Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first President, had a different perspective on the institution called marriage. He never believed in it.
He stated during his lifetime that, he did not marry Fathia Halim Rizk [Helena Ritz Fathia Nkrumah] for himself but for the Presidency and Republic of Ghana.
While couples have friendliness and companionship within their marriages, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, indicated that despite getting married to Fathia, he still found himself lonely, friendless and companionless.
He said, the loneliness that he suffered was very intense that, it made him sometimes burst into tears.
He noted that, he thought marriage would have solved an intense loneliness that he suffered, but it did not – it intensified and complicated it.
As Ghana marks the golden jubilee of the passing of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah on Wednesday, April 27, 2022, the media chanced upon experts of two letters he [Osagyefo] wrote to Shirley du Bois and Erica Powell regarding the institution of marriage.
In a letter written in November 1964 to Shirley du Bois, head of the Ghana Television Service, on the subject of his family’s privacy, Nkrumah wrote:
“Marriage does not exist in nature and does not warrant the importance that has come to be attached to it. It is a bourgeois imposition, a mere contrivance set up as a matter of human convenience for the protection of inheritance rights, capitalists and property owners.”
In another letter written in August 1965 to Erica Powell, his private secretary, then away in London, Nkrumah said:
“Have you noticed that…I’m a very lonely man? I’m friendless and companionless. I suffer from intense loneliness which makes me sometimes burst into tears. I am an isolated man – isolated even from life itself. Few people know this.
“They see me in public smiling and laughing, not knowing the burden of loneliness and isolation that I carry. Marriage did not solve it – it has rather intensified and complicated it. You know I didn’t want to get married. You know my views on the subject. Did I ever tell you that I married not for myself but for the presidency?”
Confirming the write-up under a post on Facebook, Dr. Sekou Nkrumah, one of the sons of Osagyefo said, he believed his late father had this mindset about marriage because of “his radical and revolutionary thoughts that he was able to achieve so much during his lifetime.”
“Very correct sir! You don’t even need to confirm the source, that was Nkrumah’s mindset. And I believe it is precisely because of his radical and revolutionary thoughts that he was able to achieve so much during his lifetime!” Sekou Nkrumah said.
Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah married Fathia Nkrumah in 1957. They were blessed with three children; Gamal, Samia and Sekou.
Kwame Nkrumah died in Bucharest, Romania, at age 62 on April 27, 1972, while battling cancer. Fathia, on the other hand, died on May 31, 2007, at Badrawy Hospital in Cairo due to a stroke.
Dr. Nkrumah was overthrown by a coup led by Col. Emmanuel Kwasi Kotoka on February 24, 1966. He was out of the country when his administration was ousted. Dr Kwame Nkrumah was also the country’s first Prime Minister.