A Nation must do well to recognize it’s heroes and sheroes, or even create heroes and honour, such heroes…. with a view to strengthening the idea and concept of nation-building and nationhood.
Ghana has had men and women who could be rightly woven into the tapestry of the Ghana nation to underpin and reinforce the spirit of NATIONHOOD. When it comes to recognizing men and women who qualify for such national honours, Ghana has failed miserably. We need to do better as a nation.
I wrote about Dr. Ephraim Amu and Mrs. Esther Ocloo on this wall, as being among those who deserve such recognition. One such person above that class is NII KWABENA BONNIE III, Osu Alata Mantse. The action he took, was the immediate cause for the British taking steps to grant self-rule to the Gold Coast, which became the Nation of Ghana……In 1947, Nii Kwabena Bonnie formed the Anti-Inflation Campaign Committee in Accra in response to the inflated retail prices on goods imported into Ghana by European firms. He then traveled to Kumasi to solicit the assistance of Otumfuo Osei Agyeman Prempeh II, Asantehene, in making his plan a national protest. The Asantehene readily agreed by word and deed, gifting Nii Kwabena Bonnie with sums of money towards his noble goal.
Earlier, when Otumfuo Asantehene traveled to Accra in 1946, at the invitation of the Governor to preside over the promulgation of the 1946 “Burns” Constitution, Nii Kwabena Bonnie hosted a party for the Asantehene and his 500 person entourage at his residence in Kokomlemle, Accra. Nii Kwabena Bonnie II Osu Alata Mantse, was also referred to as Oyokohene of Techiman (Takyiman). I don’t know if the latter title was conferred on Nii Bonnie by the Asantehene, but Nii Kwabena Bonnie was thenceforth referred to as “Oyokohene of Takyiman,” in addition to his official traditional Osu Stool title. He organized, and led the nationwide boycott of European goods (lasted 30 days) in January 1948, and gained the accolade BOYCOTTHENE.
The resulting demonstrations and riots by Ghanaian including one in Accra on February 1948, which led to the shooting deaths of three ex-servicemen of the Second World War, resulted in the arrest of 6 politicians who became known as the BIG SIX. That event led to the setting up of Commissions of Enquiry, and the elections… in 1951,….and the rest is history….There’s a street named after him, stuck somewhere in Dzorwulu, Accra.
I think Nii Kwabena Bonnie deserves better recognition. I am glad I was part of the protest that took down the “Mahatma Gandhi statue,” erected at the University of Ghana, Legon.
Think about that…….
By: Sankofa Asante