Father of Pan-Africanism and Ghana’s First President Kwame Nkrumah Died This Day in 1972

April 27, 2016 at 10:00 am | History, Opinions & Features

Adedeji Ademola

Adedeji Ademola | Contributor, F2FA

April 27, 2016 at 10:00 am | History, Opinions & Features

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The Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum in Accra, Ghana

Nkrumah did not have the honour of dying in his country. He died far away in Bucharest, Romania, in 1972. Prior to this, while on a state visit to North Vietnam and China in 1966, his government was toppled, and he never came back to Ghana for fear of being assassinated. He was the guest of Guinean President Ahmed Sékou Touré for many years before he passed on.

What really caused his death might not be revealed in a million years. Some people said he died of prostate cancer, while some said skin cancer as a result of the injury he suffered during the Kulungugu bomb blast in 1963. Some even came up with the view that he died because he couldn’t access adequate care in his home country; others said he died out of frustration.

The mystery surrounding his death will not, however, diminish in any way the heroism he displayed before, during and after his government in Ghana. As a mark of honour, he was voted “Man of the Millennium” by listeners of the BBC in 2000. A befitting museum and mausoleum was constructed for him in Accra, Ghana, where his body rests till today. His birthday, 21 September, has been declared a public holiday in Ghana and he has received several posthumous awards.

No matter what you think about him, His love for the ordinary people and unquenchable thirst for oneness of Africans cannot be questioned. He couldn’t realize all his dreams for Ghana or for Africa, but his legend continues…

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