Monday, 6 January 2020

Future Ghanaian Military Heads of State Akwasi Afrifa and Kwasi Akuffo Captured in 1950s Sandhurst Photograph

Akwasi Afrifa (back row first from left) and Kwasi Akuffo (Back row second from left) as cadets of Normandy Company at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

Photograph of Akwasi Amankwa Afrifa (1936-1979) and Frederick William Kwasi Akuffo (1937-1979) as young cadets of Normandy Company at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, England in 1958. They graduated in December 1959 and were commissioned into the Ghanaian Army as Second Leiutenants in January 1960.

Both men would later become military Heads of State of Ghana; Afrifa in 1969, and Akuffo in 1978. Both would also be among the senior military officers executed by firing squad on June 26th 1979 after an uprising by junior members of the Ghana armed forces.

Note:

Yakubu Gowon, the Nigerian military Head of State between 1966 and 1975, a Sandhurst graduate also belonged to Normandy Company. Gowon and Afrifa hosted each other during state visits in July and August of 1969.

Source of photograph: ‘Losing an Empire and Winning Friends’: Sandhurst and British Decolonization, Chapter 6 of The British End of the British Empire (pp.234-285), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

© Adeyinka Makinde (2020).

Adeyinka Makinde is a writer based in London, England.

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