Sample commentary on Kwame Nkrumah Speech AS level-paper-1

Kwame Nkrumah skillfully manifests his rhetorical skills to persuade his country men manipulating varied possibilities and conventions of language. He opens his talk vividly pointing out the ‘means’ to achieve his objective, ‘African unity’ that is compared uni vocally  to ‘political kingdom’. this metaphor and frequent usage of ‘our people’, ‘our own’ and ‘we’ creates a sense of belonging and subsequent unity.

He makes an obvious assault on the ‘western colonial manipulation  of Africa’ when he makes an anaphoric statement, ‘ills of the past’ and the apt metaphor, “the milch cow’ of the western world’. He admonishes his listeners to channelize ‘their resentment’ for the betterment of the nation. By exposing some facts about western economy such as ‘basic economic might of the foreign powers-comes from our continent’ urges Africans to realize their own self worth.

Rhetorical questions with metaphors of the ‘opresser’ ( western colonials) such as ‘what need is there for us to remain hewers of wood and drawers of water for the industrialized world’ aimed at igniting the dormant spirit of Africans. Consecutive direct statements in the second paragraph also serve the purpose.

The speaker shows a clear-cut awareness of the need of the hour and relevant when he says ‘ at the tempo demanded by today’s events and mood of our people’. He also brings out the glaring contradictions in the views and perspectives of the other parts of the world about Africa. He unfolds the per-conceived notions  of non African races and the Western world in particular.Thus the facts and figures in the 3rd and 4th paragraphs would be an eye-opener for Africans to realize their own mammoth potentials.

The repetition ‘we have resources’ boosts listener’s morale. Another idiomatic usage ‘ tackle the by the horn’ persuades his people to rise and act in unison for a common purpose.

He comes up with a realistic and authentic action plan when he says, ‘with capital controlled by our own banks, harnessed to our own true industrial development’ and it advocates the need for self-reliance and self-governess. By using the metaphors of ‘parasite’ and a ‘disease’ which Africans need to ‘get rid of and ‘to cure’. He attacks colonial invasion and subsequent exploitation of western countries.

Moreover, by craft fully using same syntactical patterning at the concluding paragraph to convince, mobilize and unite Africans to a ‘pan African unity’ the speaker succeeded to evoke a sense of clarity in his mission and vision of his country and people at large.









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