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Kobina Sekyi, the Ghanaian Lawyer Who Had Sworn Never to Wear European Clothes

William Esuman-Gwira Sekyi, better known as Kobina Sekyi, is a nationalist, philosopher, lawyer and writer (The Blinkards) from the Gold Coast (present-day Ghana).

He was born on November 1, 1892 in Cape Coast.

His father was Mr. John Gladstone Sackey; the director of the famous Wesleyan school (Mfantsipim) of Cape Coast.
Like his father, Sekyi also studied at the Mfantsipim school and then studied philosophy at the University of London.

After graduating in philosophy, Kobina Sekyi returned to Gold Coast to teach for a time and participated in political affairs.

Sekyi became a lawyer in private practice in his country.

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He was then elected president of the Aborigines’s Rights Protection Society, succeeding his uncle Henry van Hien

Kobina Sekyi skillfully led ARPS as the voice of the people of the Gold Coast against British imperialism.

Sekyi also became an executive member of the National Congress of British West Africa after the demise of ARPS and contributed to radical opposition to the British colonial regime.

As an intelligent politician and famous lawyer for the Gold Coast, Kobina Sekyi has been appointed a member of the Coussey Committee for Constitutional Change.

As one of the first writers in the Gold Coast, Kobina Sekyi is the author of a powerful comedy “The Blinkards” (1915) which ridicules the acceptance by a colonized society of the attitudes of the colonizers.

His novel, “The Anglo-Fante” is the first English-language novel written on Cape Coast.
Kobina Sekyi’s play “The Blinkards” was premiered in Cape Coast in 1916 and was warmly received by the local press.

He became very popular as he was the first educated elite to appear before a Ghanaian “ntoma” colonial court as a lawyer.

He swore never to wear European clothes because he thought he was totally African.

Unfortunately Kobina Sekyi did not live to see Ghana’s independence in 1957. He died in 1956.

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Written by How Africa

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