 1909, Kwame Nkrumah stood tall among his peers during his days with his vision of a new scientific and industrial age starting from his native country Ghana. Nkrumah, a firm believer in Africa liberation, pursued a radical Pan-African policy, playing a key role in the formation of the Organization of African Unity in 1963 which is now known as African Union, and which of course, has become zombie to the ex-slave masters. I often wonder why the change of name! Can't we just keep our creativity intact?

As a leader of the first black African country to shake off its chains of colonial rule, Nkrumah became an international symbol of freedom. At midnight on March 6 1957, Gold Coast was renamed Ghana. And Nkrumah declared, "We are going to see that we create our own African personality and identity, we again rededicate ourselves in the struggle to emancipate other countries in Africa, for our independence is meaningless unless it is link to the total liberation of the African continent".

And it came to pass that most African countries were liberated, but Nkrumah did not stay long to pursue that vision he had seen and fought for so that the African continent and its people will be duly respected among comity of nations. He was overthrown by the military with the help of the so-called western countries in 1966 while on a visit to China. His last years were spent in exile and died in Bucharest-Romania on April 27, 1972.

But Nkrumah never dies. His words still lingers on. Explaining his vision in his book, I Speak of Freedom, Nkrumah wrote:

"Divided we are weak, united; Africa could become one of the greatest good forces for good in the world. I believe strongly and sincerely that with the deep-rooted wisdom and dignity, the innate respect for human lives, the intense humanity that is our heritage, the African race, united under one federal government, will emerge not as just another world bloc to flaunt its wealth and strength, but as a Great Power whose greatness is indestructible because it is built not on fear, envy and suspicion, nor won at the expense of others, but founded on hope, trust, friendship and directed to the good of all mankind"

Today however, our leaders have failed us but hope is not lost. For, we hope the next generation of leaders will learn something from this great son of Africa. Long live Francis Nwia Kwame Nkrumah, Long live Africa.

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