THE AFRICAN TRIPOD: Nkrumah; Annan; Mandela
The year was 2002. I was Member of Parliament (MP) for Berekum and Deputy Minister for Local Government. For some strange reason, I spent all day in the office of my boss, Kwadwo Baah Wiredu, the Minister.
At about 4pm he released me to go to my own office – just as I entered, the Minister's Secretary came up: “Captain, the Minister says you should come.”
“But I just left his office?” I protested, and followed her. When I entered, he told me: “Captain, follow this man to some function and represent me. You can handle it. Go now, you are very late!”
Straight from his office I followed the man, almost like a sheep, sat in my car, and followed him right to the Teacher's Hall. When I entered the foyer, about six gentlemen stood up…. “Ah, the Minister has come: Let us go…”
Without one word from anybody I followed and entered the main hall to see a full house, so many television cameras – I was escorted to the High Table, sat down, and the programme began – opening prayers – “Oh my God – so what am I supposed to do here in front of these paparazzi?” There was no printed programme, nothing.
As the opening prayer was going on, I raised my head to see a big banner behind the High Table: Public Lecture, Chairman Hon Kwadwo Baah Wiredu…” Very well! So I am here representing the Minister as Chairman of a public lecture.
Reader, it was, has been, and remains the greatest public lecture I have ever attended in my three score years on earth. It was delivered by the famous Reverend Bening, Founder of Living Bible Testimonies Ministry at Kasoa.
He said Almighty God Our Heavenly Father, after creation, decided to create ANGELS for the sole purpose of PRAISING Him. He created LUCIFER as the Archangel, and used bright minerals to make him. Lucifer, together with some angels, rebelled against the authority of the ALMIGHTY GOD, so they were driven out of Heaven.
In replacement, Almighty God created the human being. But, this time, used raw dust, ordinary soil, to create man – and instead of bright minerals to make him proud, God made him soot BLACK!!!
So, according to Reverend Bening, the first living mortal on earth was BLACK from Adam through his generations to the time of NOAH. The floods destroyed the entire human life on earth and the black Noah and his children and their wives were in the Ark for THREE years.
By the time they came out of the Ark, the skin pigmentation had changed to light skin, but God deliberately kept HAM and his son CUSH black as patriarchs of the black race.
So, according to Rev Bening, the BLACK RACE is NOT Cursed. We are NOT backward, we are NOT primitive, but we have been reduced to our current stupor as a result of deliberate man-made designs, to repress us, explicit us, rape us and keep us in perpetual bondage, so went the lecture.
My mindset underwent a major transformation thereafter.
I began to understand the famous British journalist turned historian, BASIL DAVIDSON, and his writing on Africa: Great African Leaders, but unsung – the Pharaoh Tutankhamen of Egypt (which means BLACK); the greatest Asantehene in history OPOKU WARE I, ASKIA the Great, CHAKA the Zulu, and the Carthaginian Empire which flourished for 700 years until it was destroyed by Rome, conquerors of Spain, CATALONIA…
The first post slavery African statesman of blessed memory is the legendary KWAME NKRUMAH, who spearheaded the struggle for independence for Gold Coast and opened the floodgates for global decolonisation.
According to published records, President Nkrumah's government and all his gigantic Africa revolutionary ideas were brought to a halt as a result of a CIA masterminded grand design.
He died in far away Bucharest, Romania, in 1972, but his name lives on in the heart of every African child.
The minority expatriate settlers in South Africa voted in 1948 to introduce “separate development” for whites, as opposed to blacks, called “Apartheid”, and when a black lawyer, Nelson Mandela, bitterly opposed this obnoxious dehumanising policy, he was arrested, tried and jailed, and he spent 10,000 days in prison, becoming over time the human symbol of the black race.
All over the world, “Free Mandela Movement” sprung up, including a famous reggae beat by Jimmy Cliff. Finally, popular opinion in the USA forced the American senate to impose sanctums on the ever-increasingly isolated apartheid regime, and they capitulated and released Nelson Mandela.
He became President of a free South Africa for only one term and refused to go for a second term. He died a hero, mourned by mankind all over the world.
And now comes to complete the African tripod, KOFI ANNAN, a black Ghanaian-born diplomat who rose through the ranks, through dint of hard work, to become the Secretary General of the United Nations.
Since the formation of the UNO in San Francisco in 1945, there is the loose convention that the topmost civil servant of the organisation must rotate from continent to continent every eight years.
When it came to the turn of Africa, the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Boutros Boutros Ghali, served for only four years and he had problems with the USA, whose Ambassador to the UN said “Boutros Boutros Ghali does not know whether he is a SECRETARY or a GENERAL of the UN.” So America refused to endorse his second turn.
So, to finish his four years, the UN, under the Secretary General in charge of Peacekeeping Operations, KOFI ANNAN, easily stepped into his shoes.
After serving for four years, he argued that it is NOT that the position rotates every eight years, but that the person holding that office served for two terms – and, at any rate, he was doing well holding the world together, so why not allow him to go a second term, thereby giving Africa 12 years on the top job.
And now, KOFI ANNAN the Immortal has also crossed the River of Life into eternity. It will take another 50 years, a whole generation, before another African becomes UN Secretary General.
And so I look at the African Tripod – President Nkrumah, President Mandela and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan – these are captains in world history. Their names inspire hope and confidence for tomorrow.
Almighty God loves the black race, so we will NEVER perish from the surface of the earth, as long as time endures.
In the bushes of Sokoko Nigeria, and on the banks of River Congo down through the Kalahari Desert, future Kwame Nkrumahs, Kofi Annans and Nelson Mandelas are playing barefooted in the dusty winds, but, as days wear into weeks, months and years, they will come into their own.
Long live Africa.
To God be the Glory.