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Muhammad Ali Visits Ghana

May 16, 1964 - Several thousand cheering Ghanaians greeted the world heavyweight boxing champion, Muhammad Ali, on his arrival today by air from New York in the start of an African tour.

“He’s a handsome young man,” was the most popular comment on the appearance of the 22-year-old Ali, who is regarded in Ghana as an “African-American.”

Although business houses and Government offices had not closed for the weekend, people flocked to the airport to welcome Ali and his party.

A thunderous “Akwaaba” (vernacular for welcome) greeted him when he appeared. Banners inscribed “Welcome Cassius Clay Alias Mohammed Ali” and “Welcome King of World” were waved.

Ali was given the name of Kwame (Saturday-born male) by Foreign Minister Kojo Botsio, who represented President Kwame Nkrumah at the airport.

Two members of Ghana’s Young Pioneer Movement, an arm of the Government, presented a bouquet and tied one of its red, white, and green neckerchiefs around Ali’s neck. Ali was accompanied by six men, including his brother, Rudolph, and his business manager, Osman Karrim.

The welcoming party included Prince Yao Boateng, the chairman of the Ghana Boxing Authority, and Ohene Djan, the Director of Sport.

Ali is expected to stay in Ghana a month and give two exhibitions.

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