Vigil, concert herald Nkrumah’s centenary
Story: ABDUL AZIZ
A WELL-ATTENDED musical concert and poetry recital in Accra on Sunday night ushered in activities marking the centenary birthday of Ghana’s first President, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
The vigil, which was held at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, attracted people from all walks of life, prominent them being Rita Marley, the widow of the late Jamaican reggae icon Bob Marley; Prof. Akilikpa Sawyerr, Chairman of the Centenary Planning Committee; Dr. Efua Sutherland-Addy, Mr. Kwesi Pratt Jnr., Dr. Nii Noi Dowuona, all of the Centenary Planning Committee; and Mr. Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa, a Deputy Minister of Information.
Rita Marley, who read a solidarity message from Jamaica, repeated what here late husband said about mental slavery and urged Africans to free themselves from mental slavery, since nobody would undertake that project except Africans themselves.
The artists who won the admiration of the crowd in poetry recital included Akora Yaw, a local poet, and Mr. Lantey Lamptey, who did his poetry recital in Ga for Dr. Nkrumah, as well as the Unity Brass Ensemble.
The widow of Salifu Dagarti, the security guard who laid his life in order for Dr. Nkrumah to survive an attack at the Flagstaff House, also addressed the crowd.
She advised Ghanaians to learn to take good care of their leaders, saying that Kwame Nkrumah was a leader who, Ghanaians failed to take good care of and therefore lost him.
Mr. Ablakwa said the Government was excited that the celebration of the birthday had involved people from all the political parties in a national manner.
He said Kwame Nkrumah stood for social justice and equity and urged Ghanaian to take a cue from the ideals of Dr. Nkrumah to ensure development, peace and progress in the country.
Mr. Ablakwa commended the Centenary Planning Committee, the youth and the media for patronizing activities marking the centenary birthday and urged Ghanaians to recommit themselves to peace and progress, which had been the hallmark of Dr. Nkrumah.
Dr. Sutherland-Addy commended the groups who on their own volition, undertook the candle procession through the principal streets of Accra, culminating in the vigil, saying that the country had once mobilized itself for development and could repeat the feat this time around.
She said Ghanaians could learn from the path Dr. Nkrumah carved for the country, adding that even thought he path could be crooked, Ghanaians had the responsibility to straighten the crookedness and not neglect the path completely.
The vigil was climaxed by the lightening of candles and as the event came to an end the circle area was thrown into a carnival with people drumming and dancing while they dispersed to their various home and other places of abode.
DAILY GRAPHIC - Page: 25 TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2009