Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay’s) visit to Ghana in 1964: In the photo with Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, first president of Ghana.
Among all the West African countries, Ghana, the country formally called Gold Coast, is one of the famous countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Apart from being one of the peaceful countries in West Africa, Ghana has been also one of the most visited countries in Africa by Africans in the Diaspora.
There is a reason Ghana is attracted to Africans in the Diaspora. Echoes of sad music in the air can be heard from Cape Coast, attracting thousands of tourists including African-Americans and other Africans in the Diaspora to visit Ghana, where their ancestors were packed like a sardine into ships for slavery.
Apart from the fact that many Africans in the Diaspora go to Ghana to trace their roots or find their ancestors, Ghana was once under one of Africa’s most powerful and intelligent leaders, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. He was the first African statesman to achieve world recognition when he became president of the new Republic of Ghana in 1960 after Ghana attains its independence in 1957.
He campaigned ceaselessly for African solidarity and for the liberation of southern Africa from white settler rule. His greatest achievement was to win the right of black peoples in Africa, to have a vote and to determine their own destiny. Nkrumah’s popularity which was like a bushfire in the dry season brought him fame and also created a lot of enemies against him.
Many famous African-Americans, including Malcolm X, W.E.B Du Bois, Stevie Wonder, Maya Angelou etc. were all in Ghana. In the summer of 1964, Muhammad Ali took a trip to Ghana, a remarkable visit the boxer called “a return to the fatherland.” In the VIP room of the Accra Airport, he was greeted by Ghana’s Foreign Minister Kojo Botsio. According to a report, about 10,000 African Americans visit Ghana yearly, and almost 3,000 of them live in the capital, Accra.
On February 24th, 1966, Nkrumah was overthrown in a coup, master-minded by the CIA, after surviving many assassination attempts. He fled to the Republic of Guinea to be with his friend Sekou Touré for a number of years and spent his later years in exile in Bucharest, Romania and died on 27 April 1972.