By Spy Uganda
There’s an interesting narrative surrounding the birth and childhood of Ghana’s first President, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
Undoubtedly, Dr. Nkrumah’s role in establishing Ghana as an independent country free from the control of British Colonial rule cannot be understated.
With his Pan-Africanism ideals, he fought for the liberation of Ghana, together with 5 others; Ebenezer Ako-Adjei, Edward Akufo-Addo, Joseph Boakye Danquah, Emmanuel Obetsebi-Lamptey and William Ofori-Atta.
This made Ghana the first country on the continent to gain independence from colonial rule. Beyond this, he went on to spearhead the liberation of other African Countries from colonial rule.
All over the world, he is still remembered for his Pan-Africanism and political works but beyond that, Nkrumah had a fascinating side according to oral history, one that portrayed him as an exceptional man with somewhat supernatural abilities.
In his hometown; Nkroful, many stories have been told about the man who was recognized as rather unique right from birth.
According to history, Nkrumah, was born on September 21, 1909, to mother, Elizabeth Nyaniba, and father, Kofi Nwiana Ngolomah.
Per oral narrative, Nkrumah was born on the day his grandmother was being buried. His mother, Nyaniba who was pregnant during the final funeral rites was cooking for guests when she fell into labour. In the absence of any hospitals or medical facilities at the time, she was helped by local midwives.
Though the plan was to get into the room to give birth, history indicates that she stopped at a point [where his body lays now] and was delivered.
Kafui Dei the caretaker of the Kwame Nkrumah Museum in Nkroful, Steven Tandoh narrating circumstances surrounding Nkrumah’s birth to ace broadcaster, said that when he was born, Nkrumah didn’t cry as is usual of a healthy baby that is delivered and his breath was shallow.
Worried by this, his family tried making noise using various means to revive the child whom they feared may have experienced some complications.
Steven Tandoh indicates that one of Nkrumah’s aunt suggested that he be fed as part of efforts to revive him.
“One of the aunties who helped in delivering suggested that, if the baby is not crying then they should feed him with ripe banana. So they brought the ripe banana and started feeding him with the ripe banana. So after giving him the banana, he started crying. So the day Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was delivered, that same day, he ate banana,” Tandoh said.
The Story Of Nkrumah & The Mudfish:
Beyond this, the story has also been told about how Nkrumah exhibited mysterious spiritual abilities as a baby.
Oral history has it that, Dr. Nkrumah has great links with River Subile, located in Nkroful in the Western Region and also called Kwame Nkrumah’s River.
Per history, Nkrumah was clutched behind his mother at the back when he was 2 years old, crossing the river to the farm.
He stopped his mother in the middle of the journey and told her she had stepped on a mudfish.
Much to the surprise of his mother, she found the mudfish and therefore caught it and took it home to show Nkrumah’s father and tell him what had happened.
His father subsequently consulted a traditional priest about the matter as was the norm in the days and was instructed to go back home and prepare the fish for Nkrumah to eat alone.
It was also prophesied that Nkrumah will become a great person both in Ghana, Africa, and the world at large.
Nkrumah Revives Dried Subile River With His Staff & Cup Of Water:
Residents in Nkroful have also shared the story of how Nkrumah revived a ‘dying’ River Subile. According to Steven Tandoh, the river used to be a source of protein for Dr. Nkrumah who set many fish traps in there and had people who caught the fishes to use for meals for him whenever he returned to his hometown at the time he was still prime minister.
One of the times when he returned home, he was told the river was dried and that was when he went to perform libation to bring back the water.
Steven Tandoh said, “This River was also named after Nkrumah because he performed libation there.
He was having fish traps in this river, that anytime he came back, they used to catch the fishes and prepare something for him. One day, he was in Accra and he told the family that he will be coming here. When he came, the river was dried so he went home to fetch one cup of water and as he came, he came with his walking stick.
So he put the walking stick on the ground, and started praying, and pouring water in the form of libation. When he finished, it started raining, it filled the river and from that time till now, the river has never dried up again,” he said.