The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born is a novel by Ghanaian writer Ayi Kwei Armah. It was published in 1968. It tells the story of a nameless man who struggles to reconcile himself with the reality of post-independence Ghana.
The unnamed protagonist, referred to as "the man", works at a railway station and is approached with a bribe; when he refuses, his wife is furious and he can't help feeling guilty despite his innocence. The novel expresses the frustration many citizens of the newly independent states in Africa felt after attaining political independence. Many African states like Ghana followed similar paths in which corruption and the greed of African elites became rampant. Corruption in turn filtered down to the rest of society. The action takes place between 1965's Passion Week and 25 February 1966 – the day after the overthrow of Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president. The "rot" that characterized post-independent Ghana in the last years of Nkrumah is a dominant theme in the book.
The novel provides a description of the existential angst of the book's hero who struggles to remain clean when everyone else around him has succumbed to "rot". The theme spins around the grand corruption, military dictatorship, country's maladjustment under the reign of Nikrumah and the military junta. Even the title The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born gives a glimpse to the theme of the book.