Nkrumah Memorial Day
FOUNDERS’ DAY, History of Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day |
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When is Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day?
This statutory public holiday is celebrated on September 21st. If September 21st falls on a weekend, the following Monday will be observed as a holiday.
This holiday commemorates the birthday of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first President.
Prior to the passing of the Public Holiday Amendment Bill into law in March 2019, the holiday on September 21st was known as Founders’ Day. Founder’s Day will now be celebrated with a public holiday on August 4th.
History of Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day
In 1874, Britain took control over parts of Ghana, naming them the British Gold Coast.
Britain was weakened by the efforts of World War II and following a rising desire for independence, Ghana was the first sub-Saharan African country to achieve independence, on March 6th 1957.
Dr. Nkrumah was the driving force behind the independence of Ghana from British rule and founded the Convention People’s Party (CPP).
Nkrumah will always be remembered for the powerful speech he delivered on the day Ghana gained independence, March 6th 1957, proclaiming “Ghana will be free forever”, from British rule, to millions of Ghanaian gathered at the Independence Square now Black Stars Square. The speech was significant as it relinquished the British control over the Gold coast.
In 1960, Prime Minister Osagyefo Dr. Kwame was sworn into office as the first President of the country and the republic was proclaimed on July 1st 1960.
In February 1966, while Nkrumah on a state visit to Vietnam and China, his government was overthrown in a military coup. Nkrumah never returned to Ghana and died in April 1972.
In September 2009, President John Atta Mills declared September 21st (the centenary of Kwame Nkrumah’s birth in 1909) to be Founder’s Day, a statutory holiday in Ghana.
Nkrumah designed the national flag of Ghana. Its design was inspired by Ethiopia’s green-yellow-red Lion of Judah flag with the lion replaced by a black star. Red symbolizes bloodshed and struggle; green stands for beauty and agriculture; yellow represents mineral wealth; and the Black Star represents African freedom.
How is Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day Celebrated?
The day is marked with lectures and events to commemorate the achievements and legacy of Dr. Nkrumah.