You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2021 09 22Article 1363138

Opinions of Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Columnist: Apollos Kojo Ambrose

Should we join in idolising Nkrumah?

Kwame Nkrumah, First President of Ghana Kwame Nkrumah, First President of Ghana

112 years ago, a certain Nkrumah was born in Ghana, packaged for Africa and sent to his world to bring good tidings of liberation. I call him a good man but many people seem to have made this my “good man” a god-man as idolatry seems to be becoming a serious canker in our time having been dressed in diverse types of clothing. We have heard people sing Nkrumah’s praises,
seen die-hard fans of his; many amongst who, we know, benefitted directly from what they call good governance and still believe, with no shred of doubt, that Osagyefo Kwame as they affectionately call him played the role of messiah for Ghana and had a living vision for Africa.

But my question here is, as a millennial adult,

Must we join in the idolization of a certain good man?

Is Nkrumah worthy to be seen as a god-man in our time?

What are we still doing with Nkrumah here, Nkrumah there?

Why continue singing his praises when we never knew him, did not experience his governance?

His time seems quite different from our time and we cannot defend in an objective manner that he was an altruist. Per the praises, he still enjoys today, though in the grave, isn’t it a clear case of what egoism rewards one with when one showcases his/her individual self above of others?’.

Didn’t Nkrumah have an interest in his mind then, and has gotten all of these as recompense?; must I be added to sing his praises?

Must We Idolise Nkrumah Because Of What People Say?

Human beings can be hypocrites. Many people speak of other people’s achievements, praising them and saying all sorts of good things about them in public while they actually do not mean it.

Hence, what their lips say may not necessarily be what their hearts believe.

If we must idolize the good man Kwame Nkrumah because of what people say, then I submit that there is no need for that at all because we cannot trust what people are saying even if these ones form the majority. Remember, democracy can possibly go crazy.

Must We Idolise Nkrumah Because Our Elders Are Telling Us The

Again, if we cannot trust what the popular masses are saying, we sure repose some good level of trust in our elders. These ones have been with us for long. We know them and can really tell when what they are saying matches what is in their hearts.

But come to think of it, even what our elders may believe is true may also not be the absolute truth. However, let us just accept that their truth is an objective truth, the real one I mean.

So, should we, a 21st-century people, engage ourselves in idolatry because our elders have told us the real truth about what they saw, witnessed and believed which is past and gone?

No, we cannot do so just like that, We respect Nkrumah as a good man but we may not go to the extent of making him a god.

Is There Any Cogent Reason For Us To Idolise The Good Man?

I see some light towards making the good man a god-man. Because if we can hear the good things from the lips of many as well as match these good testimonies to hearts, beliefs and behaviours and even though we were not there at the time, we can see after many years; about six good decades and three scores, many good deeds, executed projects and constructions, ideals,
legacies and ideas which still live and are even used and adopted by the 21st-century inhabitants, then we can move on with the idolization of Kwame Nkrumah.

The good man Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah as every other good man was misinterpreted by some but also understood by many others.

Despite these factors and coupled with the fact that he had a relatively short time to spend, he was able to make good strides and tremendous achievements for the country Ghana, the continent of Africa and some other nations of the world.

Kwame Nkrumah is not just an achiever. He is a trans-generational achiever cum leader, which is way more than being an intercontinental leader or leading a continent or even a nation. Why do I stress this point of ‘transgenerationalisationalism’?.

A transgenerational leader because he still leads many of us and the generations yet unborn.

In the hierarchy of achievers, great men are praised by the people, greater men are missed by the people but the greatest amongst men are still felt while we forget that they are no more part of our world. Generations go but Nkrumah still leads.

The idolization in question is not against our Biblical belief in Exodus 20 vs 3-6 and other Bible texts where God strictly warns us not to have any god before Him.

Idolisation in my coinage may be in two folds; positive and negative

When I speak of Subduing the god called Social media, I speak on a negative idolization but when I speak on the idolisation of a good man whose works and positive achievements still live though he is dead, the unborn generation will still benefit from them.

The true definition of being rich, I believe is in “being an outreach”.

This idol reached many nations and people elsewhere. But these works though hitherto criticized by many has gone the long way to foreground mother Ghana in the eyes of those nations and to give veracity to the saying, “the good that men do lives after them.”

One may want to ask, “But why idolize someone who I don’t even know if he is going to heaven or hell?”

My submission: It is not for me to judge whether Nkrumah is in heaven or not. What I can assuredly say is, in terms of the battle, Nkrumah was successful but in terms of the war, God will judge as He is also going to judge all of us. And you, do not judge because you too, do not know
what yours will be like: lead a just life but also learn to appreciate people who set some good paces and have paved the way for us in the battle so others could tread.

For this is (indeed) the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes (Psalm 118:23).