Joe Appiah

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The Honourable
Nana Joe Appiah
MP
Member of the Ghana Parliament
for Atwima-Amansie
In office
1957–1964
Personal details
Born Joseph Emmanuel Appiah
(1918-11-16)16 November 1918
Kumasi
Died 8 July 1990(1990-07-08) (aged 71)
Accra
Resting place Tafo Cemetery, Kumasi
Nationality Ghanaian
Political party National Liberation Movement
Other political
affiliations
United Party
Justice Party
Spouse(s) Peggy Cripps
Children Kwame Anthony Appiah, Isobel Ama, Adwoa, Abena
Residence Kumasi
Profession Politician, lawyer and diplomat
Religion Methodist

Nana Joseph Emmanuel "Joe" Appiah, MP (16 November 1918 – 8 July 1990[1]), was a Ghanaian lawyer, politician and statesman.

Biography[edit]

He was born in Kumasi to Nana James Appiah and Nana Adwoa Akyaa, members of the Ashanti imperial aristocracy. His father was a schoolmaster, Methodist leader, traditional nobleman and, finally, Chief Secretary of Asanteman, a position his son would also subsequently occupy. Appiah was educated at Wesley College, Mfantsipim, and the Middle Temple.[2][3]

During his time in the United Kingdom, he was closely involved with the West African Students' Union (WASU), eventually becoming its president.[2] He came, through residence in London and involvement with WASU, to know many of the main players in the fight against imperial rule in Ghana and elsewhere in Africa. Not least among these was Kwame Nkrumah, to whom he became very close. Nkrumah was Appiah's first choice for best man at his wedding to Peggy Cripps in 1953 ("but the job went to arguably the more influential figure of George Padmore, a Trinidadian who was political mentor to African nationalist leaders, including Nkrumah and Jomo Kenyatta"[3]). Their firstborn child, son Kwame, was born in London in 1954, followed by Ama (born 1955), Adwoa (born 1960) and Abena (born 1962).

The Appiah family returned to Ghana in late 1954. Soon after, Joe Appiah's friendship with Nkrumah was ruined. He joined the National Liberation Movement party and won the Atwima-Amansie seat in 1957. The NLM was later to merge with other opposition parties to form the United Party.[4] After the General Afrifa-led coup that overthrew Nkrumah in 1966, he was asked to explain the new regime's motives to Ghana's friends and neighbours. Appiah was intermittently involved in public life as a diplomat and a government minister from then on until his retirement in 1978.[1]

He returned to Kumasi, where he continued to fulfill his duties as a tribal elder. His autobiography Joe Appiah: The Autobiography of an African Patriot was published in 1990. Kwame Anthony Appiah's In My Father's House: Africa in the Philosophy of Culture was inspired by his father's easy cosmopolitanism.[1]

Joe Appiah died in Accra after an illness and was buried next to his wife at the Tafo cemetery at Kumasi in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. His tomb was vandalised in 2008 by unknown persons.[5]

Books[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]