The Making and Breaking of Kwame Nkrumah: The Role of Oral Poetry

Exploiting forms of folklors to serve the ends of modern politics is evidently done to appeal to the romantic disposition of the broad masses of people through channels that have been influential in the past. This article examines the various ways in which the wisdom of the folk was exploited to shape the destiny of Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana. Notably, it examines the role of Nkrumah’s personal poet, who helped in crystallizing the mystery surrounding Nkrumah by extolling his virtues and uplifting his ego. However, when Nkrumah after some years turned into a tyrant, oral poetry played a role in breaking him. – Notes.

Title: The Making and Breaking of Kwame Nkrumah: The Role of Oral Poetry
Author: Yankah, Kwesi
Year: 1985
Periodical: Journal of African Studies (UCLA)
Volume: 12
Issue: 2
Period: Summer
Pages: 86-92
Language: English
Geographic term: Ghana
About person: Francis Nwia Kofie Nkrumah (1909-1972)
Abstract: Exploiting forms of folklors to serve the ends of modern politics is evidently done to appeal to the romantic disposition of the broad masses of people through channels that have been influential in the past. This article examines the various ways in which the wisdom of the folk was exploited to shape the destiny of Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana. Notably, it examines the role of Nkrumah’s personal poet, who helped in crystallizing the mystery surrounding Nkrumah by extolling his virtues and uplifting his ego. However, when Nkrumah after some years turned into a tyrant, oral poetry played a role in breaking him. – Notes.