When 48-year-old Samia Yaba Christiana Nkrumah revealed she was running for the Jomoro seat in the Western region just a few months before last Sunday’s elections, few people gave her a dog’s chance.
I may be fresh to Ghanaian politics, but I’m prepared to make my mark, she declared.
Samia, the only child of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana, didn’t hold back. Samia, running on the ticket of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) her father formed in 1949, defeated Lee Ocran, a senior politician from the National Democracy Congress (NDC), and won the Jomoro parliamentary seat.
With 19,916 votes, she easily defeated the 13,098 cast for incumbent Ocran.
Many onlookers are still in disbelief even days after her stunning election performance. Because of her long absence from the country, many people assumed she no longer had a pulse on what Jomoro really needed, so her victory came as a shock.
Moreover, she lacked any prior political experience in Ghana.
Samia Nkrumah claims on her website that she became involved in Ghanaian politics so that she could further her father’s dream of economic and cultural freedom for all Africans.
Being Nkrumah’s daughter, I realised, meant being a daughter of Ghana and Africa with a duty to other Africans.
I did not always have as confidence in my next steps as I have now. I was made aware of the perils of a career in politics at a young age. I was perplexed and disoriented after the 1966 military coup that ousted Nkrumah’s government.
Her journey from Ghana to Egypt to the UK and finally Italy led her to the conclusion that “the Pan-African project as articulated by Nkrumah offers the best response to our ongoing challenges.”
Samia is the second of three children born to Dr Kwame Nkrumah and his wife, Fathia, an Egyptian.Gamal is the oldest, and Sekou is the youngest.
Samia worked as a freelance journalist out of Rome before she was elected. She also worked with the University of Arkansas Rome Centre as a programmer and student coordinator.
She belonged to a group that united African immigrants and helped them integrate into American society.
Samia, who was born in Aburi, Ghana, on June 23, 1960, left the country the day her father’s administration was overthrown, February 24, 1966.
She left again for good in 1984, despite having lived in Ghana as a youngster. She has returned to Ghana after 24 years abroad in order to run for the Jomoro seat in parliament.
She graduated with a Bachelor of Arabic Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in 1991 and a Master of Area Studies (Middle East) from the same institution in 1993. Her thesis focused on the social and political dimensions of modern Arabic literature.
The incoming Jomoro lawmaker is married to the Italian-Danish Michele Melega, and the couple has a son named Kwame who is 11 years old. Samia is trilingual, with fluency in English, Arabic, and Italian.