Madame Fathia Nkrumah, the widow of the late Dr. Kwame Nkrumah of Africa, with their son Gamal.
Originally uploaded by Pan-African News Wire File Photos
AFRICANS NOW AUTHOR THEIR OWN DESTINY: MBEKI
Africans are the authors of their own destiny through the
African Renaissance, President Thabo Mbeki said on Saturday.
The president was expressing his condolences to Ghana on the
death of the wife of the country's late former president Kwame
Fathiya Nkrumah, 75, died on Friday at the Badrawy Hospital in
She was the wife of influential Pan Africanist and the first
president of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah.
"Fathiya Nkrumah must certainly have worried as do the rest of
us about the poverty and under-development that continue to afflict millions of our people in the continent of Africa.
"Yet Fathiya Nkrumah died in the full knowledge that Africans
are now the authors of their own destiny through the African
Renaissance to build a continent characterised by peace, harmony, and prosperity..." Mbeki said in a statement.
He noted that Nkrumah's death coincided with debates in the
African Union aimed at African political and economic integration, an idea championed by her late husband.
"It is ironic that Fathiya Nkrumah passed away during the year
when Africa and most certainly the rest of the world celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Ghana's independence which was led by that shining African star, the late Kwame Nkrumah," Mbeki said.
JAK Wants Fathia Buried Beside Nkrumah
Saturday, 02 June 2007
President J.A. Kufuor has expressed the wish that the mortal remains of Madam Fathia Nkrumah, widow of the late Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, first President of Ghana would be brought to Ghana for burial. "It is our hope that the mortal remains of the former First Lady would be brought down to Ghana for internment by the side of her late husband at the Kwame Nkrumah mausoleum in Accra".
The President’s desire was contained in a message of condolence to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on the death of the former First Lady.
The statement, issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Cooperation and NEPAD on Friday, said President Kufuor had learnt with deep emotion, the sad news of the demise of Madam Fathia Nkrumah, which occurred in Cairo, on May 31, 2007.
"In this painful moment, the people and government of Ghana join me to offer our most sincere and heartfelt condolence through your Excellency to the bereaved family of Madam Fathia", the statement said.
It stated: "Madam Fathia Nkrumah has a special place in the contemporary history of our beloved country and her memory will forever be cherished."
The statement prayed God to grant the soul of Madam Fathia, peace and eternal rest and to her family consolation and the necessary courage to overcome her loss.
"Please accept, your Excellency and dear brother, the assurances of my highest consideration", the statement added.
Fathia Nkrumah is dead
Former first lady Fathia Nkrumah has passed away in Egypt.
The wife of Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's first president and one of the fathers of pan-Africanism, died while in hospital, one of her sons, Sekou Nkrumah, has confirmed to The Statesman.
"She was not well for the past few weeks," Sekou said. "Recently her condition had deteriorated so I more or less expected it."
Ghana"s current President John A Kufuor was in Egypt earlier this week and visited Mrs Nkrumah at the Nile Badrawi Hospital in Cairo. Sekou told The Statesman yesterday that he was not sure of the exact time of her death but said since having a stroke on February 9, she had not been well.
Mrs Nkrumah, who was born and raised in Zeitoun, Egypt, was 75.
Fathia married Dr Nkrumah at a young age and had with him three children: Gamal, Samia, and Sekou.
Son Gamal, who edits the Al-Ahram Weekly newspaper in Egypt, in a profile he wrote of his mother, said of her love for Ghana: "She was happy to escape the suffocatingly conservative culture she grew up in and happily embraced the rich vibrancy of Ghanaian culture. She was amazed at the fierce independence of Ghanaian women."
Fathia and the three children fled back to Egypt when Nkrumah was overthrown in the 1966 coup and Nkrumah lived out the rest of his life away from the family, in exile in Guinea until his death from cancer in April 1972.
The third daughter of a civil servant, Mrs Nkrumah once worked as a teacher and at a bank, before she married Kwame Nkrumah in 1958 at age 27. Nkrumah was 49.
Reportedly, Mrs Nkrumah was planning on attending Ghana’s 50th celebrations this year, however, due to the stroke, she was paralysed and unable to walk, let alone travel. Up until hospitalisation, she had been living in Maadi, Egypt.
In his profile, Gamal remembered Mrs Nkrumah’s taste for Ghanaian food, especially Kenkey, which he said was her all-time favourite. He added however: "Father nicknamed her 'rabbit,’ because she always insisted on green salad as a side dish, which most Ghanaians of his generation thought rather odd."