A crusader who never gave up
Known as “Convention Hannah”, this pioneering activist played a leading role in Ghana’s struggle for independence, and worked to improve the lives of women in the country. Her resilience continues to inspire us today.
The story of Ghana’s independence cannot be told without the story of Hannah Cudjoe (1918-1986).
Originally a dressmaker, she was living with her brother when Kwame Nkrumah, the Ghanaian politician who was to become the nation’s first post-colonial Prime Minister and President, visited the house in 1947. This inspired her move into politics, and she became a passionate crusader. When the so-called Big Six of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) were arrested in 1948, it was Cudjoe who staged demonstrations and campaigned for their release.
Cudjoe played a crucial role in the Convention People’s Party, as well as in Positive Action, the civil disobedience movement that paved the way for the end of British colonial rule. But her activism did not stop with independence. She worked tirelessly to improve the lives of women in Ghana too, founding the All African Women’s League in 1960. Focusing on health and childcare, she worked to establish day nurseries throughout the country, as well as helping to distribute food when there was a famine, and encouraging women to start growing their own.