As Ghana celebrates her independence anniversary, most people directly equate Ghana’s independence to Kwame Nkrumah. It is undeniably true that Nkrumah was instrumental to the struggle of independence.
- Kwame Nkrumah was the 1st father of the land - the 1st president of Ghana
- Kwame Nkrumah had the traits all startup founders need. I speak more on that in this post
- Kwame Nkrumah believed in liberty for all of Africa, not just Ghana This article is in no way to take the glory of Kwame Nkrumah. To the contrary I really admire him. Yet still, it is very difficult to say that only one single person was responsible for the independence of an entire nation. Many people played a part. And that situation was no different with Ghana.
We owe independence to many
Here are four reasons why Ghana’s independence was more than a single man’s effort.
Long before 6th march 1957, several persons desired to independence for the Gold Coast. The most notable of such early societies was the Aborigine Rights Protection Society (ARPS). ARPS laid the first stones down for the foundation. The aimed to protect what little privileges we deserved. This was followed by the National Congress of British West Africa (NCBWA). Afterwards, United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) took on the mantel. Such societies created the awareness as well as the desire for all citizens to contribute to the effort. Political activities from all parties played no small part in moving forward the independence agenda. And eventually proved invaluable in contributing to Ghana’s Independence Day becoming a reality.
Thus, 6th March emanated from a diverse group of persons. These included, but are not limited to;
- The educated elite ( such as lawyers , teachers )
- Soldiers and veterans
- The man on the street
The announcement of Ghana’s independence at the Accra Polo grounds was the culmination of the effort of decades by several different notable individuals. These included but were not limited to;
- John Mensah Sarbah
- George Grant, better known as Paa Grant
- Dr Aggrey
- George Ferguson
- Dr. J.B Danquah
- Obetsebi Lamptey
- Akuffo Addo
- William Ofori Atta
- Ako Adjei
- King Ghartey IV of Winneba
- Otumfuo Osei Agyeman Prempeh I
All these persons raised the political consciousness of the citizens at the time. Making them want to aspire for more than they thought was possible. When you Google “who helped Ghana gain independence” the name Kwame Nkrumah comes up very boldly. The names above should also appear as part of Google’s search results.
The general clamor for self-rule by colonized nations
Apart from Ghana, other nations, (within Africa and outside) wanted to rule themselves. They wanted to be rid of the having to subject all their decisions to the colonizing masters. People from outside such as Du Bois, and Marcus Garvey, kept up the hype in their respective nations. Enthusiasm was in the air, and independence was ripe for the taking. Liberia was already had no colonial overloads, so why could Ghana not aspire for their own liberty too?
The Osagyefo was invited to be part of an existing effort:
Back to Kwame Nkrumah. He was invited to be part of an existing effort. It is well documented that he was invited to be part of the UGCC as its General Secretary. He was to work on a full time basis in moving the freedom agenda of the UGCC. It was only a difference in opinions that led the breakaway of Nkrumah in forming the CPP. Taking a cue from the Bible, Moses was ‘invited’ by God to go back to Egypt and release the Israelites from the bondage of the Egyptians. Thus it stands to reasons that Team Leads, CEOs, Presidents and yes even founding founders, sometimes need an invitation from the right persons to be part of the action.
Instigating movements and justifications:
Many different problems brought freedom of the Ghanaian man to the front pages. Issues such as
- Perceived cheating and arrogance of the colonial rulers
- Foreign encroachments on native lands; as seen in the Lands Bill of 1897 _ The neglect of world war veterans that lead to the February 28th February and shooting of the 3 service men
In reading for this blog, I came across several political factions whose actions created awareness, support , prepared and galvanized all parts of the then Gold Coast towards independence. Other than the CPP (being Kwame Nkrumah’s party), other movements included;
- The National Liberation Movement
- The Northern People’s Party
- Muslim Association Party
- The Anlo Youth Organization.
- The Togoland Congress
- The Ga Shifimo Kpee
You can see that there is a prevailing trend. And that all these early parties were based in a large part on ethnicity. Fortunately, the Government passed the Avoidance of Discrimination Act which prohibited the existence of any political grouping that was based on ethnic or religious affiliation.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post as much as I enjoyed writing it. Take care and cheers.