You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2013 12 26Article 296078

Opinions of Thursday, 26 December 2013

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Get Over Nkrumah's Big-Time Blunder On Mandela, Folks!

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

There is an article circulating on the Web, sourced to the Daily Dispatch, and captioned "Mandela's Ghanaian Son-In-Law Speaks Out" ( 12/10/13), in which Dr. Isaac Amuah, said to be married to Nelson Mandela's daughter, Makaziwe, is reported in an interview to be contradicting his immortalized father-in-law's well-documented testimony that the South African leader, who visited Ghana in 1962, in solicitation of financial and military assistance to fight the racist apartheid regime, was rudely snubbed by President Kwame Nkrumah.

Now, this story is a great embarrassment to staunch and fanatical Nkrumaists, because time clearly appears to have put their hero on the wrong side of history, vis-a-vis the freedom-fighting credentials of the African National Congress (ANC), compared to the then widely perceived to be more radical Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC).

To justify the patently unjustifiable, the Show Boy's adherents, including his daughter Samia, have deliriously taken to both the print and electronic media vehemently accusing continental Africa's greatest liberator in the twentieth century of being a liar. And this is rather sad, because Mandela had absolutely nothing to gain from upending the truth. Rather, he risked the ire and contempt of many an Nkrumah-leaning Pan-Africanist; and we all know that Mandela was far too smart to have risked his great reputation on such a relatively minor incident of round rejection by a leader he so much admired.

I am, for my part, deeply fascinated by this particular incident, in which Nkrumah, reportedly, flatly refused to meet with a large delegation of ANC officials led by The Madiba during the 10 days that the delegation spent in the Ghanaian capital of Accra. Interestingly, Mandela also reports that he had absolutely no trouble, whatsoever, being welcomed by the Liberian president who was widely alleged to be pro-imperialism, and thus far less progressive than his Ghanaian counterpart. And what is more, not only would Mandela and his entourage be readily afforded a cheerful welcome, the Liberian leader would also offer the ANC a remarkable modicum of the assistance sought.

What makes the situation even more embarrassing for the image of present-day Ghana, is the outright hollow and pathetic attempts by Nkrumah's followers to make a false claim and alibi for their icon. The fact of the matter is that Nkrumah flatly refused to welcome Mandela; and neither did the Ghanaian leader offer the ANC any financial or military assistance, contrary to what Ms. Samia Yaba Nkrumah would have her audience believe.

And for the record, President Nkrumah could not have been nursing any wounds sustained in the August 1962 Kulungugu assassination attempt on his life, for the simple reason that Nelson Mandela and his ANC delegation visited Ghana between January and March of 1962. What is also worrying is the lame attampt by Dr. Amuah, Mr. Mandela's Ghanaian son-in-law, to fake an alibi for the Ghanaian leader by rather fatuously claiming to have been told by Mrs. Adelaide Tambo, some 12 years ago that, in fact, ANC President Oliver Tambo, her husband, had subsequently been afforded cordial audience by President Nkrumah.

The truth of the matter is that even if the preceding narrative could be invested with an iota of credibility, it still would not in any way negate the fact of President Nkrumah's having flatly refused to grant audience to a Mandela-led ANC delegation. Then also, the fact that Mr. Tambo had allegedly attended reinterment ceremonies in 1992 for the late leader at the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, in Accra, against the better judgment of Mr. Tambo's European doctors, does not vindicate the devious stance of these shameless Nkrumaist revisionists. It only proves that unlike the former Ghanaian leader, the ANC leaders were more astute, mature and big-hearted and well above petty political squabbles.

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York
Dec. 23, 2013