Wednesday, 21 September 2011

What if Kwame Nkrumah Used Social Media?

The story of Ghana's first president, Kwame Nkrumah, continues to draw many passions years after his overthrow and death. Ghana is celebrating a holiday in his honour today and members of the Blogging Ghana community, which I belong to, are writing series of posts in his memory. Last two years, my post was on what Nkrumah's vision would have been if he was still alive, today I'm wondering how Kwame Nkrumah would use social media if he had access to these tools in his time.Would he have used these tools at all?

Kwame Nkrumah, a true African visionary, progressive and political organiser, would have easily identified the networking capabilities of social networks and deployed them in his day-to-day communications. In his day Kwame Nkrumah always found time to meditate and write. Perhaps he would have been glad to share his thoughts with the whole world through blogs. In addition, I think the president would have equally be won over by the 140-character awesomeness of Twitter to send short snippets of his everyday life to the whole world. Twitter might therefore be his social media of choice.

His possible handles might be @KwameNkrumah, @Osagyefo @Nkrumah. I can't imagine a geeky Nkrumah, so he'd probably use one of the foregoing.

Some of Nkrumah's coveted quotes likely could have emerged first as tweets, with some carefully selected hashtags in attendance:

The independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of the African continent #Freedom #AfricaMustUnite #Africa
We cannot afford to sit still and be submissive onlookers of technological change #Sci4D #Technology
We face neither east nor west, we face forward #NonAlignment #SelfDeterminism #TotalIndependece
Nkrumah's work was known to have been inspired by the likes of Marcus Garvey, Nnamdi Azikwe, Mahatma Ghandi and W.E.B Du Bois. He'd probably have retweeted them copiously:

RT @Garvey There shall be no solution to this race problem until you, yourselves, strike the blow for liberty.

RT @Zik you talk I listen, you listen I talk>>> Great lesson, sir.  #debate #understanding

RT @Ghandi Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.
RT @WEBDubois: Believe in life! Always human beings will live and progress to greater, broader, and fuller life.
I won't be surprised if he sent out a few thoughts running through his mind, as we often encounter in social media circles. 
On the eve of independence: Feeling a bit nervous. I can't believe what we fought for has been won #GhanaisFree #Indece #6Mar57cc: @Gbedemah @Botsio @Busia

When Akosombo Dam was built: I can't wait to inaugurate this dam. The power generated from this facility will propel our industrialisation and development efforts.

Or when he was overthrown: I can't believe my people have deserted me. Ghana and Africa are in trouble. :(.
And many would have retweeted. Happy holidays!


  1. You have captured this well. You've written an article based on twitter. Love this. And yes, Nkrumah would have employed social media tools but I think per his uneasiness and distrust of the US establishments he might tweet with caution.

  2. Thanks, NFA. Yours is a useful advice for us all: "tweet with caution".

  3. Great post! It got me laughing and thinking. One thing I must also say is that, Nkrumah's tweets would have always been among the "TOP TWEETS" and would trend all day.

  4. Yes oh, Nana, top tweets, I tell you. :).

  5. He sure would have a huge following on twitter.
    I like the tweet to @Garvey

  6. Thanks, Think-About-It. You have a very interesting name.

  7. Nice piece, but come think of it what do you think would have been his views on content regulation?

  8. Your best post yet!!

  9. @Anon, methinks he would have preferred content that promoted national unity and favoured central planning.

    @kojo t, thanks. Much appreciated!

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  11. I just saw this. This is soo good, Gameli. Thumbs up


Keep comments and insights coming to get the discussion going!