The article by Dr. Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe in Sunday’s Ghana web June 10, 2007 on the death of Mrs. Fathia Nkrumah comes as surprise to some of us who have gone through the academic training to obtain a PhD, believe in the decency of human culture and fair assessment. If anything at all the PhD is supposed to make a man careful in his choice of words and to be a little humble in perceptions and delivery of even what one sees as facts in research. Social Science is not hard core Physical Science and is based on opinions, surveys, observations, and statistical analyses. Results are usually couched in terms like confidence levels which are not 100%. This writer received a PhD at the age of 59 after working in Management and for many major corporations in America as well as his own. Choice and appropriateness of language usage is the mark of s scholar. I therefore offer this small advice to our friend Dr. Okoampa-Ahoofe:
This article was not necessary when somebody who has not wronged you in anyway dies. You write well, but it seems more of a display in the use of the English language and not necessarily human analytical skills - unless of course you planned this as a joke! Even if a joke, many people don’t take such jokes in our culture, or even Euro-American culture, about their mothers and daughters and sisters, let alone when they die.
You have a PhD, Kwame, and you come from Ghana. A little bit of academic and human discretion is required when you make certain statements that are merely your biased opinion, even if you don't like somebody. You wrote:
“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”
Who told you that marrying a 25 year old woman can be considered statutory rape or incest in America?
Kwame, do you think you are the only Ghanaian educated or who lives in America?
Did you say that Danquah was assassinated? Kwame, what is wrong with you? You claimed to be an Nkrumaist till you were fired and I wonder whether it was for your beliefs and opinions, well substantiated, before you turned against Nkrumah?
Did you have any research done to support Nkrumah at the time? Teaching or holding biased unsubstantiated opinions in the academic world can lead to repercussions, and you should look in the mirror and hopefully you have learnt from the reason for your firing – and move on and don’t cloud your academic judgment with such writings as you just did. American like diversity and whoever is paying you at an American College would like objectivity instead of this kind of language display.
What did Fathia do to you and your people? At lest in the kind of culture you claim to come from, we respect foreigners, especially if they have not offended us.
Do you have any research to substantiate that the Ghanaian women really didn’t like Fathia? I was a young man during that time and I know Ghanaian women even named a cloth after her called “Fathia fata Nkrumah” meaning “Fathia fits (or is deserving of) Nkrumah”.
Kwame, hope you get a chance to read my book – “Leadership Concepts and the Role of Government in Africa: The Case of Ghana”. Leadership involves vision creation and implementation to deliver on promises, deliver services and build systems and infrastructures to make society better. Nobody is saying Nkrumah was perfect, but then show me the perfect leader in Ghana! Can we compare and contrast, analyze, and build on the past? Why is it that whatever Nkrumah built was not even continued and made to go to waste? Do we have to destroy every single thing in our past? Kwame, Government has failed and some of us are interested in what we can do to make it better to serve the people. I hope you can put your efforts in helping and not in destroying the image of a man whose efforts perhaps helped a person like you attain basic education and hence travel to America to be who you are today. Nkrumah was voted Africa’s man of the last millennium, and the judges were not stupid, Kwame. Please focus academic research, if any, to compared the kind of educational, health care and other facilities and systems of the Nkrumah’s era to what we have today after Nkrumah? I don’t consider myself an Nkrumaist, or any -ist for that matter, but simply a man who observes life and society and can compare and analyze the good from the bad so far as our society is concerned.
Kwame, if you taught African studies, please don’t flip completely because you were fired and think or forget our culture is all bad, even though we know there are major flaws. Can we examine what is good for our people to become globally competitive and find ways to make our current leaders deliver better on their responsibilities and stop blaming the past! I don’t mean to attack you, but for God’s sake, Kwame, the idea of beating down on the dead is not a nice culture anywhere in the world. Hurting people with words and language finesse is not the mark of a scholar either. After all, your research was from the written words or opinion of other human beings also. Think about it!
Wishing you all the best.