A Prophet Is Not Without Honour, Except …

ON WEDNESDAY, April 27, 2022, the funeral took place in Washington DC, USA of Madeleine Albright, America’s first female Secretary of State who died four days earlier on April 23, 2022. Tributes eulogising her were read by President Biden, President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary Clinton who later also became a Secretary of State like Albright!

The tributes to Madeleine Albright were in spite of her controversial comment in her 1996 interview as the US Ambassador to the United Nations during which she said that, five-hundred thousand Iraqi children dying because of US sanctions against Iraq after the 1991 Gulf War “was a very hard choice, but the price – we think the price is worth it.”

Indeed, Dima Khatib, MD of AL Jazeera service AJ+ said this about the eulogies!

“Please, before you shower us with stuff about how great Madeleine Albright was, go dig what she thought about half a million Iraqi children killed by US sanctions on Iraq after the Gulf War of 1991. Once you heard her say “it was worth it, then come back and rewrite about her greatness.”


Coincidentally, the day of Madeleine Albright’s funeral, April 27, 2022, was the 50th anniversary of the death of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president, in Romania. Interestingly, while social media platforms were awash with tributes eulogising Osagyefo as the “African of the millennium,” at the official level, there was a deafening silence!

A post by a renowned lawyer said: “50 years ago, a great Ghanaian and a great African, a visionary par excellence, a statesman of world standards, died.

He was neither a demon nor a deity. He was a man and a great one. We must celebrate his life!”

On that same day, a video clip lasting about seven minutes showed the guest speaker at Achimota School address audience at a forum “Achimota Speaks.”

He stated that, ethnicity is a fact of life. No one has control over where he/she is born. So one cannot decide to be born a Dangme, Ewe, Konkomba or Bono. He stated that while there is nothing wrong with ethnicity, it is its translation into ethnocentrism which is bad.

Ethnocentrism is the feeling of superiority because one belongs to an ethnic group which God loaded with all the goodness/virtues over all others, who conversely were given a monopoly of all the bad things the Creator created!

Using himself as an example, he said his mother was from the Western Region while his father was from Ashanti Region. His wife is from the Eastern Region while two of his sisters are married to men from the Northern Region. He added that, he lives in Accra, works in Tema and has businesses all over Ghana. His question to the audience was “so, who am I?”

As he walked to his seat, he was greeted with a standing ovation as the audience sang the Achimota anthem “From Gambaga to Accra!”


The guest speaker’s question, “So who am I (as a Ghanaian)” was poignant. Certainly, Osagyefo was not an angel! What is difficult to understand is why the whole of Africa, and indeed the world, sees him positively as a liberator, except some in his country Ghana! If such hatred and disrespect can be shown the first president of Ghana for whatever angelic reasons, why should foreigners not treat us with the disrespect they do in our own country?

Is it a case of a prophet not being without honour in his own country, while praises are heaped on other countries’ leaders as happened during the week with President Arap-Moi of Kenya?


Recently, a Lebanese pulled a cutlass to cut off a Ghanaian head at Osu. It was so distasteful that, the Lebanese Embassy had no choice but to condemn the act and ask the Ghanaian authorities to deal with the culprit. The Marwako incident in which a Lebanese manager forced the head of a Ghanaian lady into a bowl of pepper is still fresh in the minds of Ghanaians.

A Chinese attacks a Ghanaian supervisor with Ghanaian workers nonchalantly watching!

Where is our pride? Why do foreigners take us for granted in Ghana? Are we bold only when we face fellow Ghanaians? Is it the Twi “efiebarima” syndrome, where one is bold at home, but timid outside?

I daresay foreigners dare not do this in the country of our brothers/sisters/rivals next-door-east across!


Despite the controversy about the insensitivity of Madeleine Albright in her 1996 justification of the death of half-a-million Iraqi children after the 1991 Gulf war, America eulogised her as a great American. No American leader condemned her.

Is it because they believe in the saying “a country that does not honour its heroes, is not worth dying for,” and we do not?

As a foreigner asked me, “What is wrong with you Ghanaians? Why are you so busy trying to dim Nkrumah’s light in Ghana, when he shines all over Africa?”

Why should foreigners respect us if they see us unpatriotically, inflict on ourselves negativities, including denigrating Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah? Until leaders see Ghana as an integrated nation of different ethnic groups, and not as an abstract geographical state of unconnected peoples, no one will respect us!

To the extent that we are ruled by ordinary mortals and not angels, leaders will make mistakes as Nkrumah did and as Madeleine Albright did! History will judge us all! Until then, “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For by the same measure that ye judge, shall thou be judged” (Matthew 7,1-3)

Finally, John 8:7 states, “Let he who has no sin cast the first stone.”

Leadership, lead! Fellow Ghanaians, WAKE UP!

BY Brig Gen Dan Frimpong (Rtd), Former CEO, African Peace Support Trainers Association, Nairobi, Kenya