Thursday March 6, 2014, marked exactly fifty seven years since Ghana gained independence on March 6, 1957, from its colonial masters. Government officials, Security services, students and the general commemorated the day in several ways, as events and parade ceremonies took place in regional and district capitals across the country.
The President of the Republic, Regional Ministers, Municipal and District Chief Executives delivered speeches at these gatherings. The national event came off at the Independence Square where the Guinean President Alpha Conde graced the occasion amidst heavy downpour.
But how much of importance do citizens attach to this day? And what do the children who are mostly made to march for hours in the scorching sun make of this day? Ultimate Radio caught up with some primary school pupils in Kumasi who shared rather unusual understanding of the historic day.
“Independence Day is, that time our Ghana is celebrate our flag! an excited girl said.
“Kwame Nkrumah was born on Sixth March 1957” another stated with confidence.
Another young chap who was poised to go watch the parade at the jubilee park said, “It is the day we got independence from the Europeans in 1957 sixth March and we cerebrate it every annual year.”
Another kid who had been nicknamed President Kuffour said “it is the day Ghana had their free chance from the British.” He explained his nick name was given to him by his mother as he was born on the day former president J.A. Kuffour was sworn into office.
A quite vociferous lecturer of a child said “sixth march is the day when the British came to Gold Coast to come and colonize us. We have now had our independence day, first the Briton makes eh! We are the slave of the British. But because of the Independence Day, we can control ourselves. We can now go everywhere and the airplane can now fly and not shoot to bring down.”
Ultimate Radio’s Nana Oye Diabene also caught up with some excited pupils who had been selected to participate in the parade. They were elated about the hype of the program and the pride in seeing themselves on the television screens.
“I feel great and I am very happy because I am coming on television so that all my family will watch me” one pupil said. You could see the pride they felt for having been chosen among the lot to represent their schools.
The State Experimental School which is among the selected schools to participate in the parade in the Ashanti Region held a special pre- Independence Day parade on Wednesday March 5. Explaining the motive for such a programme, the Headmistress of the school, Lucy Osei Tsumasi, told Ultimate Radio the school had come to revere the ceremony which is held every year on the premises of the school.
“Whether we are selected or not selected for the national parade, we celebrate it to tell our children what our forefathers did to enable us gain independence so they can continue to do likewise” she elucidated.
She underscored the importance of the ceremony adding it was one way to boost the morale of the children to ignite that patriotic spirit exhibited by the nation’s forerunners.