Ghana got its independence on March 6 in the year 1957, and as a result, it became a commonwealth country. It was also known as the Gold Coast. Kwame Nkrumah ruled over the great cross country Ghana where he made Ghana a republic country, and later, he became the president. Interesting to note, Ghana became the first country to get independence from European colonialism.
Ghana consisted of several kingdoms before it was colonized. They included the Fanti kingdom, Ashanti kingdom, Dagomba kingdom, and Gonja kingdom. The flag of the renowned country had three Pan African colors, which are yellow, red, and green. Red indicates the people who died for their independence, yellow signified mineral wealth, whereas green signified the rich grasslands. The black star stated African freedom, and it also signified the people. The primary source of their wealth came from iron and gold, where they used the iron to make tools and weapons.
Names of the Big Six
The Big Six heroes who fought off colonial rule were:
- Edward Akuffo Addo
- Dr. Ako- Adjei
- William Ofori Atta
- J.B Danquah
- Kwame Nkrumah
The Big Six of Ghana became heroes for their bravery when they fought for independence and were arrested by the government of Ghana. They were later released after the people came together to protest for their release. Here are the essential details of the big six.
Who is Kwame Nkrumah?
Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was born on September 21, 1909. He grew up in a rural village called Nkoful in the Nzema region. Nkrumah joined a Catholic mission school in Half Assini, where he later went to work as a teacher in the government training institution located in Accra. He got a teaching certificate in 1930 at Prince Walls College and then joined an anti-colonial resistance movement known as the Black Nationalism. In 1935, Kwame Nkrumah went ahead to further his education at Black Lincoln College in Pennsylvania in the United States of America.
Key to note is that as he continued studying, Nkrumah earned a living working as a dishwasher. In the year 1945, Nkrumah went to London to further his education at the London School of Economics, where he studied a Ph.D. in Anthropology. Kwame Nkrumah's close relationship with Trinidadian involved him in the needs of the Black Nationalism, which led to the end of racial discrimination.
Kwame founded the Black African Students Association in Canada and America. He was nominated as the general secretary of the West African Secretariat in the year 1945. He was later selected as the regional secretary of the Pan African Federation, where he organized the fifth Pan African Congress.
The conference was presented by various countries such as Nigeria, Nyasaland, the Gold Coast, Liberia, and Togoland. He later went back to Ghana in the year 1947 where he had a meeting with Dr. J.B Danquah, which saw him join the United Gold Coast Convention.
The convection wanted to end the Second World War. During that period, Kwame Nkrumah established the Ghana National College, and no one got involved in the establishment. Later, it was known as the University of Ghana and became the first National University. He was then imprisoned because of the misunderstanding of his party, which was engaged in a strike and led to his sentence for three years in Fort James prison in Accra. In 1951, he won a landslide victory despite his absence, which resulted in his release on February 12.
Who is J.B Danquah?
J.B Danquah was born in the year 1875. He showed much interest and hard work in his education. In 1912, he finished his standard seven examinations, and later, he got a job as a clerk. He worked for a well-known lawyer, Vidal J. Buckle, who encouraged him to know more about Philosophy and law. He worked as a clerk for the Gold Coast Supreme Court and also worked as an assistant secretary for the paramount chief's conference. J.B Danquah got sponsored by his brother, Nana Sir Ofori Atta, to further his education in the UK, where he studied Philosophy and law.
Later, he was awarded a London Matriculation certificate on completion, a degree in LL.B, and B.A. J.B received his philosophy degree before coming back to Ghana. He was the first person in the country to come up with a daily newspaper, "The Times West Africa", in the year 1931. Danquah was among those who established the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC). The members of Ghanaian chose Paa Grant to be their president.
Danquah, Nkrumah, and the other Big Six got arrested on March 12 in the year 1948. Later, they got released after people in Ghana protested for their arrest. In 1960, Danquah challenged Nkrumah for the presidency but lost the elections. He became very bitter with Nkrumah, and he was arrested for the second time in 1961. He was released in 1961. J.B Danquah organized to overthrow Nkrumah, but he was arrested on January 8 in 1964. He unexpectedly died of a heart attack on February 4, 1965.
Ako Adjei was born on June 16, 1916. He was the son of Johanna Okailey and Samuel Adje. Ako worked as a city worker but quit his work to continue with his education. As he continued to study at Lincoln University, he met Nkrumah, with whom they had a good relationship. Ako Adjei later came back to Ghana, where he was informed that a General Secretary was needed to take over the United Gold Coast (UGCC). Ako advised Nkrumah to take over the seat.
He challenged Nkrumah in the Accra Central elections, but Nkrumah defeated him. Adjei was a former minister of CPP. He decided to come back the third time where he was jailed for threatening Kwame Nkrumah.
Edward Akuffo_Addo was among the famous Big Six who fought for independence. Edward and the three others were arrested after they attacked the president of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah. The judge dismissed the case since some suspects were found not guilty. Akuffo was later selected as the Chief Justice, and as well as the head of the National Liberation Council.
Emmanuel was born in the year 1902. He was the son to Jacob Mills-Lamptey and Victoria Ayeley Tetteh. Lamptey studied in Accra Wesleyan School and later joined Royal School, where he finished his education. Emmanuel passed all his examinations and got a job as a shorthand typist. In the year 1923, he successfully passed his civil service examination and was employed as a clerk. Nkrumah supported him, and as a result, he was nicknamed Liberty Lamptey. Later, Obetsebi suffered from cancer, which led to his death.
William Ofori Atta
William Ofori was born in 1910. He went for further studies in the United Kingdom. William ruled the Coussey commission together with the Big Six Ghana heroes.
He continued to rule the party. Paa Willie built the political career post-independence, where he ruled as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Education.