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Last updated: 01 March, 2007 - Published 15:40 GMT
 
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The backlash
 
These are the pages of a pamphlet, "What was wrong with Nkrumah" published in 1972 by Ghana's state publishing corporation.

This type of propaganda material was produced by the government of the day following Nkrumah's overthrow in 1966. Many thanks to Vera Kwakofi for the use of the pamphlet.

A cartoon depicting a hungry Ghanaian being urged to tighten his belt further by a corpulent boss man

The corpulent character representing Nkrumah's regime is laughingly urging a skeletal Ghana figure to tighten his belt. Ghana complains that his belt has been tightened year-on-year since 1957, the year of independence.

Throughout the pamphlet there is a question and answer format intended to debunk any 'myths' about the former president.

Upturned headless statue of Nkrumah

Photographs in the pamphlet are intended depict the folly of Nkrumah's rule and communicate that Ghana is better off without him. This image of a headless upturned statue of Nkrumah gets the point across.

A cartoon of Nkrumah consulting a Juju oracle

This cartoon ridicules Nkrumah's rumoured superstitions and depicts him naked, consulting his oracle to get help with his pan-African dream. As he kneels before the juju figure he says "Let the people of Africa accept my word as their new messiah - their president to be".

A building commissioned by Nkrumah

To undermine his legacy, the government of the day wants to communicate to Ghanaians that his grand projects are overly grandiose and wasteful. This construction, the caption tells us, was nick-named IOU.

An empty motorway

The pamphlet keeps returning to the theme of Nkurmah's supposed wastefulness of Ghanaian funds. The caption reads: "The £3.8 million concrete motor-way which rarely attracts any traffic."

A cartoon of Nkrumah trying to keep track of the new from his exile in Guinea

After he was removed from power, Nkrumah took up residence in Guinea. This cartoon lampoons him as paranoid and overcome by all the negative coverage that is being broadcast about him.

A group of Young Pioneers on parade

"His Young Pioneers of the treacherous Hitler youth style - who were they to follow - God or Nkrumah?" is the caption here.

Thunderbird car

Extravagance and womanising were two vices Nkrumah was accused of by his enemies; this caption manages the double whammy. "The thunder without the bird - Kwame Nkrumah's gift - a £2,500 Ford convertible Thunderbird to one of his numerous mistresses".

Kwame Nkrumah photographed looking contemplative in the desert

"Kwame Nrumah pretending to be fasting and meditating in the wilderness". A caption intended to dent any religious credentials the former leader had for Ghanaians.

cartoon depicting an abused chain-gang

Accusations of totalitarianism were common in Nkrumah's later years and as its pay-off this pamphlet's back cover carries a cartoon of "the way Nkrumah treated his political opponents in his detention camps."


 
 
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