Located in downtown Accra, Ghana is the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park and Mausoleum. The Mausoleum is the final resting place of Ghana’s first President and Africanist. The museum hosts rare artefacts relating to Ghana’s independence and tours at the park give visitors an in-depth history of the Sub-saharan struggle for independence.
The mausoleum designed by Don Arthur houses the mortal remains of Dr Kwame Nkrumah and his wife Fathia Nkrumah. It is meant to represent an upside-down sword which in the Akan culture is a symbol of peace. The mausoleum is clad from top to bottom with Italian marble, with a black star at its apex to symbolize unity. The interior of the Mausoleum boasts marble flooring and a mini mastaba looking marble grave marker surrounded by river washed rocks.
A skylight at the top in the Mausoleum illuminates the grave, and at the right time, seems to reflect off the marble further emphasizing that beauty many have come to fall in love with.
The Mausoleum is surrounded by water which is a symbol of life. Its presence conveys a sense of immortality for the name Nkrumah. It shows that even in death he lives on in the hearts and minds of generations here and generations yet to come.
The entrance to the site is from the 28th February High Street just along the coast from Independence Square. It is located directly opposite the old Parliament House now known as the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).
It has a total surface area of approximately 5.3 acres. The mausoleum provides a front for the statue of Nkrumah whereas the museum is subterranean and does not compete with the mausoleum for attention. Rhythm, contrast and harmony were the main principles of design used in this building.
The memorial park covers a total of 5.3 acres and contains two main edifices; the museum which is subterranean and the mausoleum which provides the front to the bronze statue of Nkrumah.
The park itself is an attractive masterpiece with futuristic creation. There are two springs of water on either side of the pavement or walkway. It has seven bare chests, squatting statuette flute blowers, and literally blowing springs out. In Ghanaian culture, flutes are blown to welcome very important dignitaries and on special occasions.
Therefore, by symbolism, it can be concluded that all visitors to the park are seen as very important people and there are no second-class citizens of Ghana and for that matter Africa.
In addition, the two main features of the memorial are the museum and the mausoleum. The mausoleum is the place where the mortal remains of Nkrumah have been interred for the third time in the past 39 years.
The body was first buried in Guinea before being brought to Nkroful and later to the mausoleum, its final resting place.
The structure resembles swords that have been turned upside down, signifying peace, perhaps. Others also view it as an uprooted tree, signifying the unfinished works of Nkrumah.