Kwame Nkrumah

Kwame Nkrumah

Kwame Nkrumah

kwame

(21st September 1909- 27th April 1972)

He was the first president and prime minister of Ghana. He led Ghana to independence from Britain in 1957. He founded the Organization of African Unity and was a very strong advocate of Pan-Africanism. He strongly believed that in order to have harmony amongst races, black people had to govern themselves. He won the Lenin Peace prize in 1962.

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He was born in Nkroful, a small village in southwestern Gold coast (modern-day Ghana). He is from the Fante tribe. Nkrumah was a very good student; he attended a government training college where he went to train as a teacher. There he met a teacher who introduced him to the Pan-Africanist ideas of Marcus Garvey and WEB Du Bois. He also met Nnamdi Azikiwe (first Nigerian president) who encouraged him to enrol in Lincoln College (a historically black college) in the United States. Azikiwe also helped grow his interest in Black Nationalism.He got to the United States in October 1935. He enrolled in school despite not having enough money to pay

He got to the United States in October 1935. He enrolled in school despite not having enough money to pay his full tuition. He was later awarded a scholarship. He graduated in 1939 with a BA in economics & sociology and BA in theology in 1942. He enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania and graduated with an MA in philosophy and MS in education. He was broke most of the time so he had to work menial jobs to make ends meet. He got to the United States in October 1935. He enrolled in school despite not having enough money to pay

He got to the United States in October 1935. He enrolled in school despite not having enough money to pay his full tuition. He was later awarded a scholarship. He graduated in 1939 with a BA in economics & sociology and BA in theology in 1942. He enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania and graduated with an MA in philosophy and MS in education. He was broke most of the time so he had to work menial jobs to make ends meet.

kwame3.pngHe spent his summers in Harlem (a centre of black life at the time), where he was influenced by the discussions he had with black orators. Nkrumah soon became the president of the African Students association of America and Canada. He spent 10 years in the United States. He played a major role in the Pan African conference of 1944 in New York. This helped ensure the development of Africa after the Second World War.

 

Nkrumah moved to London in 1945, he enrolled in LSE for a PhD in Anthropology; he later withdrew and enrolled in UCL. His lecturer felt like he did not have an analytical mind and was only passing time until the opportunity came for his to return to Ghana. He kept himself busy with politics and in 1945 he was part of the organisers of the 5th Pan-African Congress in Manchester. He agreed to the notion of a United States of Africa, the eradication of tribalism, democracy within a socialist or communist system and the replacement of colonialism with African Socialism.

He became the secretary of the West African National Secretariat where he worked towards the decolonization of Africa; the FBI was keeping a close eye on him because of his links with so-called communists. In 1947 he was employed to the United Gold Coast Convention and he returned to Gold Coast. At that time the Gold Coast was experiencing some trouble with the economy and riots soon broke out. He was elected prime minister under the party and then president when Ghana became independent in 1957.

As president he made sure all children were enrolled in school, more women worked and also he wanted people to be loyal to their country and continent not smaller tribes. Some people were against him because of this and he was overthrown in a coup on the 21st of February 1966. He died in exile in Guinea.

He got married to an Egyptian woman and they had 3 children together.

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