EPUB EBook by Kwame Nkrumah
EBook DescriptionKwame Nkrumah, leader of the Ghana independence movement, endured a life of hardship in his quest for African liberation. Ghana EPUB EBook In “The Autobiography of Kwame Nkrumah” a personal account of his life is given chronologically, beginning with his birth in 1909 and finishing with the year of Ghana’s independence, 1957. Essentially the book serves as a platform for Nkrumah to explain how he went about achieving independence for the Gold Coast. Repeatedly Nkrumah stresses that people are only truly free when they have the ability to control their own lives. The book is important in that it allows the reader to experience firsthand the struggle against colonialism by reliving Nkrumah’s fascinating life. Indeed, by the end of the book the reader wholeheartedly supports Nkrumah and his fight for freedom.
The book begins with Nkrumah’s birth and several chapters are spent describing his happy childhood. He takes care in describing the culture he grew up in and the people he encountered along the way. He soon takes an interest in academics and becomes a scholar and teacher in Achimota. His life then becomes more intense whenhe travels to the United States to study at Lincoln University. He works hard, lives on little money, becomes an excellent student and later the “most outstanding professor of the year”.He eventually moves to London to pursue further education but becomes entangled with politics and decides to return home in order to fight for freedom in the Gold Coast. His beliefs are related to many other leaders in Africa as he argues, “Unless territorial freedom was ultimately linked up with the Pan African movement for the liberation of the whole African continent, there would be no hope of freedom and equality for the African and for the people of African descent in any part of the world.” (Page 36)
The second half of the book is spent on his political struggles in the Gold Coast. He rallies the people together and in 1949 forms his own political party, “The Convention People’s Party”. He summarizes his Party’s beliefs, “No race, no people, no nation, can exist freely and be respected at home and abroad without political freedom.” (page vii) Nkrumah naturally encounters resistance to these ideas, both from the British and from people within the Gold Coast. He is imprisoned by this opposition but eventually the will of the people prevails and he is released to serve as Prime Minister. The autobiography comes to a conclusion when he finally secures an independence date for Ghana; download; March 6, 1957.
Throughout the book, Nkrumah is unfailing in his belief in himself and the people he fights for, “Kwame Nkrumah would never fail them.” (page 63) He writes his autobiography with the intention of inspiring other likeminded Africans to join in the struggle against imperialism. As he describes in the introduction, “If any way it helps the cause of freedom it will have served its purpose.” His unfailing resolution that his country and Africa must be liberated is courageous sentiment and goes a long way in securing the support of the reader.
The style of the autobiography is important in the overall message as Nkrumah’s writing varies from chapter to chapter. At times, particularly in the beginning, it is written in a simplistic memoir format. Yet later chapters include detailed writings and ideas expressed by the author. Still even more interesting is near the end several chapters are speeches that Nkrumah gave. By varying the style and format of his life story, the author not only keeps the reader’s attention but illustrates the transformation that he underwent; changing from a simple village boy into one of Africa’s greatest leaders. The language at times can be complex but for the most part is easily understood. This makes his autobiography accessible to a much greater number of Africans, Nkrumah’s clear target audience. The organization of the book is also important as he structures it chronologically which makes it easy to understand. Even those who have no background knowledge of Ghanaian independence or Nkrumah can follow the text and feel connected to him. In this way, the author has clearly achieved his main goal of relating to the “people” and inspiring ideas of freedom and independence.
However, an autobiography is intrinsically biased as the reader is only privileged to information that the author is willing to divulge. In fact, Nkrumah can, at times, take on a defensive tone. Early on in the book he says, “Unfortunately, the fact that I enjoy women’s company has led to a great deal of misunderstanding from those who look at my life from outside.” (page 34) Later on he is even more self- EPUBprotective, “In fact, one of my numerous so-called crimes, according to my political opponents, is that I have introduced the party system into the country.” (page 57) The reader cannot help but wonder what the opponents would say in response to these comments. While Nkrumah is a likeable character, he is also one that cannot be completely trusted as his motivations for writing the book are clearly to gain more support.This also brings us to a question of accuracy. Nkrumah appears to have an astonishing memory, citing conversations and ideas he had when he was just a child. At times this accuracy is unnerving and frankly unbelievable.
Closer to the end of his writings, he appears paranoid. “I was quite convinced that the affair was a calculated attempt to bring my government into disrepute by suggesting that bribery and corruption were rife among those in power.” (Page 214)Later on he admits that corruption did occur with some representatives but he glosses over this fact in favour ofaccusing the opposition of conspiring against him. This paranoia provides clues into what occurred after independence. While he still stands for the same values of freeing Africa from colonialism, he emerges as a self-important ruler who knows what is best for all people. This attitude thus makes it easier for the reader to connect the amazing Nkrumah in the autobiography with the “dictator” often described in history books.
Overall this book is a must read for anyone studying African liberation movements and the leaders of said movements. It is informative, interesting, and easy to read.Depth and insight is provided into the historical factors that led to Ghana’s independence as well as the interesting figure, Kwame Nkrumah. Although parts of the book must be questioned for validity and truth, generally the book can be used as a manifesto for those on the same quest as Nkrumah, “Freedom, however, had never been handed over to any colonial country on a silver platter, it had been won only after bitter and vigorous struggles.” (page 92) It is this struggle which connects the reader to Nkrumah and despite misgivings, one cannot help but cheer Nkrumah on as he announces the newly independent state of Ghana on March 6, 1957.
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