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"We must unite now or perish!": Kwame Nkrumah's creation of a mythic discourse?

Nartey, Mark


Mark Nartey


This paper presents a discourse-mythological analysis of the rhetoric of a pioneering Pan-African and Ghana's independence leader, Kwame Nkrumah, drawing on Ruth Wodak's discourse-historical approach to critical discourse analysis. The thesis of the paper is that Nkrumah's discourse, in its focus on the emancipation and unification of Africa, can be characterized as mythic, a discursive exhortation of Africa to demonstrate to the world that it can better govern itself than the colonizers. In this vein, the paper analyzes four discursive strategies employed by Nkrumah in the creation and projection of his mythology: the introduction or creation of new discourse events, presupposition and implication, involvement (the use of indexicals) and lexical structuring and reiteration. This study is, therefore, presented as a case study of mythic discourse within the domain of politics.


Nartey, M. (2019). "We must unite now or perish!": Kwame Nkrumah's creation of a mythic discourse?. Journal of Language and Politics, 18(2), 252-271.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 20, 2018
Online Publication Date Apr 18, 2019
Publication Date Apr 18, 2019
Deposit Date Jan 8, 2022
Journal Journal of Language and Politics
Print ISSN 1569-2159
Electronic ISSN 1569-9862
Publisher John Benjamins Publishing
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 18
Issue 2
Pages 252-271
Keywords Linguistics and Language
Public URL