Tributes to Prof. S. A. Nkrumah

Widow Children Grand
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“The righteous man perishes and no one ponders in his heart, devout men are taken away and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil.” Isaiah 57:1

Thy ways not mine oh Lord. However dark it be, lead me by thine own hands. Choose out the path for me.Wife

With deep sorrow, I write this tribute to you Kwabena Nkrumah. I met Kwabena in the middle of the year 1989 at Akwatia. He proposed to me after a few months of courtship and we therefore got married in 1990. We decided to have a child to cement the relationship. God answered our prayers and blessed us with a bouncing baby girl. Soon after the delivery of our daughter, God showered more blessings on Kwabena. He was promoted to be a Professor and later the Director of School of Administration, now known as University of Ghana Business School. I will simply describe his work and contribution to the school as highly admirable, remarkable and marvellous. I have always been very proud of the monumental changes he brought to the school. Steve was a hardworking disciplinarian, law-abiding and upright, he was always at war with people who refused to abide by rules and regulations.

Although he was such a disciplinarian, he was friendly, kind, always willing to assist where possible and very jovial, cracking jokes wherever he went. He was therefore very charismatic and liked by people he came into contact with.

He was very interested in the promotion of God’s work and in this, the AME Zion Church at Akwatia and St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, Legon Parish will bear testimony of it. He always exhibited leadership by example, especially in education. In this spirit, the two of us being teachers, decided to establish a university to be named “Yaa Asantewaa University”. This was to be dedicated to girl-child education and to honour the first renowned Ghanaian female warrior. We started putting up structures in fulfilment of our vision. It is rather unfortunate and painful that he could not live for us to accomplish our vision and enjoy the fruits of our labour. Kwabena, such a mighty and laudable project, who from where will come over to assist me to complete it?

He was also a family man who abhorred discrimination. He treated all his children, his nephews and nieces equally. He loved his siblings and treated them equally and well. He provided accommodation for them and education for their children. He was more of a father to them than an elder brother.

He dearly loved his children and ensured that they received better and higher education. Kwabena, when are you going to fulfil all your promises to Gifty our last born? You said “Gifty I am proud of you because of your brilliance. After completion of J.S.S., you will have your education at St. Rose’s Secondary School and continue at Legon”. Yet you did not live to witness her BECE results. You have left her just at the entry of J.S.S. You also said “Gifty, I will lead you to the alter with my grey-hair”. Where would you be at that time? Why Osagyefo, why have you left us in such an abrupt and total suspense amidst an excruciating anguish?

Kwabena you were my right-hand man. Thank God for your life. Thank you for accommodating my children, your assistance and contribution towards their education. Our stay together was full of unforgettable experiences, which will remain evergreen in my memory. You have created a great vacuum in our lives. In my weary grief and distress, all that I am saying is “Not mine, not mine, the choice. In things great or small be thou my guide, my strength, my wisdom and my all”. My consolation is that the Almighty Father will lead you through the valley of earth to the bosom of Abraham.

Till we meet again, Steve, fare thee well. Osagyefo, rest in perfect peace. AMEN

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Eva Aboagye-Nyame

Eva Aboagye-Nyame

Dr. Jacklyn Nkrumah

Dr. Jacklyn Nkrumah

Sefa Nkrumah

Sefa Nkrumah

Kwame Nkrumah

Kwame Nkrumah

Gifty Asantewaa Nkrumah

Gifty Asantewaa Nkrumah

When we say goodbye to a loved one, we beg for an end too.
Make the pain and suffering be done, put life back to what we knew.
But as we look on the time spent together, we realize we were truly blessed
Because we will have the happy memories forever
And now a guardian angel is ours upon request.

Thank you for joining our family today. We are mourning the death of our father Prof. Stephen Kwabena Nyamekye Acheampong Nkrumah, and at the same time, we will celebrate his life as well. Our family is united in our grief today as we lay Prof. Nkrumah to rest. Each of us will have our own memories of our father, and each of us will mourn in our own way. The one thing we all know is that there is no right way to grieve, and as long as we can remain united in our love for Dad, we know that, ultimately, we’ll get through this difficult period.

There are few men in this world who can achieve true greatness – our dad was one of them. He did not come from money but that never stopped him. We remember him saying (whenever we misbehaved) that he used to walk barefoot to school; we would laugh in our ignorance, not registering the incredible odds he overcame to become who he was.

Dad leaves a wonderful legacy to this world in the form of his family. He leaves behind his greatest treasures, his children – Eva, named after his most adored grandmother Edufa Mansa; Jackie and Gifty, named after his dearest mother Asantewaa; Sefa Acheampong, named after his grandfather and himself and Kwame Berko, named after his uncle. Each of us meant the world to him. Dad also leaves people we consider his finest legacy, his grandchildren, Ahenfua, Brago and KT. While the grandchildren have now lost their link to the past, they will remain our Dad’s hope for the future.

It is sad to lose a friend; it is sadder to lose a father; but the saddest is losing a father who was also your friend. Dad wasn’t just our Dad. He was our friend, our mentor and our teacher. We will miss his presence in our lives tremendously and the void will never be filled.

Dad inspired us in so many ways, but perhaps the most notable is how he inspired us with his work ethic. Our father knew how to give an honest day’s work for any honest day’s pay, and he was diligent at his job. He loved teaching, evident in his voice whenever he described what he did. Whether he was on the job, or at home, he was a hard worker, and a man to model.

Our father was an incredible, joyful, peaceful, wonderful man, who was a one of a kind. He was the world’s greatest dad. If we had to pick words to describe him, they would be humour, which he was filled with; family, which he lived for, and faith, which he believed in wholeheartedly.

He was brilliant, his mind knew no bounds. He had a positive impact on his students and all he came into contact with. He left his own special mark while shaping other brilliant minds. He lived as he loved, simply. He enjoyed life and was always “the life of the party”. He would typically say “cheers, ye nom nsa”. Being around him made you happy too – he had an inner light that helped one enjoy life as he did.

He always found a way to get things done as he wanted them, against all odds, indeed, sometimes his ways may be described as “patapaa”. Thankfully, this trait has been passed on to his only grandson KT whose actions will forever remind us of our Dad.

We are going to miss the physical being of our father everyday of our lives. However, as we look around at each of you, we see that our Dad has touched so many lives, and that his memory will live on for years to come. We thank you for coming today, and honouring Dad.

As we leave the service today, each will leave with their own memories of our father. Dad lived an honourable life. We don’t think he had many regrets in his life. Oh, he had absolute moments of desperations. However, as for regrets, well, he might have liked to own a brand new Mercedes Benz car, but in the scheme of things, that regret was minimal because the beloved Beetle served him well.

We know he would have liked to be here for all the celebrations and success that are headed our way, but it is because of the contributions he made to us during his own life, that ours will be successful.

As we look to the blue hue in the heavens above today, or look at the flowers in bloom, we’ll always remember that a reminder our father would ask is that we each live ours lives to the fullest, and that life does go on. As we live our lives well, we will honour our Dad. So cherish his memories, but live your lives, succeed, and smell the roses. In this way, our father’s memory will live.

Dad, rest in peace. Your time on earth was worthwhile, you lived a full and accomplished life, and you were a good man. You have earned your wings, and, they are golden.

Damirefa due, damirefa due due, damirefa due due due.

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Tribute to Grandpa Legon

Sometimes we feel that God smiles on us. We know that he smiled on us the day he chose our Grandpa, Prof Nkrumah, to be ours. We know we were the luckiest kids in the world, and there is no other Grandpa in the world who could have ever given us the joy and love that our Grandpa gave to us.

We called him Grandpa Legon because he lived in Legon. To us he was

Great man, gentle with us, even when we are naughty

Respectful to all, he always said to us

Accepted us as we are, even when we fought over the TV’s remote control

Never say you can’t do it, because you can with a little effort

Doing things by halves never get them done right

Proud of us he was, he told everybody about us

Accomplished great things in life, which will always serve as a motivation for us to achieve more.

Rest well, Grandpa, we know you are in heaven because that is where all good grandpas go.

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A Tribute to our Father-in-Law, by Kofi Nyame & Yaw Acquaah


Someone so dearly loved
So popular with his friends
we should not cry forever, for
this is not the end.

His memory lives amongst us,
Times we both laughed and cried,
I cannot bear to lose him,
But one day, we all must die
I hear his voice within me,
and his funny little laugh
So many things remind me;
Of times that are now gone past.

I knew of no-one who hated him,
He was the apple of every eye
Any conflicts, we all once had
are now by the by.

Jacqueline Ryan

Years ago, when my wife and I decided to marry, I had apprehensions about joining into her family. I didn’t know them, didn’t know what their expectations would be, and I didn’t know if they’d like me. I hemmed and hawed a bit, and was a bit reticent about meeting her father, Prof. S.A. Nkrumah but meet him I did and the rest, they say, is history.

If you look to the stars tonight, you might notice that they are a little brighter. You also might see that the moon is glowing more brightly as well. The reasons they shine brighter, is that our beloved father-in-law has gone to his eternal home. He has moved on to his next life and his light shines into the heavens and beyond for eternity.

Prof. has passed away far too young, and in my opinion, he has been robbed of the proverbial “three score and ten” that we all expect to live, and we have been robbed of his love and friendship with his passing.

There are so many words to describe Prof. Nkrumah, but most of all I believe he was tenacious. He felt that when he wanted something, nothing would stand in his way to get it. He was resolute, and never gave up on anything that was important to him. He was committed and had the fortitude to stick to his convictions. Prof. had such a wonderful optimistic outlook on life. He had such good spirits and a wonderful demeanor. He seemed to personify the old expression “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”. I am sure his legacy at the University of Ghana Business School and other places will attest to this.

Prof. was a wonderful father-in-law, always interested in the wellbeing of his sons-in-law. He never refused any request we made of him. He was proud of us and would spare no moment to ask all who would listen “this is my son-in-law, have you met him?” Prof. was really a great guy!! We are going to miss him.

As we walk from this ceremony today, let’s take a moment to stop and look to the sky. When you look to the blue and beyond, you’ll see that my father-in-law has risen to the heavens and he is there to watch over us now.

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Professor Stephen Acheampong Nkrumah was an Associate Professor of Public Administration at the University of Ghana Business School, Legon where he had his undergraduate studies and became the Director for six years from 1995 – 2001. He was also a Consultant on Public Sector Reforms.

Professor Nkrumah’s association with the University of Ghana Business School dates back to over forty years ago when he enrolled as a student in the School of Administration (as the School was then known) in October 1964. He successfully graduated with a B.Sc. (Administration) degree in 1967. He proceeded to the Manchester University in the United Kingdom from where he obtained an MA (Economics) degree in 1970. He later entered New York University from where he obtained MPA and PhD degrees in 1977 and 1979 respectively.

Professor Nkrumah was a talented and skilful educator and consultant with over 25 years experience of teaching at the University level.

His major strength was in institutional diagnosis and renewal. This was particularly evidenced during his tenure as the Director of the School of Administration, University of Ghana, (recently re-named University of Ghana Business School) which ended the period of decline that characterized University institutions in Ghana and reenergized the School as Ghana’s foremost centre of management research and education. His achievements included the enhancement of the learning infrastructure with novelties such as Student Self-tuition Centres and the expansion of computer accessibility to staff and students.

Perhaps one notable achievement of Professor Nkrumah that became synonymous with him was the introduction of the first fee-paying University programme in Ghana in the form of the Executive MBA. This programme that has become a huge success and the flagship of the University of Ghana Business School has afforded busy working executives in the country to acquire postgraduate studies in management to enhance their managerial capacity at their various work places. He was also instrumental in setting up the DANIDA Centre which collaborated with Aalborg University scholars to develop graduate courses in Export Management. The Centre has since produced a PhD graduate with three other candidates undertaking research for their doctorate degrees.

At the governmental level, Professor Nkrumah played an active role in the administrative reform projects in Ghana. For example, from 1993-2000 he was involved in the re-writing of the Civil Service Laws, Regulations and Administrative Instructions, Ministerial Re-structuring and Governmental Decentralization, Training Needs Assessment and the Development of Training Strategies, Staff Performance Appraisal and Development Planning at the District Assembly level.

In March 2003, the President of the Republic of Ghana appointed him to serve on the Decentralization Implementation Advisory Committee of Ghana. He spent the period June – December 2003, first as Presidential Advisor on Decentralization Reforms to the Government of Sierra Leone and then as EU Consultant to design intervention for Decentralization Reforms in the same country. In early 2004, he designed courses for Public Sector Management Training in Africa for the African Capacity Building Foundation to be located at selected universities on the continent.

Among the several other national and international organizations for which Professor Nkrumah also consulted included the National Accreditation Board of Ghana; Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development; Ministry of Works & Housing; Office of the Head of Civil Service; Parliament of the Republic of Ghana; State Enterprises Commission; National Development Planning Commission; Institute of Economic Affairs; Ghana National Association of Teachers; African Association for Public Administration and Management (AAPAM); African Capacity Building Foundation; Commonwealth Local Government Forum; PriceWaterhouseCoopers; European Union; The Government of Sierra Leone; Frederich Ebert Foundation; and Konrad-Adenauer Foundation, just to name a few.

Osagyefo sought for knowledge and passed that knowledge on to his students. He planned his courses with care, always incorporating creative elements to make them more interesting. He lectured with enthusiasm. He aimed to bring out the best in his students, encouraging, advising, prodding, occasionally becoming disgusted with those who planned to obtain degrees and diplomas and yet turned in sloppy or marginal work. He reiterated often that the only way to help students break out of narrow moulds was to introduce them to other cultures, through comparative studies. Many students of his vividly remember the ‘kala’ model, which he compared with Fred Riggs’ prismatic and Max Weber’s bureaucratic models, respectively. He was a real pillar in the discipline of Public Administration.

Osagyefo worked hard over a period of years to ensure that colleagues engaged in academic publication. He was convinced that publishing in academic journals was important to the identity of both the author and his/her institution of affiliation. Some of his colleagues in public administration describe him as having a great deal of energy, always full of pranks and mischief as a young boy. He loved people and enjoyed an uninhibited approach to life. That was the way many of us learned to know him.

We valued Prof. SA Nkrumah as a fixer of broken things and lives. He had a personal concern for the individual and for keeping relationships whole. When in his enthusiasm he stepped on toes, he was always the first to make moves to resolve the conflict and restore relationship. He enjoyed seeing the campus and buildings repaired, painted, and neat. He therefore spent a lot of energy to improve the facilities of the School, sometimes overlooking procedures when he thought they impeded progress.

Students and Faculty remember him as a man of ideas, a visionary. He spoke of his vision for the Business School, the Department of Public Administration, and was always on hand to offer a word of advice. All his students and friends will attest to his delightful sense of hard work, and the need to achieve results. He wanted to pass to students, knowledge and not information in order for them to make meaningful impact on society. His belief in action often was the catalyst that kept any group in which he found himself going with enthusiasm.

His service to humanity extended to far and wide and includes the following:

  1. Chairman, St. Rose’s Secondary School Board, 1989 to his demise
  2. Chairman, Akwatia Urban Council 2002 to his demise
  3. Member, Board of Governors, National Banking College, 1995-2002.

He loved the academic profession, yet recognized its failures and weaknesses as well as its strengths and successes. We cherished his friendship for other reasons, the main one being his openness to the welfare of others, especially when it came to the promotion of his colleagues at the Business School. When other leaders were hesitant to move ahead, he would literally fight to ‘push’ papers if that would lead to the promotion of a colleague at the School. He gave many students the opportunity to present papers at lectures/seminars including not just those whose abilities were well-known but also those whose gifts lay hidden. He never felt threatened by opening doors to others.

Many of us valued him as a resourceful colleague, and we are glad to think that within the Business School in particular and Legon community in general, his example will continue to serve as a talisman and encouragement.

Prof. Nkrumah retired in October 2001. He was however offered a two-year post-retirement contract appointment from August 1, 2004 to July 31, 2006. Death however, did not allow him to complete the contract. He died on December 5, 2005.

Osagyefo, did you just come back to the School to bid farewell to your colleagues and staff? All and sundry at UGBS would sorely miss you. We undertake to honour your memory by continuing with your good works in UGBS.

We have lost an illustrious son, an enthusiastic member of staff, a believer in people and a man who fought for the welfare of others.

May his enthusiasm and legacy of fairness live on and may his soul rest in perfect peace.

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We received with shock and sadness, the news of the sudden death of our Interim Chairman, Professor S.A. Nkrumah.

Prof Nkrumah was introduced to the Founder of ACE by some colleague lecturers of the University of Ghana Business School in October 2004. This was after the Founder has discussed the idea of setting up an umbrella organization grouping for Entrepreneurs in Ghana.

Prof, was approached together with some of his colleagues with a request to help establish the ACE for the purpose stated above and he accepted the invitation without hesitation. Subsequently he, as part of a team worked extremely hard to bring to fruition, the vision of the Founder when in November 2004, the ACE was formally inaugurated. He brought his enormous experience in Institutional Management, to bear on the fashioning out of the structures, programmes and activities and also the regulatory requirements of the ACE.

Prof, worked on the rather detailed processes for programme accreditation required for the ACE’s Post Graduate Diploma Programme in Entrepreneurship and also a constitution to regulate the ACE’s member services programmes.

Sadly, as we pay our respects to Prof today, we do so with mixed feelings as only last month the National Accreditation Board granted our Training Institute authorization, something he had so strenuously worked for.

Given the amount of effort put into setting up procedures, it was of no surprise that subsequently, as an Interim Governing Council was set up, Prof Nkrumah, was made the Council Chairman. He discharged this duty with distinction, chairing several important meetings and also leading several ACE missions.

We found in Prof. Nkrumah a very experienced, knowledgeable, hardworking, affable but also strict and serious-minded personality whilst we worked with him. When we called his cell phone a few days prior to his death on account of duty but could not have access to him, little did we know that we were just about losing such distinguished personality.

Today as we mourn with bereaved family, we can only take consolation in William Shakespeare’s description of death as a necessary end which will come when it will come but more importantly, in the fact that, Professor Nkrumah’s numerous good works for several Institutions notably, the University of Ghana Business School, ACE and also for Ghana will continue to be living testimony to his memory.

Prof. may your Soul Rest in Peace

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It is tough to have to write another tribute to the memory of yet another colleague in such a short period. Both Prof. Nkrumah and Dr. K. A. Ofei, who we buried on January 20, 2006, were very closely associated with the Danida Centre for International Business at the University of Ghana Business School, UGBS.

During the 1994/95 academic year, the Danish International Development Agency (Danida) provided funds for the establishment of the Danida Centre for International Business at the then School of Administration, now UGBS, under its ENRECA programme. During the negotiations stage for the establishment of the centre, Prof. Nkrumah played a key role in ensuring that the school’s dream of a research centre of excellence was realized. It is no wonder therefore that he became the first Co-ordinator of the centre, a position held until he became the Director of the school in 1995.

From his vantage position as the director of the School, Prof. Nkrumah worked tireless for the centre. The objective of the centre included: Defining, designing and instituting a long-term research programme in International Business involving researchers from the University of Ghana and Aalborg University in Denmark; initiating plans for long-term cooperation between the two universities; building an institutional framework for the transfer of research knowledge to the local business community and government; Participation of researchers in International conferences; Exchange of Research Visit between the two universities; Collaboration with companies and organizations; offering an avenue for University of Ghana Business School staff to under take funded doctoral studies in international business at Aalborg University in Denmark, AaU, etc.

We are saddened by his pre-mature departure from this earth, but take consolation in the fact that he left us a legacy, in the form of Danida centre for International Business, that we are proud of and which we are trying to make even stronger.

Below is how he is remembered by two of our colleagues in AaU, with whom the centre was started and who have been very closely associated with him.

Good-Bye Professor Nkrumah

 News about Professor Nkrumah’s death came to us with shock and deep sorrow. It is true that the sudden death of friends compels one to acknowledge the fleeting nature of life. To us, Nkrumah was an energetic and visionary scholar, a warm-hearted colleague and good leader, but above all he was a dear friend. 

Prof Nkrumah readily embraced the idea of establishing research collaboration between the Centre for International Business at Aalborg University (Denmark) and the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS) when we suggested it in 1995. He visited Aalborg University for the first time in 1995 to discuss the ideas in details and was eager to implement it when he became the Director of UGBS. He was highly instrumental in establishing the Danida Centre for International Business at the school. 

We honour Prof Nkrumah for his zeal and commitment as the coordinator of this research centre. We honour his unique skills in building a bridge between the academic word and the world of practitioners. We honour his ability to motivate and support our younger colleagues and doctoral students. He shouted when there was need for it; but joked and laughed most of the time we were together. 

Stephen! We thank you for sharing the treasures of your personality with us in this lifetime. We shall always remember you at our export forums, seminars and meetings and we shall build on your good work at the centre 

Osagyefo! Rest in peace
Olav Jull Sorensen and John Kuada
Centre for International Business,
Department of Business Studies
Aalborg University

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Professor Stephen Nkrumah, who today has passed on, gathered to his ancestral rest, is to many of us an irreplaceable friend, big brother, father, leader, scholar, pragmatist and visionary who, much like Osagyefo of blessed memory, was in many ways far ahead of  his times.

Professor Nkrumah was truly far ahead of his times when he was Director of what was then The School of Administration. So far ahead, that he clearly set a vision, a path, and a set of ideals which the Business School is profiting from. Before GIMPA achieved partial commercialisation through Ghana Government efforts, Nkrumah was as far back as 1999 talking about “GOG Plus” (he envisaged a time when the Business School would NOT be funded by the Government that was “GOG Plus”.

He gave us the flagship EMBA programme, which is today our cash-cow. Sadly he did not enjoy the fruits of his labour. He gave us the Executive Hall, which was till he came a dusty open space were people sat to play board games. He gave us the concept of enhanced salaries. He gave us a reawakening of intellectual discourse with an energetic series of interfaculty lectures in 1998, which through his characteristic pragmatic style got nearly all lecturers to participate in. he gave us a rebirth of the monopaper series… one can go on and on. Sadly he was misunderstood and fell victim to his own forthrightness and firm vision – perhaps an indication of the Tragic Flaws of the Tragic heres in Shakespeare’s plays… School of Administration, you lost a leader then; Business School, you have lost a leader and a mentor now.

Professor Stephen Nkrumah you cannot be replaced. Prof. Osagyefo, we can only seek to follow your footsteps. In your rest, please do say a word or two for us, that our memory, will live on with us; that our behaviours today, will do honour to what you stood for.

Osagyefo, Rest thee well, for you have indeed earned your rest.