Arguably one of the most influential African of all time, the Osagyefo as he was fondly called in the years that he held sway as the foremost political leader out of the most impressive champions of the pan African cause would have been 100years old last Monday.
And Africa has not forgotten. To mark the centenary of his birth a series of activities have been put together. Spanning several months and holding in multiple locations across the continent, the package is being anchored by an Nkrumah memorial committees.
Designed to give honour to one whom honour is due, the panoply of activities in honour of this pioneer leader of Ghana the black star country is chronicle and touching on the contributions of late Osagyefo to Ghanaian nationhood which already qualify him to be described as the founder of the modern republic of Ghana on march 6 1957. Equally his contribution to the development of the African continent, to date cannot be equalled, especially by the contemporaries of his time and of the present day.
This is why the decision of the Nkrumahist and indeed the Ghanaian government to celebrate the one hundredth years or centenary of the birth of dr. Nkrumah is seen by observers as very apt.
Of the programmes that have been lined up for the celebrations, the activities for the celebrations are broken into three parts and spanning a nine month period (September –may)
The first part focuses on his birth (1909-2009)and this will involve his cultural contributions to the development of Ghana. Along this line, on September 9, a lecture titled “Nkrumah culture and nation building” was held. Organised in collaboration with the Cultural Initiatives Support Programme, (CISP), the main talk of the day was delivered by Professor George Hagan, while the overall event was chaired by the chairman of the Nkrumah centenary celebration committee, Professor Akilakpa Sawyer. The special guest was the hon. Minister of culture and chieftaincy affairs of Ghana, Mr Sampson Kwaku Boafo while the acting head of the European union in Ghana, the high commissioner of Britain to Ghana, Mr. Nicholas Westcott and several other eminent personalities were at the lecture, which was held at the hall of Ghana teachers association in Accra, Ghana.
Still on the first part of celebrations, were the launching of the whole celebrations that took place on Friday September 11. There has also been a talk on Nkrumah’s philosophical writings a symposium event, organised in celebration with W.E.B Du Bois centre and the department of philosophy and institute African studies, University Of Ghana on 14th and 15h September, 2009 respectively.
The lead up to the birthday celebrations also include a dawn broadcast , a brief statement by Professor J.E.Attah Mills, president of the republic of Ghana, (Dr. Nkrumah was famous for his broadcast to the main nation at dawn and president mills dawn broadcast will be reminiscent of this). There will also be a grand pageant and durbar of Ghanaian and African peoples and a musical night at the independence square on the 21st of September, 2009. Also as part of the first phase of the celebrations, in January 2010, the 60th anniversary of positive action day, would be commemorated while from September-march 2010, there will be national schools quiz competition on the independence struggle from all the regions of Ghana.
Specifically, on may 25th, 2010, there will be an African union sponsored event and a cultural pageant on may 26th 2010 there will be a ceremonial visit to kwame Nkrumah mausoleum, together with a musical event involving Ghanaian and African Diaspora artistes. During the period between may 22nd -26th ,2010 activities lined up include, a book fair, African Diaspora day, Mock Au Summit, (SHS Students)public lectures that will involve African and international dignitaries and scholars, a popular musical shows and symposia/colloquia to be organised in Egypt, Senegal, south Africa and Tanzania. Other items include a documentary on the life and times of kwame Nkrumah, today in history, series, refurbishment of selected monuments and memorials, a Ghana football association cup competition collaboration in the development of a full-length feature of film on Nkrumah to be produced and screened.
The second part of the celebrations is independence week (February 25th –march 6 2010), which will include activities such as broadcast interview with prominent actors form the independence generation, launch of kwame Nkrumah centenary exhibition, commemoration of the role of students in anti-colonial struggle, an evening with June Milne, Executive of Kwame Nkrumah, commemorations of the role of women in independence struggle and the death of Osagyefo etc.
The third part is tagged “liberation day” and is scheduled for Africa day, may 25, 2010 while the activities lined up for this third part will feature intellectual and pan-African dimensions of the centenary celebrations which will constitute the main thrust of the cluster of activities and events leading up to the celebrations of Africa liberation day.
This will be in close collaboration with the African Union (AU).