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A ‘State’ Chair?

Feature Article A State Chair?
MAY 19, 2022 LISTEN

According to history, the bitterest most difficult war ever fought by Asanteman was the three-year (1828-1830) war with Gyaaman, called by historians as “The Adinkra War”.

Reader, can you believe the cause of this war? Nana Kwadwo Adinkra, Gyaamaahene, a tributary state of Asante, used raw gold from the multiplicity of gold mines in Gyaaman to carve a golden stool for himself, and Otumfuo Osei Bonsu, Asantehene, said no way, only Asantehene can sit on a golden stool. “Surrender the golden stool?” Adinkra said no.

So, Otumfuo massed up a total of 200,000 soldiers, drawn from all over the Asante Empire to invade Gyaaman, just because of a stool.

I instantly remembered this story, when on Saturday, May 14, 2022, I arrived at Biadan Berekum Roman Catholic School Park to attend the funeral of a certain family member, Kofi Agyeman, in my capacity as the head of family of the Nana Yaw Woro Royal Family of Biadan.

As my car entered the park, I saw, reader, a gold-plated state chair, looking very executive, solid, just for kings, “why, is Nana Berekumhene coming to this funeral?” I asked myself.

Then I saw my family queen mother sitting next to the “state” chair, and she motioned me to sit on that chair!

Apparently, a public spirited senior member of the royal family, himself busily angling for installation as Biadanhene had out of his own resources decided to buy this “quasi golden stool” as a special present for the head of family.

Reader, as I sat on the chair, horror filled me – will Berekumhene send a message that I should surrender my head of family chair to him? And if I refuse, revisiting of the Adinkra War? Or a suit at Sunyani High Court?

Reader, tomorrow is pregnant with interesting issues.

The funeral itself was routine – lying in state in the family house, sent to the Catholic School Park for funeral service and then the burial rites, after which we reassembled for the afternoon session.

Thanks to COVID-19, nowadays, all over Ghana, at funerals, we no more shake hands as we used to do in the past. Now, just a walk around the funeral gathering, waving hands – I hope this new normal has come to stay.

I will never forget when one day, at a funeral in Akropong, I shook the hand of some old lady – reader, very cold, like ice block, so I raised my head to take a good look at the woman, seated there, dressed as a queen mother.

But you know, the handshaking culture has one big advantage – when you see a lady of your fancy, in the name of handshake, you use your right forefinger to tickle the girl's palm, and if the answer is positive she will flash you a warm smile, but if it is negative, she will quickly withdraw her hand, her face full of anger!

The dead man lived most of his life outside Ghana in Germany, and when he came to Ghana, they say he had wedding, and only three months after he died!

Reader, let me end with a question – the principal member of the family who bought this executive ultra royal “state” chair for the head of family – will he be happy or sad if he hears that Nana Berekumhene has ordered that I should surrender the “golden stool”?

From Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey

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