The Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, also known as the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park (KNMP) is said to be the last resting place of the first President of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. It is dedicated to him for his outstanding campaign to liberate Ghana (by then Gold Coast) from colonial rule in 6th March,1957. The memorial complex was dedicated in 1992, and is situated on the site of the former British colonial polo grounds in Accra.
The entrance to the site starts on 28th February High Street just along the coast from Independence Square. It is located directly opposite the old Parliament House now known as the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ)
The museum hosts rare artifacts relating to Ghana’s independence and tours at the park give visitors an in-depth history of the Sub-saharan struggle for independence.
The Kwame Nkrumah mausoleum designed by Don Arthur houses the mortal remains of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and his wife Fathia Nkrumah. It is meant to represent an upside-down sword which in the Akan culture is a symbol of peace. The mausoleum is clad from top to bottom with Italian marble, with a black star at its apex to symbolize unity. The interior of the Mausoleum boasts marble flooring and a mini mastaba looking marble grave marker surrounded by river washed rocks. A skylight at the top in the Mausoleum illuminates the grave, and at the right time, seems to reflect off the marble further emphasizing that beauty many have come to fall in love with.
The Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum is surrounded by water which is a symbol of life. Its presence conveys a sense of immortality for the name Nkrumah. It shows that even in death he lives on in the hearts and minds of generations here and generations yet to come.
Reason for the Mausoleum
Dr. Nkrumah was overthrown by the military government in 1966, after ruling for 9 years. He then went to exile in the Republic of Guinea. He fell ill and died in Bucharest, Romania 1972 when seeking medical treatment.
Nkrumah’s body was buried in Guinea since he was the Co-president there. With Nkrumah dead, the African Students Union in London feared that the total emancipation of Africa has come to a dead end.
The students sent a memo to Guinea asking that the body of the late president should be brought to Ghana only if the then military government would denounce coup d’etat and re-erect the statue of Kwame Nkrumah that was toppled down during the coup. This marked the beginning of the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum.
After 20 years of his death, Dr. Nkrumah’s image was restored on 1st July 1992 on the same grounds where he led Ghana to liberation from colonialism on 6th March 1957.