AFRICA NOW: Ghana Anniversary Breeds Contention Over Nkrumah Legacy

Residents are celebrating the 60-year independence anniversary of Ghana. (Courtesy of alliance/dpa/T. Ridley)
Residents are celebrating the 60-year independence anniversary of Ghana. (Courtesy of alliance/dpa/T. Ridley)

It’s been 60 years since the African country of Ghana gained its independence from Great Britain. However, as citizens engage in weeklong celebrations, many residents have begun to question the legacy of Kwame Nkrumah, their founding father and former president.

Though numerous events of praise and triumph took place on March 6, Ghana’s day of independence, many residents spent time reflecting on Kwame Nkrumah’s legacy, stirring mixed opinions and emotions.

“Today, Kwame Nkrumah is a name clouded in mystery and controversy,”  Atsu Aryee, professor from the University of Ghana, said in a statement.

Though some experts say Nkrumah’s politics helped to contribute to Ghana’s current stable country, others have also noted an authoritarian style rule that in 1964 turned Ghana into a one-party state in which Nkrumah later declared himself president for life.

Nevertheless, some residents still speak fondly of Nkrumah’s passion for a pan-African union that he cited as a strong force to counter Western influence. Nkrumah is one of the founding fathers of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the predecessor of the African Union.

Model Maria Borges Becomes New Face of L’Oreal Paris

Angola-born model Maria Borges, the first black woman to walk in a Victoria’s Secret fashion show with natural hair, makes another grand statement as L’Oreal Paris signs her to their French cosmetics house, one of the biggest beauty houses in the world.

Historically showcasing blue-eyed, thin, and blonde models, L’Oreal Paris in recent months has begun to feature more diverse arrays of women including Borges, Chinese model Xiao Wen Ju and body-positive model Sabina Karlsson.

“I believe in the beauty of diversity and the empowering message that a girl who started from the bottom can be an international beauty symbol and be living proof that our dreams are valid and the future ahead of us is bright,” Borges said in a statement.

Africa’s Richest Woman Makes Plans to Leave Office

With a Forbes-estimated net worth of $3.1 billion, Africa’s richest woman, Isabel dos Santos, may be headed in the direction of resignation as chairman of the state oil firm Sonangol, possibly before Angola’s General Elections in August.

Dos Santos, who acquired the position in June through Jose Eduardo dos Santos, her father and president of Angola, is reportedly facing immense pressure from various quarters to step down amid cries of nepotism, according to The Expresso, a Portuguese newspaper.

President dos Santos, 74, has been in power since 1979 and reportedly promised last year to step down as president. As of yet, the family has not made any responses to recent questions.

About Lauren M. Poteat 92 Articles
Lauren Poteat is a versatile writer with a strong background in communications and media experience with an additional background in education and development.