Kwame Nkrumah Circle: A memorial of honor or dishonor?

“Business centre, phone hub, gallery of thieves, headquarters for robbers, shine your eyes, home of smartness, busy area 24/7, Sodom and Gomorrah combined, Ghana Dubai, stealing, 419 centre, pickpocketing, and prostitution.”

These are some people’s perceptions of the activities that take place at Kwame Nkrumah Circle or Kwame Nkrumah Interchange.

The place is known for numerous economic activities, but primarily, the sales of electronic gadgets and other consumables are what the place is popularly known for.

From a close look at the perceptions, the deviant behaviours seem to outnumber the positive ones. As a result, pedestrians are extra careful when they find themselves within Circle.

Some traders say it is just people’s crooked perception of Circle, insisting the place is welcoming and safe.

“They know us to be bad people, but that’s not it. They think we’re thieves because of the phones we sell and because of the experiences some people have had over here, but we’re not thieves. Most of us do genuine businesses,” a phone seller debunked.

Also, Maame Esi, who has lived at Circle since childhood, said, “Circle is not bad. So, people have to erase it from their minds that the place is bad. The bad people are there while the good ones are also there, so people don’t have to fear Circle.”

However, the place was named after Ghana’s first president, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, to immortalise the legacy he established.

He is the epitome of political excellence and the torchbearer of Africa’s liberation battles, but the crime, congestion, and all the other negative tags associated with Circle are dark reflections of what Kwame Nkrumah never stood for.

For this reason, should the name be changed in order to protect and not destroy Nkrumah’s image in the near future?

Well, some people do not agree with the name change idea; instead, they think measures should be put in place to clear the undesirable characters and change the negative perception people have about the place.

“When you change it, foreigners who might have heard of the name will encounter identification problems when they arrive in Ghana. So, prostitution and other criminal acts shouldn’t be the reason for the name to be changed.”

“I think we need to maintain it because it was named after someone who fought for us,” Helena, who sells phone covers, also suggested.

Recently, police visibility has increased in and around the area to serve as a check on criminals and curb the activities of the miscreants. The personnel are seen at vantage points, protecting and providing security for all.

Although rampant stealing has reduced, pedestrians are asking for more.

The naming of places after notable individuals plays a significant role in recognizing their achievements. However, negative activities have the tendency to offset the good intentions behind the initiative as well as dent the legacies of the celebrated heroes.

Source: Nyaame Joan Maanyiaza  

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