“The Foolish Kwame Nkrumah” – In the eyes of the Young


“Foolishness is tangled up in the heart of a youth; the rod of discipline will drive it away from him.” (Proverbs 22:15, ISV) This is how best I can use the bible which many Ghanaians have come to love recently to describe the thinking logic of some of our youths and leaders in Ghana.

Yes, foolishness has tangled up in their hearts, that is why they see exhibition of prudence, great wisdom, insight, and superior reasoning as ‘foolishness’. According to the elders of the great Volta Region, what an elder can see by sitting, the young at heart may not see even when he/she climbs the tallest tree.

With regards to the above adage, I have come to a firmer conclusion that the vision of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah (1909 – 1972) is still beyond the comprehension of some of our leaders and many youths. My explanations are embedded in this true narrative of my night life in Madina, a suburb of Accra.

I often visit Madina not to just do business or relax away from work, but to also satisfy my curiosity. This busy town is growing day-by-day. This is evident in the new buildings, shops, offices, businesses and the increase in population. Just as many other busy towns or locations in Ghana, very few people observe when the town goes to sleep and when it wakes up to its daily endless routines powered by the needs of humanity.

I took an interest in the night life of Madina after an attempted robbery attack on me was foiled by passersby. That was around 1:30 am in 2015, a time when many towns and cities are dead in their sleep. Since then I have made it my hobby to walk on the streets of Madina late into the night any time I must spend the night there.

It was on one of those hobby instigated walks that I came across a group of five (5) young men presumably in their early 30s drinking away their worries. Well, it could be they were drinking away their “folly”. Their table was occupied with empty, half full and full bear bottles. Could that have been some 1931 bottles? But that wasn’t my worry.

I had a bigger worry, and that stems from a comment passed by one of the young men. Just as wine can let you forget your worries for a moment same way it can make you talk loud enough that everyone else could hear you except yourself. I could hear all they were saying from a distance but I believe they could hardly hear themselves speak.

The group were having a discussion on the sale of state lands. As usual, some were of the view that the state shouldn’t at the first place have those lands while others also thought it was wrong for individuals to be selling these lands. Then suddenly one of the young men said in pidgin, “aaah, as for that man Nkrumah, he fool past everything.

How one man fit buy this chaw lands give just Legon. See, dem get land for even Nungua, why the people no go sell am……”. A moment of silence was observed for this comment. The table became quite for some seconds and you could only hear a low volume stereo producing some ‘cool night riddims’.

I was not very much surprised by the comments and reactions of these young men. It is not uncommon these days to meet both young and old ignorantly claim superior insight than Ghana’s first president, Nkrumah. Some go as far as erroneously claiming Nkrumah rushed with Ghana’s independence and that we should have remained a little longer under colonial rule. It pathetic to have people with this mindset.

Any patriotic citizen of this dear nation will agree with me that Nkrumah was right in his decision to acquire and allocate large tracks of land to state institutions. The man was visionary and knew that the University of Ghana will need lands even as far as Akuse for agricultural and research purposes.

This great leader was not a fool, never, he was and has remained Ghana’s greatest leader. It is my greatest hope that our school curriculum will soon teach Nkrumah in our schools. Until then, many Ghanaians do not know him and in their ignorant minds, he was too smart for them to comprehend.

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