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"Nkrumaism" Is A Faux-Socialist Hoax

Tue, 24 Sep 2013 Source: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

Let's get this fact straight and upfront: There is no such authentic ideology as "Nkrumaism." According to T. Peter Omari, in his political classic, Kwame Nkrumah: The Anatomy of an African Dictatorship (1970), the term was coined by Mr. Kofi Baako, an obnoxiously servile disciple of the African Show Boy, as a means of systematizing a hodgepodge mess of largely Marxist-Socialist ideals and thoughts that the plagiarism-prone Ghanaian leader had adopted as his own, with the hope of guaranteeing his immortality in the realm of African social and political thought.

And so it is not clear what she is talking about, when Ms. Samia Yaba Nkrumah, a daughter of the late pan-Africanist Ghanaian leader, blames the country's economic woes on the misguided policies of the Rawlings-led Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) in the 1980s. Actually, Mr. Rawlings pursued the same socialist policies of rigidly centralized economic planning that Nkrumah had pursued in the late 1950s and 1960s that decisively ground the country's economy to a screeching halt.

In other words, the very administration that Ms. Nkrumah is obliquely, albeit bitterly, faulting for having woefully regressed the country's economic development was ineluctably the most "Nkrumaist"-oriented government in the post-Nkrumah era. And on the question of Nkrumaism having entailed the vision of a "united continent consisting of self-sufficient industrialized African nations that are capable of providing for the basic necessities to all [of] her citizens," the American-schooled Ghanaian leader was merely using the United States of America as his model for Africa's socioeconomic development, even while Mr. Nkrumah paradoxically, and hypocritically, pretended to be rabidly "anti-American imperialism."

Needless to say, almost every one of the state hotels established by the Convention People's Party (CPP) had their names shamelessly lifted from American prototypes. And when his so-called visionary ideals were not a Xerox copy of these American prototypes, they had been hook-line-and-sinker lifted from the Russians, such as the much-touted Seven-Year Development Plan. The embarrassing contradiction here, though, is that even as Nkrumah preached a white-hot sermon of the rapid industrial development of the African continent, his requisite Ghanaian model for such development was woefully and callously compromised on the hazy altar of pan-Africanist megalomania.

And it is this inordinately extroverted trend that the country's current leadership ought to be radically working towards reversing. For it goes without saying that while, indeed, the collective development of the African continent is a worthwhile priority and enterprise, nevertheless, charity ought to, perforce, begin at home. This was what Dr. Danquah insistently and consistently attempted to impress upon the inexorably riotous imagination of the inordinately exuberant and vaingloriously megalomaniacal President Nkrumah.

I also fail to recognize how Mr. Nkrumah could be rather curiously alleged by his equally rambunctious, exuberant and imperious daughter to have "stood taller than all" the other more mature and pragmatic Ghanaian and African leaders in the great push for the country's and the continent's struggle for socioeconomic and political liberation. The fact of the matter is that the man was just louder and luckier than most of his peers, that all!

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*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

Department of English

Nassau Community College of SUNY

Garden City, New York

Sept. 19, 2013

E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net

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Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame