Every 21 September is Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day in Ghana. This holiday commemorates the birthday of Ghana’s main independence leader, first prime minister, and first president, Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah.
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This holiday on 21 September was previously known as Founders’ Day. However, there has long been a movement in Ghana to celebrate 4 August as Founders’ Day instead of or in addition to 21 September. This is because there were six main independence leaders, not just one. And many others contributed to securing Ghana’s freedom as well. THis movement has succeeded, and the holiday on 21 September has now been renamed as Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day, with a new public holiday on 4 August added to the national calendar.
Nkrumah was prime minister just before and after Ghana gained its independence from the British Empire in 1957. And he was the major force pushing for independence with the most influence. He then became the nation’s first president upon the passing of a new constitution in 1960.
Kwame Nkrumah spent 12 years abroad, acquiring an education and organising before returning to his home country, founding a political party, and leading the independence movement.
Nkrumah put socialistic policies in place during his time in office, and he also undertook many big national projects to strengthen the economy and the educational system. But in 1966, he was thrown out of office by the National Liberation Council, which also privatised some state-owned corporations.
Despite being a controversial figure in Ghana’s history and the controversy surrounding Nkrumah alone among Ghana’s founders getting a special day of recognition, many people in Ghana watch parades, listen to speeches, and remember Nkrumah’s positive achievement every 21 September.