We cannot write Ghana history without integrating with the man Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. He is the icon of Ghana’s independence and became the first prime minister and president of the country. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah did great for his country in the spheres of politics. But rarely do we know about his personal life. In this post of ajonafrica.com, we are looking at the personal life of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah outside politics.
The man Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was born in 18th September, 1909 at Nkroful, a village in Cape Coast to a poor family. His name is connected by traditional custom. First the name Kwame is a name given to a male who is born on Saturday. Nkrumah is a name given to the ninth child of a family. So it can be established that, by tradition, Kwame Nkrumah was born on Saturday and the ninth child among his sibl.
Kwame Nkrumah was born to husband and wife Opanin Kofi Nwai Ngolomah and Elizabeth Nyanibah. He father Opanin Kofi Nwai Ngolomah was a blacksmith and his mother was a fishmonger and a petty trader. Because of the work his father as a blacksmith, he worked in Tarkwa, a town far from home, and as a result of that the man Dr. Kwame Nkrumah did not have the opportunity to be raised by his father. He was raised by his mother and other village relatives. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was the only child of his mother, but had many siblings because his father married many wives.
The man Dr. Kwame Nkrumah mother sent him to elementary school which was run by a Catholic mission at Half Assin. His education was hugely influenced by a German Roman Catholic Priest by the name George Fischer. Krumah progressed through the ten-year elementary programme in eight years. Kwame Nkrumah was a very smart student and by 1925 in the school, he became a student-teacher.
The man Dr. Kwame Nkrumah continued education in the school Prince of Wales College at Achimota and he attained his Teacher’s certificate in 1930. Nkrumah was given a teaching post at the Roman Catholic primary school in Elmina in 1931, and after a year there, was made headmaster of the school at Axim. In Axim, he started to get involved in politics and founded the Nzima Literary Society. In 1933, he was appointed a teacher at the Catholic seminary at Amissa. Although the life there was strict, he liked it, and considered becoming a Jesuit. Nkrumah had heard journalist and future Nigerian president Nnamdi Azikiwe speak while a student at Achimota; the two men met and Azikiwe’s influence increased Nkrumah’s interest in black nationalism. The young teacher decided to further his education. Azikiwe had attended Lincoln College, a historically black college in Chester County, Pennsylvania, west of Philadelphia, and he advised Nkrumah to enroll there. Nkrumah, who had failed the entrance examination for London University, gained funds for the trip and his education from relatives. He traveled by way of Britain, where he learned, to his outrage, of Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia, one of the few independent African nations. He arrived in the United States, in October 1935.