Publication details [#66640]

Nartey, Mark. 2019. “We must unite now or perish!” Kwame Nkrumah’s creation of a mythic discourse? Journal of Language and Politics 18 (2) : 252–271.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


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.