WREATH – LAYING CEREMONY in honour of 3 pan African pioneers – W.E. Dubois, George Padmore and Dr Kwame Nkrumah took place on Wednesday 24th July 2019. 4 wreaths were placed at each venue on behalf of: – Government and People of Ghana, Traditional Authorities, The global African Family, The Youth of Africa.
Unfortunately, due to leaving home late and Accra traffic I did not attend the first wreath laying ceremony in honour of W.E. Dubois at the DuBois centre for Pan Africa Culture. Guests in attendance amongst Government tourism officials were US ambassador Stephanie Sullivan and American actress AJ Johnson.
Therefore, detoured to the next wreath laying ceremony which took place at the George Padmore Research Library. Malcolm Ivan Meredith Nurse knows as George Padmore was born in Trinadad on 28th June 1903. His paternal great-grandfather was an Asante warrior, taken prisoner and sold into slavery in Barbados, where his grandfather was born. A known political activist and supporter of Kwame Nkrumah’s notions of an independent Africa. In his later years he settled in London where he died of illness on 23rd September 1959. But in his honour by Dr Nkrumah his ashes were buried in Ghana at Christianborg Castle on October 1959.
Short and pleasant speeches, flute players followed by a lighting of flame to commemorate with the 4 wreaths being laid at the front of his memorial plaque by honorable guests.
Not wasting any time, I made my way to the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum & Memorial park to witness the honouring of Dr Kwame Nkrumah. Born 21st September 1909. A politician, revolutionary and activist who was influenced by Marcus Garveys black leadership and liberation of the people ethos. A figure head of the Big 6 that were instrumental for the independence of Ghana in 1959 from Britain – thereafter, becoming the first president of the Republic of Ghana.
A large gathering congregated under red and black draped covers.
There were many speeches with powerful messages and solidarity statements from guest speakers from Caribbean, USA, UK, and government officials in Ghana.
Welcome address by Alhaji Abubakari Issah Osman
“mental shackles remain here today – why do we accept Europe profile, we need to break away “
Key address speaker relayed messages to celebrate the African spirit and the fighting spirit of our ancestors. Remember to celebrate freedom and the family reunion, be it in Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados, Brazil, Cuba, USA – but we are all from Africa. Take a moment for reflection and remember the Pan African pioneers.
Esi Sutherland shared history and movement and acknowledged the strength and achievement of African descent. Learn the lessons of our founding mothers and fathers. Value the what we are and who we are. Africa to unite around strength. Did not come easy: struggle, conscious living, mutual affirmation.
Steven Golding (son of a former prime minister of Jamaica)
Quoted Peter Tosh – no matter where you come from, you are a black man.
He literate that history of an African has dark chapters. There has been a loss of identity and culture that made us African, children have been robbed of religion and identity There is a need to bring back the children, as we stand on the shoulders of others. One God, One aim, One destiny.
Dr Thomas Mensah a inventor, fibre-optics pioneer and Nanotechnology expert notion is to create an African amusement park in Ghana that is dedicated to black heroes and sheroes. He spoke about making a movie and also a cruise as a voyage of celebration retracing paths of the trans Atlantic slave trade – but in a reverses gestor of dressing in style instead of in shackles as we are free. We chanted ‘The right stuff comes in black too’ which is the title of his book.
Sitting down listening to the speeches I could hear people saying how hot it is – I was like – “some people have
to pay for this oooo”. Making do with one bottle of water, I was not complaining – as the natural energy from the sun, speeches of solidarity and being amongst my people honouring our pioneers kept my upright and attentive throughout the ceremony. We were entertained at interludes of the speeches by Nana Kyerematen of the African studies music department, the National Symphony orchestral and a choir all the way from Jamaica.
However, when I heard the drums and being entertained by the National Dance company from the Northern region with traditional dances – I could not sit in my chair as they performed.
After the speeches and entertainment, the last act for the day was to lay the wreaths in honour of Dr Kwame Nkrumah by his statue. ‘Forward Ever, Backward Never’
The wreath laying ceremony will be followed by Panafest – a 9 day programme taking place in Cape Coast. Which I will also partake.
bless Sister E – (Naa Dzamah)