ALMIGHTY GOD has created the world in such a way that all of us don't like the same thing. Some of us want to be lawyers, others want to be doctors. Some of us like fufu, others want TZ. Some of us want our women to be cute and slim, others, like a very famous politician, want women with expanded backsides.
When my classmate from Achimota School told me there was a chieftaincy title vacant in his home town and his mother is pressuring him to take it, I screamed and said “Nana o!!!” He looked hard at my face and said: “Effah D, now I know you don't like me. Look at all the chieftaincy cases we are doing in Court and you want me to join the snake pit?”
And so it was, that three months ago, he told me in the office that his younger brother has agreed to grab the position and he will be installed as the MANKRADO of AMANOKROM Akuapem, on Saturday, October 14, ,2023 – Effah D, you must be there.
Akuapem has 17 towns altogether, and one of them is AMANOKROM made famous by the late EN Omaboe, who was the National Liberation Council (NLC) Commissioner for Finance and later became well known in Ghana as NANA WEREKO AMPEM, Gyaasehene of Akuapem and Chief of Amanokrom.
But reader, even though I like Chieftaincy and I am fairly familiar with chieftaincy positions, what baffles me is the title MANKRADO – who is he in traditional circles? I am told it actually means KRONTIHENE, the traditional deputy of the Chief – very very top post. So, by God's Grace, on Saturday, October 14, 2023, I left my Kasoa residence, picked up three other lawyers from the office and hit the road, heading east of Accra, objective: AMANOKROM. Time check, circa 8am.
As usual, hundreds of youths were doing jogging and health walk on the Aburi Hills, with the fair sex in all types of tantalising costumes, as I feasted my eyes along. We got to Peduasi Lodge and fell into terrible go-slow traffic, braved it with equanimity and hit Ahwerase, Obosomase, Manpong then AMANOKROM. My classmate from Achimota School whose much younger brother was going to be installed was waiting for us. He took us to the magnificent storey building lately built by legendary estates guru, Regimanuel as “Family House” cum Palace of the Mankrado – we were given some delicious kenkey breakfast, then reader – what is this?
Suddenly a very physically attractive and shapely lady, whose age I will put no more than 25, with pure spotless white calico cloth up to her breast line, in a staccato dance walk – one step forward, body bent down, shake the voluptuous backside, wave a huge whisk, then another step forward, was followed closely by a woman in smock carrying two bottles of schnapps. They climbed the steps upwards. We went to the main palace grounds of the Gyaasehene's Palace, venue for the installation. Several invited guests and divisional chiefs in very rich Kente and Adinkra cloths were present, climaxing with the bombastic arrival of the Gyaasehene, Okoforobor KWATIA, escorted by eight sword bearers, two giant state umbrellas and linguists – it was nice!!!
Libation was poured, prayers were said by Rev. Atiemo, and then my classmate's younger brother, Odehyee Ayisi Ofori, arrived at the grounds, escorted by a huge retinue of muskely firing party.
The MC formally introduced the Odehyee, a UK trained university-degree holder, with wife and children, managing his own business in Accra. He then went round the entire perimeter, swearing the oath, finally, to the Gyaasehene. After that he climbed the dais and sat three times on the laps of the Gyaasehene, he did a traditional dance briefly, then sat down on his seat, as MANKRADO of Amanokrom Akuapem.
The new chief then went inside the Gyaasehene's Palace and changed his costume to a very colourful rule designer cloth, then came to sit down, as the family in a long line brought all manner of gifts, courtesy, no doubt, of Regimanuel. Then there was another long line of dancing girls carrying gifts from the wife of the new chief to her husband.
Reader, guess who I saw sitting there quietly among the dignitaries: DAVID ASANTE APIETU, former Inspector General of Police. He was Director General, CID when I was MP and Deputy Minister of Interior. He was wearing white smock over Khaki trousers looking very much unlike somebody on retirement.
The toast of the firing party was this strong looking very well dressed 80 year old lady with a very small sword like gun, and anytime we will hear an earth shaking sound blast of a big gun – GBUM!! She will follow up with firing of her small pencil like gun. Small CLICK – like a key opening a door.
Programme over, we all returned to the Family House where an army band was playing, and then at about 3pm, Almighty God blessed the whole proceedings with massive down pour of rain. I finally got home at Kasoa at 7pm, having left my classmate's younger brother in the snake pit of chieftaincy!!!!
By Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey