Birthday: 1909-09-21 · Known For: Acting
Kwame Nkrumah married Fathia Ritzk, an Egyptian Coptic bank worker and former teacher, on the evening of her arrival in Ghana: New Year's Eve, 1957–1958. Fathia's mother refused to bless their marriage, due to reluctance to see another one of her children leave with a foreign husband.As a married couple, the Nkrumah family had three children: Gamal (born 1959), Samia (born 1960), and Sekou (born 1963). Gamal is a newspaper journalist, while Samia and Sekou are politicians. Nkrumah also has another son, Francis, a paediatrician (born 1962). There appears to be another son, Onsy Anwar Nathan Kwame Nkrumah, born to an Egyptian mother and an additional daughter, Elizabeth. Onsy's claim to be Nkrumah's son is disputed by Nkrumah's other children.
Gold Coast. Kwame Nkrumah was born on 21 September 1909 in Nkroful, Gold Coast (now in Ghana) to a poor and illiterate family. Nkroful was a small village in the Nzema area, in the far southwest of the Gold Coast, close to the frontier with the French colony of the Ivory Coast. His father did not live with the family, but worked in Half Assini where he pursued his goldsmith business until his death. Kwame Nkrumah was raised by his mother and his extended family, who lived together in traditional fashion, with more distant relatives often visiting. He lived a carefree childhood, spent in the village, in the bush, and on the nearby sea. By the naming customs of the Akan people, he was given the name Kwame, the name given to males born on a Saturday. During his years as a student in the United States, though, he was known as Francis Nwia Kofi Nkrumah, Kofi being the name given to males born on Friday. He later changed his name to Kwame Nkrumah in 1945 in the UK, preferring the name "Kwame". According to Ebenezer Obiri Addo in his study of the future president, the name "Nkrumah", a name traditionally given to a ninth child, indicates that Kwame likely held that place in the house of his father, who had several wives.His father, Opanyin Kofi Nwiana Ngolomah, came from Nkroful, belonging to Akan tribe of the Asona clan. Sources indicated that Ngolomah stayed at Tarkwa-Nsuaem and dealt in goldsmith business. In addition, Ngolomah was respected for his wise counsel by those who sought his advice on traditional issues and domestic affairs. He died in 1927.Kwame was the only child of his mother. Nkrumah's mother sent him to the elementary school run by a Catholic mission at Half Assini, where he proved an adept student. A German Roman Catholic priest by the name of George Fischer was said to have profoundly influenced his elementary school education. Although his mother, whose name was Elizabeth Nyanibah (1876/77–1979), later stated his year of birth was 1912, Nkrumah wrote that he was born on 21 September 1909. Nyanibah, who hailed from Nsuaem and belongs to the Agona family, was a fishmonger and petty trader when she married his father. Eight days after his birth, his father named him as Francis Nwia-Kofi after a relative but later his parents named him as Francis Kwame Ngolomah. He progressed through the ten-year elementary programme in eight years. By about 1925 he was a student-teacher in the school, and had been baptized into the Catholic faith. While at the school, he was noticed by the Reverend Alec Garden Fraser, principal of the Government Training College (soon to become Achimota School) in the Gold Coast's capital, Accra. Fraser arranged for Nkrumah to train as a teacher at his school. Here, Columbia-educated deputy headmaster Kwegyir Aggrey exposed him to the ideas of Marcus Garvey and W. E. B. Du Bois. Aggrey, Fraser, and others at Achimota taught that there should be close co-operation between the races in governing the Gold Coast, but Nkrumah, echoing Garvey, soon came to believe that only when the black race governed itself could there be harmony between the races.After obtaining his teacher's certificate from the Prince of Wales' College at Achimota in 1930, Nkrumah was given a teaching post at the Roman Catholic primary school in Elmina in 1931, and after a year there, was made headmaster of the school at Axim. In Axim, he started to get involved in politics and founded the Nzima Literary Society. In 1933, he was appointed a teacher at the Catholic seminary at Amissano. Although the life there was strict, he liked it, and considered becoming a Jesuit. Nkrumah had heard journalist and future Nigerian president Nnamdi Azikiwe speak while a student at Achimota; the two men met and Azikiwe's influence increased Nkrumah's interest in black nationalism. The young teacher decided to further his education. Azikiwe had attended Lincoln University, a historically black college in Chester County, Pennsylvania, west of Philadelphia, and he advised Nkrumah to enroll there . Nkrumah, who had failed the entrance examination for London University, gained funds for the trip and his education from relatives. He traveled by way of Britain, where he learned, to his outrage, of Italy's invasion of Ethiopia, one of the few independent African nations. He arrived in the United States, in October 1935. United States. According to historian John Henrik Clarke in his article on Nkrumah's American sojourn, "the influence of the ten years that he spent in the United States would have a lingering effect on the rest of his life." Nkrumah had sought entry to Lincoln University some time before he began his studies there. On 1 March 1935, he sent the school a letter noting that his application had been pending for more than a year. When he arrived in New York in October 1935, he traveled to Pennsylvania, where he enrolled despite lacking the funds for the full semester. He soon won a scholarship that provided for his tuition a
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