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Letter to Sekou Nkrumah

Antoinette H. Condobrey
By Antoinette H. Condobrey

Antoinette Herrmann-Condobrey is a journalist who specialises in digital media and magazine reporting. She has a strong attachment to topical issues and a soft spot for arts and culture reporting. Journalism for her is a passion and this is evident in her careful approach to reporting and the comprehensiveness of her work. "The hardest and one of the most depressive things for me to do," she says, "is to go ahead and publish a story that my mind tells me could do with one more fact." Antoinette has functioned as a senior reporter and editor. The Ghanaian-born has real concerns about the representation of Africa by the more developed world and is convinced that only the African media can do justice to the image of the continent. It is this task that she hopes to help accomplish through her work.

Posted on Wednesday, 8 August 2012 16:43

Of course, I knew all the “other great” stuff going on about Madam Nyaneba, as I was taught by my dad to call her – like her son being our first president: Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, his vision for Africa, etc. – but nothing beat the fact that I was sure to savor some spicy smoked juicy goat meat once we passed in front of her residence, which we called Nyaneba House.

But, judging from Gamal’s account of when the old lady died, (1979), I realize I had all along mistaken another elderly woman in that house as Madam Nyaneba – way into the mid 1980s … OOPS! That is beside the point though.

My beef is about a sour exchange that ensued between Gamal and his brother Sekou, following the posting of that picture.

With a deep smile, I eagerly read through the different comments under the picture –then BOOM came Sekou Nkrumah’s – mocking his older brother Gamal.

“Tell us the year this took place because if I remember correctly you left Ghana in 1977, two years after our return to our dear country!” he said, adding – in his response to another person’s comment: “He does not know when our grandmother died because he was not in the country!” Sekou’s comment sparked a not-so-nice exchange between the two brothers, as often happens on Facebook. Sekou always starts it – based on my observation on Facebook – and Gamal, who always seems much restrained, responds in a kinder way.

My opinions may not matter, Sekou; but I still want to tell you something: Two of the people I admire and respect most in modern politics are husband and wife: James Carville and Mary Joe Matalin. The husband – a prominent figure in the Democratic Party, highly credited for the reelection of President Bill Clinton. The wife – A staunch Republican; a George H.W. Bush campaign director/manager and an assistant to President George W. Bush. I smile and stick to my set whenever the two appear together on national TV to battle out the issues – of which they take very different stands.

And need I remind you that two of President Regan’s’ sons: Michael and Ron are conservative and liberal respectively?

For me, one of the most beautiful things in politics is seeing people so close in person, who share very different views – still managing to keep their relationships with each other intact.

How exemplary it would be for Africa and the rest of the world to see the sons and daughter of Kwame Nkrumah chatting different political paths while still maintaining unity in their family.

Of course, the challenges in such situations can’t be downplayed. In fact, it was reported that Mary and James had to suspend their relationship at one point while still dating, when she worked on H.W.’s reelection, and he on Clinton’s first election.

It is just natural that people in this situation would often make each other uncomfortable – even annoy each other sometimes in the pursuance of their respective causes. But when done in a certain way – in my opinion – their differences only add to their strengths as individuals and the beauty of what they stand for. IT IS HEARTBREAKING FOR MANY WHEN FAMILY GETS DESTROYED BECAUSE OF POLITICS. A word to the wise …

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