HIGHLIGHTS OF NKRUMAH'S STUDENT ACTIVISM IN BRITAIN(1945-1947)
BY KOFI MAWULI KLU
May 1945 – kwame Nkrumah arrived at Euston stations in London after 10 years of living and studying in the USA. He was met by fellow pan Africanist George Padmore, from Trinidad and taken to lodge in the London hostel of the West African Students Union (WASU). He registered membership of WASU and was elected as its vice-president. Apart from running a hostel, WASU campaign on issues such as the government controls on the price cocoa; the resettlement of WWII troops; the colour bar and conditions in the colonial centre in Cardiff. Nkrumah served on the WASU committee that responded to the British government policy “report on higher education in west Africa”.
June 1945- kwame Nkrumah joined in heightening promotion of the idea of the 5th pan-African congress. He and George Padmore served as the joint secretaries of the 5th PAC organising committee, held in Manchester in October 1945. Here he played the role of rapporteur of 2 sessions on imperialism in north and west Africa. And drafted its historic declaration to the colonial peoples of the world. He was appointed general secretary of the pan African congress working committee, with dr. W.E.B. Du Bois as the chairman, to facilitate the global implementation of the 5th PAC programme of action. Kwame Nkrumah also played a role of the head of the international secretariat of the pan African federation PAF, which had dr. W.E.B. Dubois as its international president, shortly after this Nkrumah founded the circle as a vanguard core group drawing specially recruited members form a range of African organisations for revolutionary training to become the leaders of the pan African liberation struggle for a union of socialists republics of Africa.
He moved in June 1945 to 60 Burghley road, Camden, now marked by blue plaque. PANAFRIIANDABA is appealing for support to transform this historic building into its development into a community –based Kwame Nkrumah institute of pan-African studies (KNIPAS).
October 1945- kwame Nkrumah registered as PHD candidate in Anthropology at the London school of economics (LSE), withdrawing after one term, later in October 1946, he registered for the next academic year at the university college of London as a PHD candidate in philosophy. In November 1946, he was also admitted as a student member of Grays Inn to study law.
December 1945- Nkrumah elected the general secretary of the west African national secretariat (WANS). He helped to set up and run the WANS office at 94 Grays Inn Road, London. March 1946 saw the launch of the new African, the monthly organ of the WANS described as the voice of the awakened African”, with the motto “for unity and absolute independence”. He also contributed to pan-Africa, the magazine of the PAF established in Manchester. Nkrumah led the WANS and WASU to become involved in helping to develop the coloured workers association (CWA).
14 November 1947- Kwame Nkrumah left London to embark on a ship form London to embark on a ship from the general secretary of the united gold coast convention ugcc.
After wards, he broke away together with most of the youths, students and working masses from the ugcc to form the more radical convention peoples party, that successfully led positive action right up to the 6th march 1957 proclamation of the independence of Ghana from the imperialist yoke of british colonism. The rest as they say is the history on the wings of the legendary ‘sankofa bird’, with kwame Nkrumah becoming on 1st July 1960, the founding president of the republic of Ghana. The pan Africanist revolutionary legacy of Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah is being upheld within and outside Ghana today by the Kwame Nkrumah convention peoples party as part of the broader NKRUMAHBUSUAFO friends of kwame Nkrumah international.