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Danquah’s father passed on the Statutory Rape Gene to Nkrumah 2

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Mon, 5 Oct 2015 Source: Kwarteng, Francis

Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe Quotes:

“Now talking about moral decay on the postcolonial political front, for example, you had a 49-year-old Prime Minister Nkrumah dating a 19-year-old Achimota School girl. This kind of "Sugar-Daddyism," properly speaking pedophilia…” (Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., “Kwame Nkrumah And The Culture of Disrespect,” Ghanaweb, December 11, 2014).

“In sum, for those of us who hold our racial-Africanity in high stead, or regard, or with inviolable dignity, nothing could have been more insulting than President Nkrumah’s December 31, 1957 marriage to 25-year-old Ms. Helena Ritz Fathia, a woman who was barely half the age of the newly-elected Ghanaian Prime Minister. In America, where he had undertaken his advanced collegiate studies, under the right circumstances, Nkrumah could either have been promptly charged with statutory rape or even incest…Needless to say, prior to his 1957 marriage to Ms. Fathia…then-Prime Minister Nkrumah was widely known to have fathered quite a number of children by Ghanaian women” (“Helena-Ritz Fathia Nkrumah Was A Victim Of Nkrumahism,” Ghanaweb, June 10, 2007).

HISTORY AND CONTEMPORARY TIMES ABOUND IN EXAMPLES OF OLDER MEN MARRYING MATURE YOUNG WOMEN

Yet, this is what the professional haters and detractors of Nkrumah are wont to do, calling him a pedophilic rapist with no backing forensic evidence. More so, examples abound in human history—and even in contemporary dispensation—where men had married women twice or thrice their ages within legal or statutory, customary or traditional, contexts. In fact Nkrumah was not the first to marry a mature young woman. And his example will certainly not be the last in human history. On the other hand Danquah’s father’s example invalidates Nkrumah’s. A few examples of older men marrying mature young women are in order: Pablo Picasso (80), Jacqueline Roque (34); Yasser Arafat (61), Suha Arafat (27); Nelson Mandela (40), Winnie Mandela (22); Eric Clapton (55), Melia McEnery (24); US President Grover Cleveland (49), Frances Cleveland (21); Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (52), Margaret Trudeau (22)…

Ironically, outside this limited context Fathia was almost the same age as Prince Philip (Duke of Edinburg)—26—when the latter married Queen Elizabeth 11, then 21, who would become Head of State of Ghana from 1957 to 1960.

Queen Elizabeth ascended the throne in 1952 and assumed the Head of the Commonwealth, empress regnant, and queen regnant of Pakistan, UK, British Ceylon, South Africa, Canada, New Zealand, aged 26!

Further, Queen Elizabeth 11 was almost 26, again almost the same age as Fathia was when she married Nkrumah, when she the Queen ruled the Gold Coast. Margaret Thatcher married her husband Denis Thatcher at 26. These facts serve as a reminder that Fathia’s marriage to Nkrumah at 26 was, and still is, nothing exceptional, in spite of the fact that Nkrumah was older than, say, Denis Thatcher or Prince Philip at the point they all married their would-be spouses. As a matter of fact, there is even evidence pointing to Danquah himself going out with women far, far younger than him. As an aside, though, we shall recall one of Ghana’s leading historians, writers, political activists and strategists, and researchers telling us, this author, that Komla Gbedemah’s Fanti wife was in her late 20s when he met them sometime in 1992. Gbedemah was almost 80 at the time. Even Felix Houphouet-Boigny (57), one of the political heroes of the keepers of the United Party (UP) tradition, the National Patriotic Party (NPP), married the much younger Marie-Thérèse Houphouët-Boigny, when she was 31, a chronological differential of 26 between the two.

Yet, to some of these professional haters and detractors of Nkrumah partisan politics, personal aggrandizement, and political ethnocentrism matter more to their schadenfreude political psychology than the national enterprise and development economics. To them if it is not about the alleged or unsubstantiated philandering of Nkrumah today, then the political gossip shifts to or is about an unacknowledged son or daughter of Nkrumah—tomorrow. Rather than promote or sell their ideological idols—Danquah, Busia, and Dombo, with Dombo merely added as a convenient afterthought—to their unsuspecting readership and praise-singing listenership, these professional haters and detractors of Nkrumah peddle ideological, historical and political snake oil about him [Nkrumah]. In doing so, they contribute to the historical, ideological, and political nonsignificance of their ideological idols while Nkrumah’s influence grows from year to year.

We therefore charge Nkrumah’s professional enemies and detract to reverse the seeming nonsignificance of their heroes by investing intellectual and emotional wherewithal in that assigned charge. Meanwhile, discussing the merits and demerits of Nkrumah’s larger vision for addressing the contemporary challenges of Ghana and Africa is what matters, not unnecessary diversions, as it were.

This is what one influential scholar among others—Dr. Kofi Kissi Dompere—has undertaken in his scientific corpus on Nkrumah. It is painfully clear from these Orwellian detractors’ frustration and emotional outpourings, when they tend to see practical answers to Ghana’s and Africa’s developmental challenges in yellow gossips, attribution and confirmation bias, sensational urban myths, that truth and falsehood are synonymous. Even so, Nkrumah’s professional Orwellian enemies’ and detractors’ tired tendency of tagging him as a seasoned philanderer—while conveniently skirting Danquah’s proverbial philandering as if that will, in and of itself, somehow succeed in taking popular attention away from or masking the richness of his [Nkrumah’s] legacy—will not wash with proactive individuals whose entrenched African-centered historical consciousness remains a source of pride. By the way, it is not as if the noble defenders of Nkrumah and his legacy can do much given his celebrated stature as an entrenched global phenomenon—call it sensation—if you will.

It is like saying those who want to destroy Nkrumah and his legacy have to go against the world’s entrenched opinion about Nkrumah. The degree of competitive advantage Nkrumah wields over his political rivals is unbridgeable, hence the responsibility of the latter’s defenders to both historicize and objectify the little contributions they believed their heroes made to Ghana, Africa and the world at large. To a certain extent, this is not a task for the noble defenders of Nkrumah. Moreover, this flimsy and tired strategy has no chance of institutional entrenchment, for those in charge of these intellectual cottage industries together with their methodological Ponzi schemes, can never dethrone “Africa’s Man of the Millennium” through their Orwellian scheming propensities. The world has already spoken on this one.

Even Okoampa-Ahoofe, one of the fiercest critics of Nkrumah, could not avoid discussing—without mincing words—the negative impact of the 1966 coup on national development. One Ghanaweb commentator who answers to the moniker Atakora-Mensah attributed the following statement to Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr. who, as we have come to believe, had great respect for Nkrumah and what he ascribes to as “those of us who believe in democratic governance.” Thus, we quote Okoampa-Ahoofe in part (see “Sounds of Sirens: Essays in African Politics & Culture (2004)”):

“When one agrees with the Western ideological mythology that Nkrumah was a raw-boned dictator bereft of vision, then it begins to make sense that Kotoka's statue should continue to command the august facade of Accra International Airport, thus perpetually humiliating those of us who incurably believe in democratic governance…This state of affairs, coupled with a largely under-educated and under-informed electorate, has made it almost impossible to rectify the prevailing socioeconomic chaos ravaging the country.”

Clearly this quotation undermines Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr.’s own claim that Nkrumah’s alleged pedophilia and incest are the primary causes of Ghana’s “postcolonial culture of disrespect” and elsewhere, the country’s “prevailing socioeconomic chaos.” It therefore appears what Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr. had aptly referred to as “largely superannuated rascals and executive national, fiduciary muggers” was a harbinger of political and socioeconomic doom. It is our submission that Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr. could not have state it any better (The late Prof. Kofi Awoonor’s book “The African Predicament: Collected Essays” contains an essay “Why Was Nkrumah Overthrown?” which readers may want to look at).

It is also our final submission that ceaselessly bashing Nkrumah without factual data has its limits: The law of diminishing returns, intellectual boredom and intrusion of methodological unoriginality in their screwed psychology. And more so, they contribute to the eternal burial, thus reinforcing the nonsignificance of their largely unrecognized idols in the sphere of historical scholarship and critical theory. Even then Okoampa-Ahoofe’s high praise for Nkrumah and his attack on the coup plotters is shared by other critical observers of Africa’s political landscape. The late Mokwugo Okoye, a Nigerian writer, nationalist and independence hero, wrote: “Perhaps the truth is that Nkrumah came too early and Africa was too small a stage and too mentally backward for him: Otherwise, at least, he would have been allowed to spend his last days in dignified retirement on a pension, with a ranch or mansion to boot, and his love letters and other souvenirs would be sought after by hunters, literally and other, for his great services to his country and humanity,” (see his book “Embattled Men, Profiles In Social Adjustment.”

Nnamdi Azikiwe, a friend of Nkrumah, also wrote: “Much as we all may not have agreed with his ideas, he did his best to raise the structure of black men all over the world” (see Francis Adigwe’s book “Essentials Of Government For West Africa”).

NKRUMAH NOW GRADUATES FROM A DANQUAHIST TO A PEDOPHILIC RAPIST

We need to be clear about the fact that Nkrumah was never a Danquist in any sense of the word, since both belonged to two radically different schools of political ideologies and philosophies, and experiences. In the first place the latter wanted “self-government in the shortest possible time,” whatever that meant. The former pursued a political strategy of “self-government now.” The word “now” and the phrase “shortest possible time” are not the same. Danquah was a follower of Edmund Burke, Nkrumah of Marcus Garvey, Karl Marx, Adam Smith, WEB Du Bois and Mahatma Gandhi. Thus Nkrumah was Nkrumah first then simultaneously an Nkrumahist, Garveyite, Du Boisian, Gandhian, Keynesian…Never was he a Danquahist! Danquah was a parochialist, Nkrumah an internationalist. Danquah adhered to property-owning capitalism, Nkrumah to Keynesian “mixed economy.”

Danquah was elitist and shunned the masses, describing them in such pretentious terms as “I don’t like this thing of the masses. There are only individuals for me” and snobbishly dismissing “their aspirations as mere emotions.” Prof. Tidana writes: “The letters [Danquah’s] are especially revealing of its viewpoint that the critical masses are tumultuous irrespective of whether or not their actions are legitimate… He [Danquah] therefore sought to dissociate the moderately liberal leaning UGCC and its leadership from any political act that could potentially send the wrong message to the Colonial Office in Britain” (see “Socionationalism in Ghana: History, Insights, and Lessons for Ghana,” Journal of Third World Studies, Spring 2012, Vol. 29, Issue 1). Nkrumah, on the other hand, embraced the masses and made them part of the political process and national development (see Kwame Arhin’s “The Life and Work of Kwame Nkrumah”).

Danquah was a conservative Black Englishman, Nkrumah an African-centered pragmatist. Danquah was a proponent of ethnocentric federalism, Nkrumah of unitary stateness. In fact, it was Danquah who followed Nkrumah around to mass rallies introducing him with the prophetic words: “If UGCC fails you, Kwame Nkrumah will never fail you.” And Danquah was third and last in the line of leading members of the UGCC who wrote to ask Nkrumah to consider the position of the General-Secretaryship of the UGGC. Little known is the fact while others in the UGCC leadership sent Nkrumah money to pay for his return to the Gold Coast, Danquah contributed noting. Even that aside, in the end it was George Padmore (and the leadership of Nkrumah’s West African National Secretariat (WANS)) who persuaded him [Nkrumah] to accept the position.

Thus, Nkrumah could never have been a Danquahist in a thousand years at a time the world showered the accolade “Africa’s Man of the Millennium” on him—unless, of course, Danquahist is the same as Nkrumahist! If that is however the case, then we ask: Since when did Danquahist become Nkrumahist? We want to know! Danquah will certainly throw up in his grave thinking that anyone in his or her right mind, let us say balanced psychology, could identify Danquahist with Nkrumahist. Unless, of course, one wants to put Danquah on the same celebrated pedestal where the world already has Nkrumah entrenched. That will never happen in this generation and thousands of generations to come.

We ask again: How could a pedophilic rapist in the person of Nkrumah be part of the Danquahist legacy? Could Nkrumah have picked up one or two ideas from Yaw Boakye, Danquah’s father, including such ideas as older men marrying younger women? Was Nkrumah not twice his wife’s age, Danquah’s father four times his wife’s? Since Nkrumah was a “humble Danqahist,” to borrow Okoampa-Ahoofe’s phraseology, could it be possible Danquah’s father may have passed on the gene of statutory rape, pedophilia, and incest to Nkrumah via Danquah? These are serious questions we wished Okoampa-Ahoofe had addressed in his article, “Convinced Samia Yaba Is Mentally Unbalanced.” Still, for all we know, Nkrumah may not have even entered into any matrimonial arrangement with Fathia if Danquah’s father and Danquah had passed the gene of statutory rape, pedophilia, and incest to Nkrumah since, as it were, the latter did not know he shared any consanguineous bonds with his spouse, and since Danquah’s father’s wife was older than Fathia!

For one to claim, however disingenuously, that Nkrumah was a Danquahist is the height of abject ignorance, a negation of the facts and logic of Ghana’s political history, and a clear demonstration of lack of a sense of intellectual direction. Furthermore, Nkrumah was a humble self before he set foot in the Gold Coast—after and beyond. He was also aware of the relative ideological and tactical bankruptcy of the leadership of the UGCC before he set foot in the Gold Coast and he was as well, his ideas far bigger than the latter’s. These ideas transcended the ideological shallowness of those of the leadership of the UGCC. Nkrumah was therefore what Danquah and the general leadership of the UGCC were not.

Nkrumah—a Danquahist pedophilic rapist indeed!

AFRICA’S MAN OF THE MILLENIUM

What we do know for certain is that the gracious son of “the largely unknown Nkroful-resident Liberian goldsmith” has become “the largely known” African personality on the world stage—in African and global history—a man who has come to represent the dignity and humanity of Africans everywhere. Granted, what can we comparatively say about the son of the “largely known” Ghanaian farmer Yaw Boakye, Danquah’s father? Molefi Kete Asante writes of Nkrumah: “This giant was real, genuine, with all of his human flaws, the essence of African intelligence…”

How real was Nkrumah? His pragmatism, his vision, his uncompromising love and respect for African humanity, his internationalist outlook, his success and stature as a global political strategist and tactician—par excellence! That is not all, however. The other thing we also for certain is that Danquah’s family members (including prominent personalities linked to the royal family) and the constituency he came from shunned him for the CPP, eventually becoming Nkrumahists in the process.

One of such high-profile Danquah family members who shunned him for Nkrumah and the CPP was Aaron Eugene Kofi Asante Ofori-Atta, later a Minister of Justice and Minister for Local Government in the Nkrumah government. What was it with Nkrumah that Mabel Dove Danquah, Danquah’s ex-wife, and his nephew got attracted to Nkrumah’s vision and political philosophy?

THE EVIDENCE OF EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

We however want to stress, above all, that evolutionary biology provides a beneficial framework for men marrying, dating, and or having children with relatively younger but mature women. This contention is based on reasons of fertility time-clocks of women and the relative advantage of gene propagation from the standpoint of the male. Let us issue a note of caution here lest we are not misunderstood—we want to make it clear that our position is not one in favour of pedophilia, incest, and statutory rape. In this context we do not see a 47-year-old man marrying a 26-year-old woman—if it can be understood that coercion or indoctrination played no role in the process—as institutionally or socially problematic. This is why Danquah’s 60-year-old father’s marriage to a 15-year-old girl more than a century ago does not give us headache.

Even so, Fathia had read about Nkrumah and his struggles to free the Gold Coast from colonial rule and had come to the conclusion that the man she wanted to marry was, indeed, no other than Nkrumah, a great, courageous man and a national hero in her reckoning. There was no cohesion in the matter. Could it have been the case in connection with Danquah’s 60-year-old father and the 15-year-old girl?

CONCLUSION

On the other hand, our central argument is that Okoampa-Ahoofe’s article “Kwame Nkrumah And The Culture of Disrespect” did not cover the full scope of the urban history behind the possible institutionalization of political pedophilia in the Gold Coast (and Ghana), given the primacy of Danquah’s father’s example. One would have, at least, expected Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr. to have explored Danquah’s philandering and what that may have meant in the general context of social-political relations in the Gold Coast—when he served in the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly. Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr. missed the point of comparative critique and methodology of comparative assessment.

As we have briefly shown in this piece the example of Danquah’s father may as well have set the precedent for both Danquah and Nkrumah—if we closely follow Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr.’s illogical arguments. Notwithstanding our reservations, we do not expect their [Danquah’s and Nkrumah’s] alleged philandering to dent their public standing in the Ghanaian political imagination. We also do not—as a matter of principle—expect Paul Danquah’s alleged homosexuality to dent his father’s limited public reputation, given that we have carefully weighed all these facts against Nkrumah’s high social-political standing in human history (see Anis Haffar’s book “Leadership: Reflections On Some Movers, Shakers And Thinkers”).

This may explain why the world, of all the men and women at the time, primarily recognizes him as one of history’s greatest personalities, accompanied with global accolades such as “Africa’s Man of the Millennium,” “The Greatest African,” “A Universal Man”…even against the backdrop of his fallibility as all humans certainly are. This is exactly what Amilcar Cabral meant when he wrote: “If President Nkrumah lives on in the history of Africa and the world, it is because the balance of his Positive Action is not only positive, but also shows an epoch-making achievement, fruitful creative activity in the service of the African people and of mankind…‘A hand, however big, can never cover the sky.’” Molefi Kete Asante has also written: “Yet Nkrumah’s influence, as we celebrate him today, continues to grow as it has grown each year…”

It is important we drive home the point that Nkrumah had, and even in death, still has, no match in the entire history of Africa—from African antiquity to the present dispensation. In the African Diaspora he ranks very high among great leaders in human history, a legend with no equal on the African continent in the reckoning of the African Diaspora. It is in this context that Canadian international journalist and author Eric Walberg notes: “In fact, the greatest African of the millennium, according to the 2000 BBC World Service listeners’ poll, is not Nelson Mandela or even Patrice Lumumba, but Kwame Nkrumah, the man who inspired the movement for African independence…”

Thus, the professional haters and detractors of Nkrumah must demonstrate to their unsuspecting readership and praise-singing listenership why these titular accolades should go to their idols—and not to Nkrumah—and why they expend intellectual and emotional resources on bashing Nkrumah rather than on promoting their heroes. Those who are bent on destroying the indestructible Nkrumah and his legacy through fraudulent means, largely urban myths, should watch out and better learn from the fate of the scandalous Boss Tweed! We put this challenge to them. After all, the world is bigger than Nkrumah’s parochial enemies and detractors! Let them promote Dombo, Danquah and Busia instead and leave the indestructible Nkrumah alone! They will do well salvaging the little their idols left behind!

Yes, of course Nkrumah should be critiqued like every other historical public figure but from the standpoint of objectivity and factualness.

We end here.

Columnist: Kwarteng, Francis