An emotional letter to Dr Kwame Nkrumah about the current state of Ghana

An emotional letter to Dr Kwame Nkrumah about the current state of Ghana

Our Manifesto: This is what believes in

Written by Abigail Teiko

Centre for African and International Studies,

University of Cape Coast.

"Dear Osagyefo,

Even your worst critics will today agree that the main reason, if not the only reason for which your fellow countrymen did not understand you and thus betrayed you is that, you lived several decades ahead of your time.

"Just as you had prophesied, your dear Africa is not only being neocolonised, she is also being recolonised. This time subtly, by the nephews and nieces of Emperor Mao Zedong and his right-hand man, Zhou Enlai, both with whom you attended the Bandung Conference in 1955.

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"But unlike them, we still struggle in creating a place for ourselves in the modern world. Like the 'Boy on a Swing', our 'world whirls by' and our future 'billows in the breeze like a tattered kite'.

"I really do wonder when the anaesthetics we have been injected with will leave our system so we can wake up from our slumber, because we seem to have forgotten the admonishment of Michelle Obama that, 'if you don’t get out there and define yourself you will be quickly and inaccurately be defined by others'.

"Osagyefo, you did say that 'the Black man is capable of managing his own affairs,' but I am sorry to inform you that we are still no doyens of our lives, as we continuously look beyond ourselves for solutions to our problems.

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"Nonetheless, a man who hails from the Danquah-Busia tradition is advocating a Ghana Beyond Aid, and we pretentiously cheer him on as if our ears are hearing such for the first time.

"Did you not address this when you chose in principle, neither the East nor the West during the bipolar world era, but with others birthed the Non-Aligned Movement in pursuit of creating our own path towards the future?

"Indeed, you are the elder who sits on the floor but sees what a child who climbs the tallest tree cannot.

"Osagyefo, do you know that after all these years we have now agreed to have a free continental trade area? I guess your compensation is that its headquarters will lie in the bosom of Ama Ghana.

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"Your fellow Black men have realised that we should have united when you were still here to show us how, for we now fear becoming worse than 'hewers of wood and drawers of water'.

"Perhaps it is time to reecho into the ears of Africans the words of your fellow Black freedom fighter and pan-Africanist, Marcus Garvey, who sadly is not with us to witness his message and dream of repatriation through Ghana's Year of Return, 'up, you mighty race, accomplish what you will'.

"I must, however, at this point be quick to tell you about a brave son of Mother Africa who hails from the East. One whose direction is focused despite the wrack. An epitome of who Shakespeare refers to in The Tempest as a gallant, a Ferdinand indeed.

"One whose speeches have greatly inspired my letter to you today. We only beseech you that PLO Lumumba abides with us for a while before his night draws nigh, for his teachings eulogise you and give us hope for the Africa you toiled to see.

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"So Osagyefo, if reincarnation does exist, then please come back and lead us to the promise land. However, if that cannot happen, then stir up the spirit of pan-Africanism in us and teach us again that 'for this end, Africa needs a new type of citizen.

"A dedicated, modest, honest and informed man. A man [who] submerges self in service to the nation and mankind. A man who abhors greed and detests vanity. A new type of man whose humility is his strength and whose integrity is his greatness'.

In the spirit of pan-Africanism,

Ms A. Teiko."


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