Today, Ghana observes Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day, a pivotal holiday in the nation’s history. This annual celebration commemorates the birthday of the esteemed Osagyefo, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president.
Held on the 21st of September each year, or the following Monday if it falls on a weekend, this day stands as a testament to Nkrumah’s profound impact on the nation’s journey to independence.
Once known as Founder’s Day, it was in March 2019 that the Public Holiday Amendment Bill shifted the focus to Nkrumah’s birthday, moving Founder’s Day to the 4th of August.
Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day history
Britain took over parts of Ghana in 1874. They subsequently named these parts British Gold Coast. Later, Britain’s rule started weakening due to World War II and the increasing desire for Ghanaians to regain their independence.
On 6th March 1957, the country became the first in the sub-Saharan African region to attain independence. Nkrumah played a huge role as he was the driving force behind the country’s independence. He founded the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and delivered a momentous speech during Independence Day, symbolically freeing Ghana from Britain’s grasp.
In 1960, he assumed the role of Ghana’s first president, officially transforming the nation into a republic. However, his reign was not without turbulence, as a military coup in 1966 led to his exile. Nevertheless, his contributions continue to be celebrated annually on Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day, reminding Ghanaians of their nation’s history and the enduring spirit of independence he ignited.
Unlike commercialized holidays, this day places a strong emphasis on religious and cultural elements, honoring a founding father whose impact on Ghana remains immeasurable.
By Ruth Sekyi