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Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s Independence Speech

7 March 2011

(Click here to download the speech)

Of course Ghana gained ‘independence’ 54 years ago. My dad is 54… meaning he has 6 more years to retire if he were in public service. When he retires he may have to depend on his pension; save that his children would cater for his needs till he passes on. So I should be (arguably) right to demand that Ghana should be self-sufficient after six years (whether we found oil or not). So having found oil, we should be able to retire on a 800-K plan, shouldn’t we? I have always been cynical about ‘PeOpLe’; because they stand for power only to rip us (excluding yourself as need be [eynd]) off and enrich themselves. So I decided to ignore elections. A political science lecturer from KNUST confirmed in a radio interview that all politicians have a certain kind personal agenda when seeking office. Even the young students wants to be SRC president to enrich his/her resume. I do not have any problem with that. What I have a problem with is their message of wanting to serve the electorate. The ‘PeOpLe’ tell us through the Constitution they wrote tell us that its is my civic responsibility to vote. Why should that bother me if they did not include it as a civic responsibility to use the tax payers’ (they also being part) money to improve the lots of all of us so that they will have the guts to save their monies in Ghanaian banks, and enjoy their retirements here. It is my high school English teacher who gave me a reason to vote; to avoid chaos and anarchy. I love peace, so to maintain it, I vote.

Mahatma Ghandi (MG) implores me to be the change in the world. So I will start in my own small way to show attitudes that I would like to see in ‘PeOpLe’. Whether or not it makes an impact, I would stop worrying my head because <span>“There is nothing that wastes the body like worry, and one who has any faith in God should be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever”, (MG). Further, if reaction based on someone’s actions would be like taking an eye for an eye which “… only ends up making the whole world blind.” (MG). “You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result”. </span>

<span>So whether Dr. Kwame Nkrumah (DKN) knew this or not, he took action to give our Ghana independence. He proclaimed freedom, “</span>”At long last, the battle has ended! And thus Ghana, your beloved country is free forever”. However, he added <span>explicitly that it was only partial; “</span>Our independence is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of Africa”. Ei! The colonialists have been (physically) driven away, now what? It has to be extended to the economy because they still control very key aspects; even our water revenue had to be outsourced. Why? Our minerals are controlled by non-Africans. My three-month experience in a bauxite haulage firm exposed me to many rumours about our minerals. The PeOpLe can’t help us so we the  PEOPLE must help ourselves. After all we are the engine of growth; we’ll look for strategies to self-lubricate.

DKN rightly acknowledged the God-factor; “Let us now fellow Ghanaians, let us now ask for God’s blessing and for only two seconds in your thousands and millions, I want to ask you to pause only for one minute and give thanks to almighty God for having led us through our difficulties, imprisonments, hardships and suffering to have brought us to the end of our trouble today.” His recognition of the efforts of the chiefs and people of this country, the youth, the farmers, the women who have so nobly fought and won this battle valiant ex-service men, only shows the level of achievement we can get to if we put our mind to the task. The major point of interest is his admonition; “… from now on – today – we must change our attitudes, our minds, we must realise that from now on, we are no more a colonial but a free and independent people. But also, as I pointed out, that also entails hard work.

This is what has failed to sink into our hearts and minds as a people who continue to exhibit laziness and lackadaisical attitude. I am changing mine, are you? From now on, I would be the first to go to work and the last to join the home-bound staff bus. I would read newspapers or do personal errands only at the scheduled break time. If there is a customer, (s)he would take precedence over my personal phone call except the customer is properly excused to attend to inevitable emergency. As a PeOpLe, statesman, and citizen of Ghana, I will begin addressing and treating people as intelligent individuals instead of their tribes and where they come from. Whether or not it plays a role in elections, it defeats the national purpose of unity, and fuels my selfish (and evil) interest of dividing and destabilising the peace among the people. I want to help exhibit DKN’s vision of the “new African is who is ready to fight his own battles and show that after all, the black man is capable of managing his own affairs”. As a student, I would properly dispose of gum (sticking it into the wrapper and then into the bin), empty water sachets. As a market woman, I would send empty wrappers and boxes to the garbage point instead of letting them fly. We should “demonstrate to the world, to the other nations, that we are prepared to lay our own foundation (of cleanliness and making systems work). What African personality and identity are we creating? So far it has been one of war, unrest, corruption and poverty. Even though there are so many positives the PeOpLe manipulate them for their selfish political interests. from now on “we have awakened. We will not sleep anymore. Today, from now on, there is a new African (Ghanaian) in the world!”

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