Two weeks into March, the month dedicated as Ghana month, I have been searching for something convincingly Ghanaian which has some aroma of true Ghanaian to relate to. Or was it a misrepresentation to call it Ghana month?

I thought of taking a trip on a commuter bus, popularly known as “tro-tro” to an unknown destination just to gauge the mood on such buses. I wanted to experience the real conversation and what people are talking about in a month Ghana won its freedom from colonial rule.

On reflection, I decided to abandon the trip because what was topical currently was a foregone conclusion. With the announcement on increases in fuel cost at the pumps and consequently, transport fares, the likelihood of discussions being centred around those issues and the impact on livelihoods were high. 

Social and conventional media were all and indeed had started discussing the same depressing news of fuel price increase and its related hardships on the people.

Search

I went back to the archives for something more exciting. I focused my search on what the news of 6th March 1957 and thereabout presented to Ghanaians at the time.  

The Graphic newspaper of 9th March 1957 gave me a clue. It had something, a story so exhilarating and akin to Ghana’s proverbial characteristic of hospitality and the spirit of one good turn deserving another.  

My eyes glittered and my heart was so enlightened as I read a story entitled, “PM washed the dishes for her”. The headline did justice. Inquisitive, it enticed me to read on and to find out more.

The story was about Ghana’s first prime minister, the first President of this Republic, Dr Kwame Nkrumah.  

His books and memoirs always present some refreshing insights into his life.  A real attraction to not drop the book but continue reading on. The story of washing dishes for his landlady while as a student in the United Kingdom was catching my eye for the first time and definitely presented a clue to interesting reading.

The said story is taken from his book, “Ghana”. 

Invitation

When he became Prime Minister of Ghana, Dr Nkrumah, among the personal guests he invited to the independence celebration on 6th March 1957, was his landlady in the UK, Mrs Florence Manley.  

On top of the invite, Dr Nkrumah paid for Mrs Manley’s ticket to Ghana in appreciation of the hospitality shown him by this former landlady.  She was accompanied to Ghana by her daughter Christine. 

Reading the story, I got intrigued that even for the size of the room that he rented, he felt comfortable and that became his home for the two years he was in London from 1945 to 1947.  The terms of the rent were 30 shillings a week without meals.

But guess what?  Hospitality was at its best.  According to Dr. Nkrumah, the family was extremely kind to the extent that whatever time he got in, he knew that he would find something left in the oven as dinner for him.

In return, Dr. Nkrumah insisted that the dirty dishes from every day’s cooking were left for him to wash up when he got home.  He did the washing up regularly without a grudge, sometimes reaching home after 12 midnight. 

Having read the story, I thought to myself that on the occasion of another Ghana month, it was just rife for me, on the back of this information published by the Graphic 65 years ago, to applaud the Ghanaian spirit of hospitality and reward, exemplified by our first Prime Minister and President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah.

If I had an altar to preach on this Ghana month, following from the month of love, I would have used this spirit exhibited by student Kwame Nkrumah to his former landlady to express a point.  I would have amplified one message –  that one good turn deserves another.

As he climbed the ladder taking up the highest position in his country and a historic one as such, he remembered his journey to grace and those who helped him along.  The spirit of gratitude was exemplified in him.

May the Ghana month rekindle love and patriotism for the nation of Ghana.  May the month bring forth to us the habits and practices that will help make Ghana great and strong.