Nkrumah And Churchill On A Podium
Some day, I knew “I was going to be in some kind of trouble.” But, would I be prepared for it? Let’s find out. Just exactly four weeks ago, I found myself writing and attempting to advise men and women, both younger but also older than me, what to do, if in politics, they needed advise, take recourse to a man named Winston Spencer Churchill, a man whom most of us, advanced in age, yet never met, nor heard him alive. He died on January, 24th, 1965.
Without doubt, I could re-assure interested readers that, not many have forgotten the encounter between me and half-a-dozen of University graduates at a spot in the centrum of “Oseikurom”, and to be exact, at “Aseda House”, eight years back. As it turned out, we happened to be waiting for a printer, who had escaped us, ‘and gone for lunch’.
I had adopted a habit, of asking people, if they were younger than me, about a man called “Osagyefuo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.” As usual, on this occasion, it turned out, not half of the dozen young men, had “a substantial clout” of the man, whom with others, (the big six), is acknowledged, as “The Founder of the Nation, our Nation.” Without saying it too loud, I inner-ly consoled myself, by thinking, “they would have known more about Kwame, had it been in Accra.”
I wasn’t too sure about that either. But, being as it were, all they knew was that, “Nkrumah was the man who took all Ghana’s money, and gave it to foreigners.” I tried, mixing ‘German and English’, to convince them, it was never that way, even if anybody told them what they seemed to know. “No way!” one of them yelled! They mentioned 7 Million Dollars to Yamiogo of Burkina Faso, and another 10 Million to Sekou Toure, of the Republic of Guinea. I made it easier for them, by adding, “East Africans, and Southern Africans studied here at our cost too, but it was all good for ‘THE YOUNG AFRICA.”
The best example was Robert Mugabe, “who took our woman in addition for a wife”. In the same vein, a lot of European countries gave Africans scholarships to study in their mist, from their tax-payers’ hard-won money. “Germany,” and I was living proof, standing in front of them. “That was paying the colonial debt”, one of them yelled. We all had a laugh, and I tried hard, to convince them, they had got it wrong, the way they saw it with Nkrumah. We parted, but, I was unhappy, they still thought Dr. Nkrumah had been light-headed with Ghana’s money.
A chunk of the youth in Ghana, who must look outside their country, for a job, even after acquiring sparkling certificates from the Universities, blame Dr. Nkrumah for it. One young lady, a graduate teacher, is convinced, Nkrumah could have turned Ghana into an Industrialized nation. Why didn’t he?
This is a question you and I as Ghanaians may ask not only Nkrumah’s Spirit, watching us, as we chat over it today, but we could all ask ourselves, “and why haven’t we industrialized, even 50 years, since he has been gone?”. And we have all heard the myriad of excuses, from political opponents: “Nkrumah had all the Cocoa, the Timber, the Bauxite, and all the Gold reserves.” The fault, in the Ghanaian situation, has been only in the neighbor’s court, not in our own, since Nkrumah has been gone.
To my article on Winston Churchill, the rejoinders have been many. The one whose answer I feel the “questionair” should pay attention to the answer thereof, is that, I do recognize Nkrumah’s role not only in Africa, but the world, which we can all be very proud of, but one thing is missing, which I can find in places like Germany, and Britain, (not to talk of Korea, and SINGAPORE. Out of ashes and ruins, they have built staunch economies and skyscrapers). The youth of Ghana, who did not meet Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, and have unfortunately not read his books, (I don’t quite know why not), have such a big problem, and I am not sure, whether we the septuagenarians could be blamed for it),-one gargantuan task.
It is this: “You try and ask anybody who is young, just where he/she would like to spend the rest of their lives.” The few that may have got it from family-connections, who were not in Nkrumah’s camp when the big battles took place; and I mean T-junction, Flagstaff House, Arena, and finally Kulungugu, they all blame any attempt to remove Nkrumah on his stifling of the political situation in Ghana through “His one party-system, and his Preventive Detention Act, PDA”. For the opposition, Kwame had removed all avenues of fair political game.
Even so, the big attempt to kill him at Kulungugu in 1962 was not from the opposition, but from Kwame’s own group, who were fed-up with him. But, the accused, all from the CPP, where acquitted by the High Court, (or Supreme Court?). Winston Churchill was Prime Minister twice. He believed in Democratic processes. In Europe, Adolf Hitler failed, trying to take the world by Autocracy. Communism has failed after 74 years of trial in the Soviet Union.
Eastern Europe is free today, and so are most African Countries. China won’t stay Autocratic for long. My suggestion for anyone studying politics, to read Churchill, is simply, the thought that men want to be free!!!
Kofi Dankyi Beeko. e:firstname.lastname@example.org
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