Friday, 21 September 2018

THE RIGHT WAY TO PRESERVE HISTORY: KWAME NKRUMAH MAUSOLEUM AND MEMORIAL PARK, ACCRA GHANA


I was at the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum in Accra Ghana and it was a memory I cherish so much and that is why I am willing to share it with us all. The museum is opened from 9 am-5 pm Monday-Sunday every week with entrance fees which differs among tertiary students, Ghanaian adults and foreigners.  


Pointing towards the same direction that the great Kwame Nkrumah pointed on
March 6, 1957 when Ghana got her independence

The Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum and memorial park is located in downtown Accra, Ghana. The mausoleum designed by Don Aurthur, is made up of Italian marble, with a black star at its apex to symbolize unity. It is erected in memory of Osagyefo (the Messiah) Doctor Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president and one of its founding fathers. Built on a former British polo field, it was the point where Nkrumah declared independence in 1957. The park consists of five acres of land and holds a museum tracing Nkrumah’s life. It is surrounded by water which is a symbol of life and music makers in all forms. Events are held on Independence Anniversary celebrations on March 6th and the Celebration of Emancipation Day on 1 August.



Standing at the head of the centerpiece the grave side of President Kwame Nkrumah

The park has two springs of water on both sides of the pavement walkway. The spring has seven bare chest squatting statuette flute blowers welcoming people like us, VIP’s.



By the graveside of the wife of Dr Kwame Nkrumah

The two main features of Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum are the museum and the mausoleum. The mausoleum hosts the bodies of the late Kwame Nkrumah and his wife. According to history, as at the time Kwame Nkrumah died, he was originally buried at Guinea, after then he was re buried at Nkroful, a village in the Ellembelle District in the Western Region of south Ghana, before he was later laid at his final resting sites, the mausoleum.

Admiring photos on display inside the museum 


The main edifice at the park looks more like a collection of swords, placed upside down, a sign of surrender and of peace. Others also see it as an uprooted tree signifying the unfinished work of Nkrumah. The mausoleum itself is built in a beautiful man-made island. The island is connected to the main land by two bridges.
  
Presenting a framed photo of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe and Dr Kwame Nkrumah to Mr. Edward Quaw,
Principal Curator of the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum



Visitors to the park will find the catafalque under which remains of Nkrumah has been buried raised in the middle of the park. This is decorated with carefully selected symbols reflecting the rich cultural history of Ghana and Africa.


signing the register while Mr. Edward Quaw, Principal Curator of the
Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum watches on



The museum hosts the personal belongings of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. Books he authored, photo archives, and official photographs. I saw on display photos with Pope Pius XII, Queen Elizabeth II, John F. Kennedy and many others, and as photo museum owner from Nigeria I presented to the Mausoleum a framed photograph of Dr Kwame Nkrumah and Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, taken in 1959. The gift was received by Mr. Edward Quaw, Principal Curator of the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum and Memorial Park. He told me that though they have a photo of the two great leaders, it was a thing of joy to have me come all the way from Nigeria with a gift for donation to the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, we hugged and exchange contact addresses.



Standing between the head and headless body of Dr Kwame Nkrumah


I saw the metal coffin that was donated by the people of Guinea when the remains of Nkrumah was returned from Roman to Guinea and later to Nkroful.



the head without the body of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah 

There’s also the memorial park where international dignitaries can plant a tree to commemorate their visit to the park. Since the park is right at the heart of Accra capital of Ghana visitors will not find it difficult at all locating it. By asking of the art Centre or the old polo ground alone, visitors should be able to find their way to the mausoleum. I sighted a "Lignum Vitae" (tree of Life) planted by our own Nigerian Hon. Minister of Science and Technology and a very good friend, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu.



Standing in front of President Kwame Nkrumah's official car

Another site to behold is the headless statue of Dr Nkrumah, history have it that on February 24, 1966, the government of President Kwame Nkrumah was overthrown in a coup, led by Colonel E.K. Kotoka, Major A.A. Afrifa, Lieutenant General (retired) J.A. Ankra, and Police Inspector General J.W.K. Harlley. During the coup, there were riots and destruction, one event that remained remarkable was the beheading of the statue of President Nkrumah, when I asked the Principal curator why they have not joined the head back to the body, he explained to me, that it is more historic leaving the headless body the way it is. The bronze status was originally in front of the Old Parliament House, Accra, it was vandalized during the February 24th 1966 military/Police coup d'├ętat. The head was taken away but was returned by a patriotic Ghanaian on May 28, 2009, it was mounted on the Park on September 1, 2009.


Squatting in front of "Lignum Vitae" (tree of Life) planted by our own 
Hon. Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu



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