The Socialist Forum of Ghana (SFG) on September 21, 2020 joined the masses to celebrate Founder’s Day. The holiday coincides with the birthday of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, an inspiration of Pan-Africanists and national independence movements worldwide.
Nkrumah spearheaded the struggle for national liberation in Ghana and across Africa. His efforts led to Ghana winning its independence on March 6, 1957 and served as an inspiration for self-rule across the African Continent.
Dr. Kwame Nkrumah once said: “As far as I am concerned, I am in the knowledge that death can never extinguish the torch which I have lit in Ghana and Africa. Long after I am dead and gone the light will continue to burn and be borne aloft giving light and guidance to all people.”
These words summarize the essence of the SFG’s Founder’s Day celebration on September 21. The celebration however, is also part of a historical and cultural struggle against efforts by the ruling party to rewrite history and downplay the achievements of Kwame Nkrumah as the founder of modern-day Ghana. In March 2019, the government passed a law which redefined Founder’s Day as August 4.
According to Kwesi Pratt Jr., who serves as the general secretary of the SFG, the change in date is part of an effort by the Akufo-Addo government to devalue Nkrumah’s contribution to the National Liberation Movement.
The current Ghanaian government insists that the achievement of national independence should not be credited to Nkrumah, but to six leaders of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) an elite group of lawyers and merchants formed on August 4, 1947 to spearhead the agitation for national independence.
However, the Socialist Forum of Ghana and innumerable Pan African communities continue to recognize Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah for his ambitious attempt to raise the consciousness of Ghanaians and Africans at large to determine their own destiny. The significance of Kwame Nkrumah’s contributions to the Pan African Struggle reminds us that the collective good of the African overrides partisan and sectarian considerations which could hinder the unification of Africans everywhere.
Nkrumah was one of the first to draw the continent’s attention to the emerging danger of neo-colonialism; the attempt by the colonial powers to continue to control the resources of the continent through the elites.
Kwesi Pratt Jr., the General Secretary of SFG, reflected on the relevance of Nkrumah in today’s struggle saying, “Kwame Nkrumah was the leader of our struggle who symbolizes the aspiration of the people. The struggle was guided by his vision hence we cannot forget our history which is important for determining today or tomorrow. Our history guides us in our search for a new tomorrow.”
About 200 people gathered at the premises of Pan African Television in Ghana’s capital Accra, to partake in the SFG’s glowing tribute to Dr. Kwame Nkrumah who died of cancer on April 27, 1972 in Bucharest, Romania.
One of the keynote speakers, Dr. Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe a founding member of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) broke down in the middle of his speech and wept. He declared that Nkrumah was the best president Ghana had ever had and condemned his overthrow by forces instigated by Western Intelligence. Interestingly enough, the NPP is an offshoot of the National Liberation Movement (NLM) which opposed Nkrumah, labeling his government as Communist.
Professor Francis Nkrumah, first son of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and an associate of the SFG, was present at the celebration with his wife Margaret.
Article written by Mercy D. Osei for the West Africa Newswire