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General News of Monday, 23 September 2019


Meet the Tarkwa businessman who funded Nkrumah’s education abroad

Dr Kwame Nkrumah Dr Kwame Nkrumah

Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, a Ghanaian nationalist leader who led the Gold Coast’s drive for independence from Britain and presided over its emergence as the new nation of Ghana, education abroad was fully funded by a businessman with support from his family.

Though not a lot is known about the man, he has been mentioned as one Nana Ackah Watson, who was a businessman at Tarkwa.

An application form for higher national degree students at the London School of Economics and Political Science, sighted by Ghanaweb, also reveals that Dr. Nkrumah referenced the address of his sponsor, Nana Ackah Watson.

"C/O J.A.Watson, Tarkwa, Gold Coast," Dr Nkrumah's form captured that as his Home Address.

Not much information is known about the kind of business Mr. Watson engaged in but it is believed he, he was influential in helping Dr Nkrumah pursue his PHD education.

Born to a goldsmith business parents - the Ngolomah's, formerly known as Kwame Ngolomah, he found himself beginning his basic education at Half Assini in the Western Region of Ghana, when his parents moved there in pursuit of the goldsmith business.

His name was believed to have been changed from Ngolomah to Nkrumah during his basic education at the Roman Catholic Primary School at Half Assini.

He continued his primary school education at Axim Catholic School and upon completion of elementary school, furthered to the Achimota College. After graduation from the Achimota College in 1930, he started his career as a teacher at the Roman Catholic Junior School in Elmina and Axim and at a seminary.

In 1935, he gained admission to the Lincoln University where he studied the literature of socialism, notably Karl Marx and Vladimir I. Lenin, and of nationalism, especially Marcus Garvey, the black American leader of the 1920s.

After graduating in 1939, Dr Kwame Nkrumah obtained a master’s degrees from Lincoln and from the University of Pennsylvania. Eventually, Nkrumah came to describe himself as a “nondenominational Christian and a Marxist socialist.”

He also immersed himself in political work, reorganizing and becoming president of the African Students’ Organization of the United States and Canada.

A screenshot of the application form below: