Monday, 3 May 2010

Ghana’s History in black and white [From the Getty Images Archive]

Del Mina - circa 1600
Circa 1600: The coastal trading town of Elmina in Ghana, built around the Portuguese castle of St George El Mina. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Ashanti War -1874
The chief of the Abrakrampa tribe shares a toast to Queen Victoria with some British missionaries, signalling the close of the hostilites of the British-Ashanti war in Ghana. (Photo by Rischgitz/Getty Images)

Starting For The Interior -circa 1880
 The agent of a Mr Regan with his retinue before a journey by sedan chair to the interior of the Gold Coast (now Ghana), circa 1880. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

W E DuBois -1900
Circa 1900: American writer and sociologist W E DuBois (1868 - 1963), a founder member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), he eventually left the NAACP and became a citizen of Ghana shortly before his death. (Photo by MPI/Getty Images)

A Labolalo Girl - 1933
 A Labolalo girl from the Gold Coast of West Africa, now the republic of Ghana. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images

Ghanaian Car -1933
01 Jan 1933 -Villagers gathered around a car in Ghana. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Awuna Girls -1933
1933: A group of Awuna girls from the Gold Coast of West Africa, now the republic of Ghana, wearing only loin coverings and jewellery. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Members of The Bar -1935
Circa 1935: Members of the Gold Coast Bar. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Prison Count - 1949
Prison Count - 29th March 1949: A notice board in Sunyani prison on the Gold Coast shows the number of inmates, those on remand, the debtors and any condemned being held in the cells. (Photo by Alberts /Three Lions/Getty Images

Deforestation circa 1950
Deforestation circa 1950: Clearing of a hardwood forest of mahogany and black walnut in the bush country, Ghana. (Photo by Three Lions/Getty Images)

Timber Yard - circa 1950
Timber Yard - circa 1950: The stacking and seasoning of hardwood in the yards at Sekondi, Africa in the dry season. (Photo by Three Lions/Getty Images

Joe Appiah & Fiancee Peggy Cripps -1955
Political agitator Joe Appiah and his fiancee Peggy, daughter of Sir Stafford Cripps, soon after their engagement. Original Publication: People Disc - HB0155 (Photo by Terry Fincher/Getty Images)
Tema Fishermen - circa 1956
Tema Fishermen - circa 1956: Fishermen of Tema, a small fishing village in Ghana mend their nets on the shore on a windy day. (Photo by Evans/Three Lions/Getty Images)

Accra Library - circa 1956
Accra Library - circa 1956: The unusual facade of the public library in Accra, capital of Ghana. (Photo by Evans/Three Lions/Getty Images)

Louis Armstrong At Press Conference, Ghana, 1956
American jazz trumpeter and bandleader Louis Armstrong (1901 - 1971) laughs during a press conference on his visit to Ghana, 1956. (Photo by Frank Driggs Collection/Getty Images)

Accra Street -1956
Circa 1956: A busy street in the business district of Accra, capital of Ghana. (Photo by Evans/Three Lions/Getty Images)

Tema Store-circa 1956
Circa 1956: People gather at a corner store in the workers' district of Tema, a small fishing village in Ghana. (Photo by Evans/Three Lions/Getty Images)

Map Of Africa –1956
Circa 1956: Children at a grammar school in Lagon, a suburb of Accra, the capital of Ghana make a large three-dimensional map of Africa as part of their geography project. (Photo by Evans/Three Lions/Getty Images)

President Kwame Nkrumah -1957
7th March 1957: Ghanian Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah (1909 - 1972) arrives at the Assembly House in Accra for the opening of the new Parliament and the declaration of Ghana's Independence by the Duchess of Kent. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

Ghana Independence - 1957
6th March 1957: A religious procession during the celebration of independence in Ghana. (Photo by Stroud/Express/Getty Images

Independence Speech -1957
11 Feb 1957 -The Duchess of Kent reads a speech from the British Queen in the National Assembly, Ghana, granting Independence to the Gold Coast (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

President Kwame Nkrumah –1957
7th March 1957: First Prime Minister of Ghana Dr Kwame Nkrumah (1909 - 1972) at the rally celebrating Ghanaian independence in Accra stadium in front of 50,000 Africans. He is joined by Governor General Charles Arden-Clarke and HRH Duchess of Kent. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

Accra Bus Station - circa 1957
Accra Bus Station - circa 1957: The Central Bus Station in the centre of the old city in Accra, Ghana. (Photo by Three Lions/Getty Images)

Volta Bridge -1957
5th February 1957: The newly constructed bridge over the River Volta at Adomi in Ghana, West Africa. Whereas before travellers had to journey across the river by ferry, the 900 ton structure now provides a physical link between the Gold Coast and Togo. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

Tema Beach - circa 1958
Tema Beach - circa 1958: Boats on the beach at Tema in Ghana. (Photo by Evans/Three Lions/Getty Images)

Village Well -1959
Circa 1956: Children play around the public water tap in a street of Mampong, a small village in Ghana. (Photo by Evans/Three Lions/Getty Images)

The Queen receives President Kwame Nkrumah -1959
August 1959: The Queen receives President Nkrumah (1909 - 1972) of Ghana at Balmoral, seen here outside with Princess Anne. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

A Ghanaian Mother -1960
March 1960: A Ghanaian woman carrying her child on her back. (Photo by Keystone Features/Getty Images)

Girls From Ghana -1960
14th March 1960: Ghana Airways stewardess Esther Botchway (in uniform) at a London model school with eight girls who are about to start work for Ghana Airways in London. (left to right)Alice Laryea, Lucy Panford, Mabel Quartey, Cecilia Provecnal, Patience Ocansey, Gladys Daniels, Janet Ntansah and Jemima Adusah. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

A Ghanaian Woman -1960
March 1960: March 1960: A Ghanaian woman under what appears to be an improvised sun shade. (Photo by Keystone Features/Getty Images)

Placing A Wreath -1961
17th February 1961: A soldier stands to attention as President Nkrumah (1909 - 1972), of Ghana places a wreath during the memorial service held in Accra, Ghana, for Patrice Lumumba (1925 - 1961), the murdered Nationalist leader of the Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

Posters Of Queen Elizabeth And President Kwame Nkrumah -1961
A man wearing Kente cloth walks past a portrait of Ghanaian president Kwame Nkrumah and an unflattering portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, erected for the Queen's visit, Accra, Ghana, November 6, 1961. Ghana was formed from the merger of the British colony of the Gold Coast and the mandated territory of British Togoland and gained its independence from Great Britain in 1957. (Photo by Express Newspapers/Getty Images)

Queen In Ghana -1961
12th November 1961: Kwame Nkrumah (1909 - 1972), the Prime Minister of Ghana with Queen Elizabeth II at a state banquet at the Ambassador's Hotel in Accra. Ghana in honour of the royal visit on the second day of the Queen's tour of the country. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

Demand Free Elections -1963
17th December 1963: Protesters against the government of Kwame Nkrumah outside the offices of the Ghana High Commission in London. (Photo by Reg Lancaster/Express/Getty Images)

Ghana Protest -1963
17th December 1963: Protesters against the government of Kwame Nkrumah outside the offices of the Ghana High Commission in London. (Photo by Reg Lancaster/Express/Getty Images)

Ghana Revolt -1966
6th March 1966: Students demonstrating during the coup that overthrew the dictatorship of the self appointed president of Ghana Kwame Nkrumah. Some of the students wear their gowns. (Photo by Harry Dempster/Express/Getty Images)

A Ghanaian Soldier -1966
2nd March 1966: A soldier in Ghana during the coup which ousted Kwame Nkrumah. (Photo by Harry Dempster/Express/Getty Images)

Making an Arrest -1966
28th February 1966: Policemen making an arrest in Ghana following the coup which ousted Kwame Nkrumah. (Photo by Harry Dempster/Express/Getty Images)

Celebrating the Coup -1966
28th February 1966: Policemen monitoring a crowd in Ghana following the coup which ousted Kwame Nkrumah. (Photo by Harry Dempster/Express/Getty Images)

Fallen Dictator -1966
6th March 1966: Children around a fallen statue of the self appointed president of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah during the coup that overthrew his dictatorship. (Photo by Harry Dempster/Express/Getty Images)

Ghanaian Crowd 1966
28th February 1966: A crowd in Ghana waiting for the release of political prisoners, during the coup which led to the overthrow of Kwame Nkrumah. (Photo by Harry Dempster/Express/Getty Images

A Coup Crowd -1966
28th February 1966: A crowd in Ghana following the coup which ousted Kwame Nkrumah. (Photo by Harry Dempster/Express/Getty Images)

Dr. Kofi Busia, Prime Minister Of Ghana -1966
Dr. Kofi Busia, Prime Minister Of Ghana, February 1966. (Photo by Express Newspapers/Getty Images)

First Interview -1966
28th February 1966: A newly released political prisoner being interviewed following the coup which ousted Kwame Nkrumah. (Photo by Harry Dempster/Express/Getty Images)

New To Power -1966
1st March 1966: General Joseph Ankrah, one of the Ghanaian military leaders who came to power in the coup which ousted Kwame Nkrumah. (Photo by Harry Dempster/Express/Getty Images)

Welcome Home -1966
Welcome Home - 28th February 1966: A political prisoner is welcomed home during the coup which led to the overthrow of Kwame Nkrumah. (Photo by Harry Dempster/Express/Getty Images)

The Path To Power - 1966
The Path To Power - 1st March 1966: General Joseph Ankrah, one of the Ghanaian military leaders who came to power in the coup which ousted Kwame Nkrumah. (Photo by Harry Dempster/Express/Getty Images)

Miss Ghana Araba Vroon is an African Beauty Queens – 1967
African Beauty Queens – 1967 :Four contestants from Africa line up at their London hotel before the 1967 Miss World beauty contest. From left to right, they are Miss Tanzania (Teresa Shayo), Miss Uganda (Rosemary Salmon), Miss Nigeria (Rosalind Balogun) and Miss Ghana (Araba Vroon).

Traditional Dress -1968
Circa 1968: A Ghanaian woman in traditional dress. (Photo by Roa/Three Lions/Getty Images)

Ghana Debt Conference -1970
International statesmen at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London, before the start of the Ghana Debt Conference, 7th July 1970. From left to right, John Kufuor, Ghanaian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Peter Kerr, 12th Marquess of Lothian (1922 - 2004), the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and the chairman of the conference, J. H. Mensah, Ghanaian Minister of Finance and Economic Planning and James Bottomley, deputy to Lord Lothian. (Photo by Mike Lawn/Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

President Kofi Busia meets Edward Heath at No 10 -1971
11th November 1971: The Prime Minister of Ghana, Dr Kofi Busia, meets Edward Heath at No 10 Downing Street. (Photo by Ian Showell/Keystone/Getty Images)

Osibisa -1972
20th March 1972: Pop group Osibisa waiting with Caroline Thompson to check onto a flight at an airport. The group, who were formed in London in 1969 by three Ghanian and three Caribbean musicians, pioneered a blend of West African highlife and rock music. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)

H V H Sekyi -1972

H V H Sekyi - 1st May 1972: Ghana's High Commissioner to Great Britain, Mr H V H Sekyi, on a visit to London to present letters of Commission to the Queen. (Photo by Wesley/Keystone/Getty Images

Odoi Sykes -1972
13th February 1972: Odoi Sykes, Ghanaian Deputy High Commissioner, walking past a policeman as he leaves the Ghana High Commission in London after its closure following the ousting of the Ghanaian Prime Minister by the army. (Photo by Frank Barratt/Keystone/Getty Images)

Azumah Nelson -1989
Ghanaian lightweight boxer Azumah Nelson, also known as 'The Professor', October 1989. (Photo by Chris Smith/Getty Images)

An old man with double cataracts as a result of trachoma -2003
GHANA: An old man with double cataracts as a result of trachoma poses for a portrait February 2003 in rural Ghana. Trachoma is a preventable disease which begins with an infection of the eyelids and leads to irreversible cataracts and blindness if left untreated. It is common to poverty-stricken communities without adequate sewage and access to clean water. In many traditional hunter-gatherer societies in Africa, trachoma is a real threat to the ability of these people to support themselves. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images

I love history [I grew up in a Fanti/Kwahu household and my Fanti mother’s love of history was infectious] –and thus; these black and white photographs from the Getty Images Archive –have warmed the cockles-of-my-heart. Powerful, provocative and relevant –this collection has enabled me [at long last] to truly grasp that most 'mystical' epoch of Ghanaian history –‘The Nkrumah Era’. Through these images -the hopes and aspirations of a modern Ghana, -shaking off its colonial shackles with a newly elected President –are made clear! I see also the small bursts of prosperity with huge building projects like the Volta Bridge and the Akosombo Dam [not pictured], -as our new President raced ahead –to industrialize a young Ghana [off course this race to get ahead cost money –and left Ghana bankrupt by the time he was deposed in 1966].

But mostly; it amazes me that in a short space of time [six years] President Kwame Nkrumah went from: ‘Osagyefo’ [it means ‘redeemer’ in the Akan language], a revolutionary, the father of Pan-Africanism in March 1957 to a full fledged dictator -with Ghanaians protesting against his regime outside the offices of the Ghana High Commission in London in 1963 [something I knew nothing about]! Also, it appears 1966 was a dangerously crazy year for Ghana, –in fact from these images –1966 would now be described as ‘gangster’ by the youth! I guess President Kwame Nkrumah has become more human to me!

The photographs are not all of President Kwame Nkrumah! Images like the Ghanaian soldier [dated 1966] with his ‘stunned’ gaze, -leave you wondering! Was he thinking about his family, or his next meal or the fate of his beloved Ghana? Whatever he was feeling/thinking –the image is very ‘real’! The Labolalo girl [dated 1933] is equally touching. Her nakedness, the pensive stare and bloated tummy –gets to me! I’m left wondering: how old she is, if she was happy and loved, who she was going to marry [if she wasn’t already married] and how many children she had etc? I wanted to search further –and googled Labolalo, Labolalo people –to no avail. I had better luck with the Awuna girls!

These Getty Images are photographic gems, -and I would love to see them [especially the ones of everyday people] hopefully in Ghana –and displayed as a permanent exhibition or maybe bought by the Ghana High Commission in London and put on permanent display for the public. I think I will get in touch with Ghana High Commission with this suggestion [I will keep you posted]. ......x

9 comments:

  1. a trip through our collective history. Nice 1.
    Kweku Ananse

    ReplyDelete
  2. These pictures are very precious.
    Apart from the artistic images of the past, some of which I remember growing up in the 1950s through high school in the 1960s in Ghana, it depicts the political history of a young new nation that seem to have lost the initial momentum of blessings fast. The smile and love of a nation turned to bitter hatred within a matter of a few years catapulted by an opposition that turned to real hatred.
    It is hard to imagine in 1963 despite all the investment by Nkrumah in the education and health care, roads and communication infrastructural development of Ghana, that he could have done so bad to incur that hatred. It was the hatred by a few, assisted by some foreign agencies like the American CIA, that ruined Ghana. Alternatives were not easy to come forth and in half a century Ghana seem to be moving in darkness.
    Wishing all the best to Ghana and her people as the light will shines again one day.

    Kwaku A. Danso

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well done, Fashion et al. And of course, brother Kwaku Danso you have said it all. What on earth could have triggered such hatred for Dr.Nkrumah resulting in the loss of our forward match to real freedom in industrialization, if not for pure selfishness and greed? Look where Ghana and for that matter, Africa is, at this time of our lives. Hope, we must not loose!! The new generation must wake up and let's continue from where our fathers left off. Africa is too precious to let the powers that be balkanize us for their selfish ends.
    Basko A. Kante.

    ReplyDelete
  4. These are some excellent old pictures of Accra. Do you have any others? Where did you find these?

    I lived in Togo for 2 years and I visited Ghana often. Spent a lot of time in Accra, but traveled to Takoradi and Kumasi.

    I'm back in American now working in a project about Accra. Can you get in touch with me if you get this message? drew.quinton@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Outstanding images, well done.

    Julian Saakwa-Mante
    UK

    ReplyDelete
  6. It is now clear that even the debt Ghana drifted into by 1966 was not simply and just the result of overspending or mismanagement of our Funds, but in most part a deliberate orchestration by the enemies of the Government to ensure it ran into a difficult financial mess that could be used for a principal excuse to justify the coup that had been long in plotting.

    The documents abound to attest to the manipulations of Nkrumah by the USA to force him to accept a costly loan and a skewed deal for VALCO's parent Company. Our Electricity, for example, was used almost for free to process Aluminium ingots. Any fairer payment for using that energy alone could have returned considerable revenue into our coffers to make our investment into the Hydroelectric Project more fruitful and help pay off our loans. --

    Keen Observer.

    USA.


    ReplyDelete
  7. It is now clear that even the debt Ghana drifted into by 1966 was not simply and just the result of overspending or mismanagement of our Funds, but in most part a deliberate orchestration by the enemies of the Government to ensure it ran into a difficult financial mess that could be used for a principal excuse to justify the coup that had been long in plotting.

    The documents abound to attest to the manipulations of Nkrumah by the USA to force him to accept a costly loan and a skewed deal for VALCO's parent Company. Our Electricity, for example, was used almost for free to process Aluminium ingots. Any fairer payment for using that energy alone could have returned considerable revenue into our coffers to make our investment into the Hydroelectric Project more fruitful and help pay off our loans. --

    Keen Observer.

    USA.


    ReplyDelete