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Who Composed The Ghana National Anthem

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Wondering who composed the Ghana National Anthem?, In this article, we share with you all you need about ”God bless our homeland Ghana”, the National Anthem of Ghana.

The significance behind our country’s anthem spells out our sovereignty, the spirit behind our endurance, the urge for constant development, and many other values. Therefore, our National Anthem speaks a volume of words about us as a country. It defines who we are by throwing a spotlight on our past, where we hope to get to and what we ought to do to get there.

In the past, when Ghana used to be called Gold Coast, before 6th March 1957, the British National Anthem, “God Save the Queen,” was sung at all official functions throughout all British colonies of which Gold Coast was part.

After 6th March 1957, when Gold Coast became Ghana through independence, it became necessary that the newly-made country deduced a National Anthem of their own to seal their sovereignty and make an identity for themselves. It was then thrown to the citizens of the young country to submit songs that would substitute the British Anthem.

Numerous songs were made and trimmed down to the best four songs. This was overseen by the National Anthem Selection Committee instituted by the Kwame Nkrumah led administration.

The best four shortlisted songs were voted on by listeners when it was played over the only radio station in the country, then called Radio ZOY (which became known as Ghana Broadcasting Corporation after Ghana gained independence).

Eventually, the people chose, and Philip Gbeho, a music teacher and a composer, became the winner after his song was massively voted for. 53-year-old Mr. Gbeho was the Chairperson of the Interim-Committee for the Arts Council of the Gold Coast.

As a result, Philip Gbeho’s composition as the National Anthem was officially accepted and out doored on independence day, 6th March, 1957.

It was later declared the nation’s (Ghana) official Anthem and was to be played at all functions or ceremonial events. It was added that the British Anthem would be played only when the country received Royal or high-level visitation from Great Britain. This was a decree by the then Prime Minister, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.

Although the Ghana National Anthem composition was of Philip Gbeho’s making, the lyrics weren’t his. Emmanuel Pappoe-Thompson came up with lyrics that harmonized with the song with the help of Mr. Tettey Lartey. Unfortunately, due to reasons that weren’t known to the public, a literary committee set up by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah called for a revision of the lyrics.

Emmanuel Pappoe-Thompson’s lyrics was abandoned following an invitation to the public for new lyrics. An announcement was made on the 25th November 1960, when Ghana became a republic, and Nkrumah was the President after a successful election.

A criterion was laid along with the invitation for new lyrics. This requirement was what the old lyrics lacked. If not all, at least most of it. The criteria were:

– The anthem should be dignified, simple and easy to sing.

– The anthem should not exceed three verses in all.

– The anthem should give expression to the patriotic sentiments of the citizens of the Republic of Ghana.

Unfortunately, the literary committee couldn’t live to see a proper handover of their works since the government they served under was overthrown. Although new lyrics were introduced in the 70s, there wasn’t any official documentation or pronunciation of it. It was promoted by the government eventually and was accepted nationwide.

Over the years, the people made Philip Gbeho the sole composer for both the lyrics and the melody since there wasn’t anybody else to own up for it.

Years passed until 2007, during the 50th Anniversary of Ghana’s Independence, when an individual came up claiming authorship over the lyrics of the National Anthem and Pledge. His name was Dr. Michael Kwame Gbordzoe.

As a Physics Professor in Germany with insightful publications on Radiation and Biophysics, Dr. Gbordzoe has lived most of his life in Germany. With such a claim, authorities asked why he was making an appearance then. He said he stayed away for that long because of power alternating between military and civilian rule. He feared for his life and couldn’t come forward during a heat period like that.

He left the country to further his education in Germany shortly after submitting his entry for the anthem and the National Pledge. He was then in Bishop Herman College when he submitted. He claims he has documented evidence supporting his claim and that he has presented petitions to the government for formal recognition and awaiting a response.

Lyrics of The Ghana National Anthem

God bless our homeland, Ghana,
And make our nation great and strong,
Bold to defend forever,
The cause of Freedom and of Right.
Fill our hearts with true humility
Make us cherish fearless honesty,
And help us to resist oppressor’s rule
With all our will and might for evermore.

Hail to thy name, O Ghana,
To thee we make our solemn vow:
Steadfast to build together
A nation strong in Unity;
With our gifts of mind and strength of arm,
Whether night or day, in mist or storm,
In every need what’er the call may be,
To serve thee, Ghana, now and evermore.

Raise high the flag of Ghana
And one with Africa advance;
Black star of hope and honour,
To all who thirst for liberty;
Where the banner of Ghana freely flies,
May the way of freedom truly lie
Arise, arise, O sons of Ghana land,
And under God march on for evermore.

Raise high the flag of Ghana
And one with Africa advance;
Black star of hope and honour,
To all who thirst for liberty;
Where the banner of Ghana freely flies,
May the way of freedom truly lie
Arise, arise, O sons of Ghana land,
And under God march on for evermore.

Conclusion

In this article, we provided all you needed to know who composed the Ghana National Anthem.

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