120 Facts About Kwame Nkrumah


Francis Kwame Nkrumah was a Ghanaian politician, political theorist, and revolutionary.


Kwame Nkrumah was the first Prime Minister and President of Ghana, having led the Gold Coast to independence from Britain in 1957.


An influential advocate of Pan-Africanism, Nkrumah was a founding member of the Organization of African Unity and winner of the Lenin Peace Prize from the Soviet Union in 1962.


Kwame Nkrumah formed the Convention People's Party, which achieved rapid success through its unprecedented appeal to the common voter.


Kwame Nkrumah became Prime Minister in 1952 and retained the position when Ghana declared independence from Britain in 1957.


Kwame Nkrumah's administration was primarily socialist as well as nationalist.


Under Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana played a leading role in African international relations during the decolonization period.


Kwame Nkrumah was deposed in 1966 by the National Liberation Council, under whose supervision international financial institutions privatized many of the country's state corporations.


Kwame Nkrumah lived the rest of his life in Guinea, where he was named honorary co-president.


Kwame Nkrumah was born on 21 September 1909 in Nkroful, Gold Coast.


Kwame Nkrumah's father did not live with the family, but worked in Half Assini where he pursued his goldsmith business until his death.


Kwame Nkrumah was raised by his mother and his extended family, who lived together traditionally, with more distant relatives often visiting.


Kwame Nkrumah lived a carefree childhood, spent in the village, in the bush, and on the nearby sea.


Kwame Nkrumah later changed his name to Kwame Nkrumah in 1945 in the UK, preferring the name "Kwame".


Kwame Nkrumah's mother sent him to the elementary school run by a Catholic mission at Half Assini, where he proved an adept student.


Kwame Nkrumah progressed through the ten-year elementary programme in eight years.


Aggrey, Fraser, and others at Achimota thought that there should be close co-operation between the races in governing the Gold Coast, but Kwame Nkrumah, echoing Garvey, soon came to believe that only when the black race governed itself could there be harmony between the races.


Kwame 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 Kwame Nkrumah's interest in black nationalism.


Azikiwe had attended Lincoln University, a historically black college in Chester County, Pennsylvania, west of Philadelphia, and he advised Kwame Nkrumah to enroll there.


Kwame Nkrumah, who had failed the entrance examination for London University, gained funds for the trip and his education from relatives.


Kwame Nkrumah travelled by way of Britain, where he learned, to his outrage, of Italy's invasion of Ethiopia, one of the few independent African nations.


Kwame Nkrumah arrived in the United States, in October 1935.


Kwame Nkrumah soon won a scholarship that provided for his tuition at Lincoln University.


Kwame Nkrumah remained short of funds through his time in the US.


Kwame Nkrumah completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and sociology in 1939.


In 1939, Kwame Nkrumah enrolled at Lincoln's seminary and at the Ivy League University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and in 1942, he was initiated into the Mu chapter of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity at Lincoln University.


Kwame Nkrumah gained a Bachelor of Theology degree from Lincoln in 1942, the top student in the course.


Kwame Nkrumah earned from Penn the following year a Master of Arts degree in philosophy and a Master of Science in education.


Kwame Nkrumah spent his summers in Harlem, a center of black life, thought and culture.


Kwame Nkrumah found housing and employment in New York City with difficulty and involved himself in the community.


Kwame Nkrumah spent many evenings listening to and arguing with street orators, and according to Clarke, Kwame Nkrumah in his years in America stated;.


Kwame Nkrumah was an activist student, organizing a group of expatriate African students in Pennsylvania and building it into the African Students Association of America and Canada, becoming its president.


Some members felt that the group should aspire for each colony to gain independence on its own; Kwame Nkrumah urged a Pan-African strategy.


Kwame Nkrumah played a major role in the Pan-African conference held in New York in 1944, which urged the United States, at the end of the Second World War, to help ensure Africa became developed and free.


Kwame Nkrumah had adopted the forename Francis while at the Amissano seminary; in 1945 he took the name Kwame Nkrumah.


Kwame Nkrumah read books about politics and divinity, and tutored students in philosophy.


Kwame Nkrumah later credited James with teaching him "how an underground movement worked".


Federal Bureau of Investigation files on Kwame Nkrumah, kept from January to May 1945, identify him as a possible communist.


Kwame Nkrumah was determined to go to London, wanting to continue his education there now that the Second World War had ended.


Kwame Nkrumah is not very bright, but nevertheless do what you can for him because he's determined to throw Europeans out of Africa.


Kwame Nkrumah returned to London in May 1945 and enrolled at the London School of Economics as a PhD candidate in anthropology.


Kwame Nkrumah withdrew after one term and the next year enrolled at University College, with the intent to write a philosophy dissertation on "Knowledge and Logical Positivism".


Kwame Nkrumah hesitated, realizing the UGCC was controlled by conservative interests, but decided that the new post gave him huge political opportunities, and accepted.


Kwame Nkrumah quickly submitted plans for branches of the UGCC to be established colony-wide, and for strikes if necessary to gain political ends.


Kwame Nkrumah embarked on a tour to gain donations for the UGCC and establish new branches.


Many students and teachers had demonstrated for their release, and been suspended; Kwame Nkrumah, using his own funds, began the Ghana National College.


Kwame Nkrumah founded the Committee on Youth Organization as a youth wing for the UGCC.


Kwame Nkrumah recounted in his autobiography that he knew that a break with the UGCC was inevitable, and wanted the masses behind him when the conflict occurred.


On 12 June 1949, he announced the formation of the Convention People's Party, with the word "convention" chosen, according to Kwame Nkrumah, "to carry the masses with us".


Kwame Nkrumah saw, even before the commission reported, that its recommendations would fall short of full dominion status, and began to organize a Positive Action campaign.


Kwame Nkrumah was sentenced to a total of three years in prison, and he was incarcerated with common criminals in Accra's Fort James.


The British prepared for an election for the Gold Coast under their new constitution, and Kwame Nkrumah insisted that the CPP contest all seats.


The situation had become calmer once Kwame Nkrumah was arrested, and the CPP and the British worked together to prepare electoral rolls.


Kwame Nkrumah stood, from prison, for a directly elected Accra seat.


The CPP secured 34 of the 38 seats contested on a party basis, with Kwame Nkrumah elected for his Accra constituency.


Arden-Clarke saw that the only alternative to Kwame Nkrumah's freedom was the end of the constitutional experiment.


Kwame Nkrumah had stolen Arden-Clarke's secretary Erica Powell after she was dismissed and sent home for getting too close to Kwame Nkrumah.


Kwame Nkrumah had never served in government, and needed to learn that art.


Kwame Nkrumah sought to unite them under one nationality, and bring the country to independence.


The colony was in good financial shape, with reserves from years of cocoa profit held in London, and Kwame Nkrumah was able to spend freely.


Nevertheless, the number of graduates being produced was insufficient to the burgeoning civil service's needs, and in 1953, Kwame Nkrumah announced that though Africans would be given preference, the country would be relying on expatriate European civil servants for several years.


Kwame Nkrumah's title was Leader of Government Business in a cabinet chaired by Arden-Clarke.


Kwame Nkrumah's re-titling as prime minister had not given him additional power, and he sought constitutional reform that would lead to independence.


The results of the July 1956 election were almost identical to those from four years before, and on 3 August the assembly voted for independence under the name Kwame Nkrumah had proposed in April, Ghana.


The Soviet delegation urged Kwame Nkrumah to visit Moscow as soon as possible.


Kwame Nkrumah created a welfare system, started various community programs, and established schools.


Kwame Nkrumah had only a short honeymoon before there was unrest among his people.


Kwame Nkrumah's response was to repress local movements by the Avoidance of Discrimination Act, which banned regional or tribal-based political parties.


Kwame Nkrumah was convinced there had been an assassination plot against him, and his response was to have the parliament pass the Preventive Detention Act, allowing for incarceration for up to five years without charge or trial, with only Kwame Nkrumah empowered to release prisoners early.


In 1959, Kwame Nkrumah used his majority in the parliament to push through the Constitutional Amendment Act, which abolished the assemblies and allowed the parliament to amend the constitution with a simple majority.


William Hare, 5th Earl of Listowel was the Governor-General, and Kwame Nkrumah remained Prime Minister.


On 6 March 1960, Kwame Nkrumah announced plans for a new constitution that would make Ghana a republic, headed by a president with broad executive and legislative powers.


The constitution was ratified and Nkrumah was elected president over J B Danquah, the UP candidate, 1,016,076 to 124,623.


Kwame Nkrumah sought to eliminate "tribalism", a source of loyalties held more deeply than those to the nation-state.


In 1964, Kwame Nkrumah proposed a constitutional amendment that would make the CPP the only legal party, with Kwame Nkrumah as president for life of both nation and party.


In 1964, Kwame Nkrumah brought forth the Seven Year Development Plan for National Reconstruction and Development, which identified education as a key source of development and called for the expansion of secondary technical schools.


Kwame Nkrumah was an ardent promoter of pan-Africanism, seeing the movement as the "quest for regional integration of the whole of the African continent".


Kwame Nkrumah oversaw the opening of the Ghana Museum on 5 March 1957; the Arts Council of Ghana, a wing of the Ministry of Education and Culture, in 1958; the Research Library on African Affairs in June 1961; and the Ghana Film Corporation in 1964.


In 1957 Kwame Nkrumah created a well-funded Ghana News Agency to generate domestic news and disseminate it abroad.


Kwame Nkrumah consolidated state control over newspapers, establishing the Ghanaian Times in 1958 and then in 1962 obtaining its competitor, the Daily Graphic, from the Mirror Group of London.


Many television broadcasts featured Kwame Nkrumah, commenting for example on the problematic "insolence and laziness of boys and girls".


Kwame Nkrumah refused advertising in all media, beginning with the Evening News of 1948.


Kwame Nkrumah reasoned that if Ghana escaped the colonial trade system by reducing dependence on foreign capital, technology, and material goods, it could become truly independent.


Kaiser Aluminum agreed to build the dam for Kwame Nkrumah, but restricted what could be produced using the power generated.


Kwame Nkrumah borrowed money to build the dam, and placed Ghana in debt.


Kwame Nkrumah initiated the Ghana Nuclear Reactor Project in 1961, created the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission in 1963, and in 1964 laid the first stone in the building of an atomic energy facility.


Rather than allowing cocoa farmers to keep the windfall, Kwame Nkrumah appropriated the increased revenue via central government levies, then invested the capital into various national development projects.


Kwame Nkrumah actively promoted a policy of Pan-Africanism from the beginning of his presidency.


Kwame Nkrumah was a leading figure in the short-lived Casablanca Group of African leaders, which sought to achieve pan-African unity and harmony through deep political, economic, and military integration of the continent in the early 1960s prior to the establishment of the Organization of African Unity.


Kwame Nkrumah was instrumental in the creation of the OAU in Addis Ababa in 1963.


Kwame Nkrumah was a proponent of the United Nations, but critical of the Great Powers' ability to control it.


Kwame Nkrumah opposed entry of African states into the Common Market of the European Economic Community, a status given to many former French colonies and considered by Nigeria.


Kwame Nkrumah sought to exploit the Cold War rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union in order to gain maximum concessions from both sides in their geopolitical attempts to outmanoeuvre one another in West Africa and elsewhere.


Concerned about a possible military coup, Kwame Nkrumah delayed the placement of African officers in top leadership roles.


Kwame Nkrumah quickly established the Ghanaian Air Force, acquiring 14 Beaver airplanes from Canada and setting up a flight school with British instructors.


In 1961, Kwame Nkrumah went on tour through Eastern Europe, proclaiming solidarity with the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China.


In 1962 Kwame Nkrumah was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize by the Soviet Union.


In February 1966, while Kwame Nkrumah was on a state visit to North Vietnam and China, his government was overthrown in a violent coup d'etat led by the national military and police forces, with backing from the civil service.


Kwame Nkrumah did not learn of the coup until he arrived in China.


Kwame Nkrumah alluded to American involvement in the coup in his 1969 memoir Dark Days in Ghana; he may have based this conclusion on documents shown to him by the KGB.


In spite of considerable efforts, Kwame Nkrumah was unable to build a sufficiently ruthless police system.


Kwame Nkrumah never returned to Ghana, but he continued to push for his vision of African unity.


Kwame Nkrumah lived in exile in Conakry, Guinea, as the guest of President Ahmed Sekou Toure, who made him honorary co-president of the country.


Kwame Nkrumah suspected that foreign agents were going through his mail, and lived in constant fear of abduction and assassination.


Kwame Nkrumah died of prostate cancer in April 1972 at the age of 62 while in Romania.


Kwame Nkrumah was buried in a tomb in the village of his birth, Nkroful, Ghana.


Over his lifetime, Kwame Nkrumah was awarded honorary doctorates by many universities including Lincoln University, Moscow State University, Cairo University, Jagiellonian University and Humboldt University.


Kwame Nkrumah generally took a non-aligned Marxist perspective on economics, and believed capitalism had malignant effects that were going to stay with Africa for a long time.


Kwame Nkrumah was best-known politically for his strong commitment to and promotion of pan-Africanism.


Kwame Nkrumah was inspired by the writings of black intellectuals such as Marcus Garvey, W E B Du Bois, and George Padmore, and his relationships with them.


Kwame Nkrumah looked to these men to craft a general solution to the ills of Africa.


Kwame Nkrumah became a passionate advocate of the "African Personality" embodied in the slogan "Africa for the Africans" earlier popularised by Edward Wilmont Blyden and he viewed political independence as a prerequisite for economic independence.


Many Americans, such as Du Bois and Kwame Nkrumah Ture, moved to Ghana to join him in his efforts.


Kwame Nkrumah became a symbol for black liberation in the United States.


In 1961, Kwame Nkrumah delivered a speech called "I Speak Of Freedom".


Kwame Nkrumah mentions how Africa is a land of "vast riches" with mineral resources from that "range from gold and diamonds to uranium and petroleum".


Kwame Nkrumah says that the reason Africa isn't thriving right now is because the European powers have been taking all the wealth for themselves.


Onsy's claim to be Kwame Nkrumah's son is disputed by Kwame Nkrumah's other children.


Kwame Nkrumah is played by Danny Sapani in the Netflix television series The Crown.


African's Black Star: The Legacy of Kwame Nkrumah is a 2011 film about the rise and fall of this colonial rebellion leader.