Stories: Samia Nkrumah: Pan-Africanism's Daughter Campaigns
Samia Nkrumah, the daughter of Ghana's first president Kwame Nkrumah, had been living what she calls an "ordinary life." She lived in Italy with her husband, raising their 11-year-old son and continuing her career in journalism and education. But after returning to Ghana last year, for the nation's 50th anniversary and then for her mother's funeral, she knew that it was time for a change. After spending 24 years away from the country of her birth, she resigned from her job, moved her family to Ghana, and began campaigning for a seat in Parliament in the remote district where her father was raised.
Now Mrs. Nkrumah's days consist of blazing across the dusty unpaved roads of the Jomoro Constituency in a four-car motorcade, making campaign stops in village after village in order to visit all 54 of them before elections in December. As her SUV approaches each one, she stands on the car's center console and rises out of the sunroof. She smiles broadly and waves, then begins wheeling her arms in a circular motion. Crowds rush to meet her, dancing and moving their arms in the same circle while shouting the Nzema word, "Yeresesamu!" The word and gesture symbolize something that people here are desperate for, that they hope Mrs. Nkrumah will bring: "change."