Opinions Wed, 5 Oct 2016

Why should Ghana celebrate Nkrumah four times in a year?

By Charles Agbenu

On 21st September 2016, Ghana celebrated the birthday of Kwame Nkrumah Ghana's first President, which is usual in the annual calendar.Such celebrations naturally dovetail into his life and works, especially since 1947 when he burst on Gold Coast political scene.

That year was when he was invited from London to become the General Secretary of the United Gold coast Convention UGGC, the movement which had started shaping the path for the struggle for Gold Coast independence. Mr. Ako Adjei one of the leading members of the agitators at the time, of course, specially invited Nkrumah for the purpose.

Of course, the day was declared a national statutory holiday as a mark of honour to the Osagyefo.

Osagyefo was charismatic and a showboy in all senses. So there are always a lot of dramatic and fabulously expressive issues to recall about him to enhance the yearly carnival.

His insightful and weighty speeches at the declaration of positive action, at the first All African people's conference, at independence, at the first OAU and subsequent confabs, at UN meetings etc. are materials replayed to recall Ghana's firecracker sparkles and huge impact on mid- twentieth century black consciousness and African liberation.

Despite the glamour about the celebration of 21st September event, it has to be pointed out that the manner of its celebration is total repetitions of similar celebrations in the year. The truth is that, we as a people do the same aforementioned recollections about Kwame Nkrumah on every 6th of March during Ghana's Independence Day celebrations.

Again, we celebrate Kwame Nkrumah in like manner on 25th of May to commemorate OAU or AU official holiday. Yet again, on 1st July, we celebrate the same Kwame Nkrumah on Ghana's designated Republic day. So as we celebrate Kwame Nkrumah's birthday annually on 21st September, we will actually be doing the same recall about the Osagyefo, 4 times over in the year. Haaa-b-aa!

Are we not tired? Don't we get bored as a people with the annual repeated stuff about Nkrumah celebration? The holidays are even too many. For how long are we going to realize that all the celebrations are the same things? Some Nkrumah zealots even make commentaries and write- ups on 8th January to celebrate Positive Action Day to add up to the repetitive confusion; as well as the day Nkrumah died.

I hold that the annual repeated celebrations of Kwame Nkrumah is boring, dull and unexciting and the earlier Ghanaians become awakened to this fact, the better.

The negative effect of these repeated carnivals on the grand economy and social life is gargantuan. A company belonging to a friend of my uncle had to reschedule an important midweek meeting on 21st September, because of the last Nkrumah birthday celebration, with investors, at great cost.

From all indications, the negative effect reverberated annoyingly and exasperatingly through other sensitive parts of the economy. It is hoped that at a point in time, some of the unhelpful and sentimental Kwame Nkrumah, Kwame Nkrumah holidays will be realized by critical minds and the authorities will proceed to scrap them altogether.

Columnist: Agbenu, Charles