Building the Ghanaian Nation-State: Kwame Nkrumah’s Symbolic by H. Fuller

By H. Fuller

Ghana has consistently held a place of primacy within the African political and old mind's eye, due in no small half to the indelible impact left president Kwame Nkrumah. This research examines the symbolic ideas he used to build the Ghanaian nation via forex, stamps, museums, flags, and different public icons.

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Extra info for Building the Ghanaian Nation-State: Kwame Nkrumah’s Symbolic Nationalism

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The symbol stresses the importance of democracy in all aspects of life. It also encourages oneness of humanity. 9 The issue over the UGCC emblem highlights the tensions between Nkrumah and Danquah that would contribute to the young nation’s growing pains. By writing that Danquah chose a mythical creature (which Nkrumah misread to symbolize selfishness) to be depicted on the emblem of the new state of Ghana, Nkrumah was arguing that Danquah did not quite understand African cultures, societies, and philosophies and therefore was less committed to Ghanaian and African nationalism.

This chapter discusses the reasons for his downfall, the ways in which the new military juntas (and short-lived civilian administrations) also used symbols to compete with one another and solidify their own power. THE SYMBOLISM OF GHANAIAN NATIONALISM 19 Chapter 9 follows up on the previous chapter by analyzing the symbolic manifestations of the post-Nkrumah years abroad. After the coup, Nkrumah took refuge in neighboring Guinea-Conakry and tried futilely to regain control of Ghana. The bloodshed from Nkrumah-inspired counter coups during the NLC and Busia periods was chronicled on postage stamps and memorialized through the erection of statues and other monuments.

The Crowing Cockerel symbol signifies the Akan phrase, Obi nnto n’akokonin mma onnkobono obi kuroso (No one buys a cock to let it crow for another person’s town). In the Ga language, the Crowing Cockerel signifies a state of alertness—Wuo gbee, La gbee (The people of La (a sub-metropolitan area of Accra) wake up to the crowing cockerel). 14 It also connotes knowing one’s position or status in society. We can extend the symbolism of these BANAL SYMBOLS OF THE NEW NATIONSTATE 25 sayings and place them in the context of Kwame Nkrumah being summoned from Britain by the UGCC in 1947 to lead the charge for Gold Coast self-government.

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