April 27, 1972: Kwame Nkrumah dies in Bucharest, Romania

In distant Bucharest (Romania), April 27, 1972, far from his green and lovely native land and from his own people, Kwame Nkrumah died of an unspecified but apparently incurable illness. His was a lonely death, without ceremony and without drama for a man who had been surrounded by both throughout his political career as President of Ghana and one of Africa’s most famous men. A man with a price on his head, he was unable to return to the country he had led to independence in 1957 and which he had ruled for nearly 13 years. The former Ghanaian leader, who had virtually disappeared from the active political scene since his overthrow by a military coup d’état in February 1966, had since that time been living quietly in the Guinean capital of Conakry……

Press reports shortly after Nkrumah’s death announced that Toure had attached four conditions to the return of the ex-President’s body to Ghana:

1.      Nkrumah’s complete rehabilitation in the eyes of the Ghanaian people (lifting all charges that had been pending against him)

2.     Liberation of all of Nkrumah’s partisans still held in Ghanaian jails

3.     Removal of the threat of arrest which hung over all of Nkrumah’s followers who had chosen to remain with him in exile

4.     An official welcome by the Ghanaian government of Nkrumah’s remains, with all the honors due a deceased chief of state.


Victor D. Du Bois
The Death of Kwame Nkrumah
American Universities Field Staff Reports. West Africa Series, Vol. XIV No.5 (Ghana), June 1972, pp. 1-11