Marriage is overrated; I married not for myself but Ghana - Nkrumah said in old letter

Ghana’s first President, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s old lamentation about how he suffered "intense loneliness" despite being married has surfaced online.

Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah with Fathia

The statements, which have been confirmed by his son, Sekou Nkrumah, as the true words of his father, have sparked reactions on Ghanaian social media.

In the statements, said to be contained in separate letters, Nkrumah said that he married Fathia Halim Rizk [Helena Ritz Fathia Nkrumah] not for himself, but for the presidency and Ghana.

"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," Nkrumah is quoted to have said in a letter written in August 1965 to his private secretary, Erica Powell.

He shared his opinion about marriage, saying it is overrated and does not deserve the importance attached to it.


"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," he said in another letter written in November 1964 to Shirley du Bois, who was head of the Ghana Television Service.

A Facebook user, Charles Takyi-Boadu, asked Sekou Nkrumah to confirm the statements being attributed to his father.

Sekou then wrote: "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!"


Ghana will be marking the golden jubilee of the passing of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah on Wednesday, April 27, 2022.


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