5 things you can learn from Dr. Kwame Nkrumah


On the nationally observed Founders Day in honor of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah who helped Ghana gain independence, take a second to learn a little bit about the man and his mission. There are bits of wisdom you can take from a quick look at an amazing life.

I would like us to throw away any partisan sentiments and learn from the man whose handwriting is seen on all the state institutions in the country.

5. Sometimes things don’t always go as planned

Dr. Nkrumah was an excellent leader yet he had his shortcomings as a leader. Some people downplay the achievements of this man because of these shortcomings. No man is perfect. We all make mistakes. Dr. Nkrumah saw a broader picture of a United Africa. He went after that dream. He chased the vision but it could not be materialized. Sometimes things don’t go as planned but that doesn’t mean you should give up in life. We hit the wall most times. We fail in certain things that we do but we must still strive. True strength is being able to hold it together when everyone is expecting you to fall apart.

“We face neither East nor West. We face forward” – Dr. Kwame Nkrumah

4. Passion is paramount

Dr. Kwame Nkrumah believed in justice, equality, philanthropy and non-violent protest. He was a scholar and a revolutionary. He was a husband, a father, a friend and a leader. He was a brilliant orator. He had the passion to do whatever he wanted to do. With passion, you can do all that you dream of. One very important thing about life is passion or enthusiasm.  Nelson Mandela once said “there is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” If you have the enthusiasm to do something, you can get that thing done. He had the passion to lead Ghana to independence. He went to jail for that. He was oppressed and yet never gave up. That’s the kind of spirit we need. The never-dying spirit that works in us because we have the passion to succeed regardless of what life throws at us.

“Revolutions are brought about by men, by men who think as men of action and act as men of thought.” – Dr. Kwame Nkrumah

3. You have to be ready to stand by your standards

What are your standards? What do you believe in? “Countrymen, the task ahead is great indeed, and heavy is the responsibility; and yet it is a noble and glorious challenge – a challenge which calls for the courage to dream, the courage to believe, the courage to dare, the courage to do, the courage to envision, the courage to fight, the courage to work, the courage to achieve – to achieve the highest excellencies and the fullest greatness of man. Dare we ask for more in life?” – Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. The founder of Ghana had his ideals. He stood for something. He believed in something. If you don’t have any standards in life, then it’s high time you checked yourself.

“The best way of learning to be an independent sovereign state is to be an independent sovereign state.” 
Dr. Kwame Nkrumah

2.Be yourself

Dr. Kwame Nkrumah believed that each of us is special. Each of us is here for a purpose and that the main purpose for all of us is to make Africa and the world a better place. No matter what color you are, what religion you are, what you look like, what you sound like and no matter where you’re from you belong here. You have an assignment. You have a mission. You weren’t born by accident. There is a reason you are breathing today. There is a reason you are reading this post. Never look down on yourself. Be yourself because you are unique. Don’t try to be like someone else because no one will be you if you discard being yourself.  Make your life on earth count!

It is far better to be free to govern or misgovern yourself than to be governed by anybody else” – Dr. Kwame Nkrumah

1. Believe in yourself

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase” said Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Do you believe in yourself? Do you believe in your abilities to succeed in life? Just have faith in yourself, in your future and in your family. Dr. Nkrumah just believed. He believed that he could wrestle power for the people of the Gold Coast. He had a dream and he had the faith to propel that dream. He believed Ghana could be a sovereign state. He believed we could manage our own affairs. He cried for self governance because he believed we could govern ourselves. What was the outcome?

The dream became a reality! His belief gave birth to the following:

Bank of Ghana, Bonsa Tyre Manufacturing, Cape Coast University, Cocoa Marketing Board (now Cocobod), Cocoa research Institute, Tafo , Ghana Commercial Bank, Ghana Film Industries, Ghana Housing Corporation, Ghana Law School, Ghana Medical School, Gold Processing Factory, Prestea, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, National Cultural Center, National Investment Bank, National Research Council, Nsawam Prison, Komfo Anokye Hospital, Social Security Bank (SSB, now SG-SSB), State Transport Corporation, Trade Fair Center and the University of Ghana (Legon).

Once again the words of our great leader:

“We have the blessing of the wealth of our vast resources, the power of our talents and the potentialities of our people. Let us grasp now the opportunities before us and meet the challenge to our survival. “– Dr. Kwame Nkrumah

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Posted on September 21, 2011, in Africa, Ghana, What's new and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Great piece. This man was a HERO

  2. “Common territory, language and culture may in fact be present in a nation, but the existence of a nation does not necessarily imply the presence of all three. Common territory and language alone may form the basis of a nation. Similarly, common territory plus common culture may be the basis. In some cases, only one of the three applies. A state may exist on a multi-national basis. The community of economic life is the major feature within a nation, and it is the economy which holds together the people living in a territory. It is on this basis that the new Africans recognise themselves as potentially one nation, whose domination is the entire African continent.” Class Struggle in Africa”

  3. Forward ever….backwards never.

  4. Thanks for the lessons, Nana. May the memory of Kwame Nkrumah inspire us all to dream and build greater things for our nation!

  5. Am truly inspired. Achieving great feats comes from within. we need to believe in ourselves because it is the only way we can attain greater heights. thanks so much for the writeup. Long live Ghana!

  6. Dr Nkrumah fought a good fight… he understand freedom/liberation in a very broad way. when we talk of freedom we usually limit our thought. other African leaders are easily bribed if they can think like Dr Nkrumah economic freedom will be at our door step. Anglo American generate billions but mine workers are extremely poor. ( Exploitation of workers) in the past it was called slavery.

  1. Pingback: Celebrating true African Leadership « Anonymous extraordinaire

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