Chief Justice (CJ) Mrs Sophia Akuffo, has commissioned the first-ever Ancestral Heritage Museum, which houses the traditional antiquity of the Legendary Nana Kwasi Akuffo, the first paramount chief of Akuapem, from 1895 to 1907, and 1919 to 1927.
The Ancestral Heritage Museum, christened: “Akuffo Descendants Tourism Project,” contains the mysterious fertility bed on which the King slept with 62 recognized wives and produce within 44 years, 147 children between 1883 and 1927. Within the period, he had 142 grandchildren and 54 great-grandchildren.
The Museum, located at Santewase, Akropong-Akuapem is steeped deep in history and tradition with an extensive courtyard and background, which is used for performance of all cultural, traditional and customary norms of the King.
It also houses the mystery of the reign of Nana Kwasi Akuffo, including his chamber, courtroom, traditional stool room, regalia room, and other consecrated rooms.
The sacred museum, also contained antique furniture of the Nana Kwasi Akuffo, memorable kingly regalia, photographic gallery, ancient writings and books, and other ancient times colonial artefacts.
Mrs Akuffo who is a descendant, explained that the main objective of the project was to use the remarkable history of “our grandfather, Okuapehene Nana Kwasi Akuffo to showcase the culture and achievements of the people of Akropong and Akuapem to create an educational museum to study the exploits of the great king.
She said the inauguration, which was on the theme: “Our Heritage, Our Pride,” served as a pivotal point for revival of tradition, culture and norms.
“We have a lot to learn from our forefathers, and their legacies must be protected for generations yet unborn”.
According to Nana Appiah Anti IV, Tutuhene who chaired the outdooring ceremony, Nana Kwasi Akuffo was enstooled as the 15th occupant of the Ofori Stool of Akuapem in December 3rd 1895 at the age of 32.
He explained that, his ascension to the Ofori Stool, wrote a new chapter in the annals of the Gold Coast chieftaincy, as he established himself as one of the most enlightened chiefs of his time.
Nana Kwasi Akuffo’s reign was truncated on July 29,1907, when he was destooled and banished from the kingdom after a long political dispute.
The destooled chief settled at a village called “Bogyabi Ye Dom,” near Nsawam, where he united the children and grandchildren under one great family tree and educated them in Akan customs and traditions as well as the culture, usages and practices of Ahemfi (Palace).
Nana Anti explained that by the unanimous consent, Nana Kwasi Akuffo was re-instated in 1919 and reigned again peacefully until he was called to join the ancestors in 1927.
The late Nana Kwasi Akuffo was credited with the introduction of the usage of golden paraphernalia in the form of crowns, sandals, and bangles among others as kingly regalia to replace the antique ivory, hides, leather and cowries.
Mrs Ama Dokuaa Asiamah-Agyei, Deputy Minister of Information commended the Akuffo Descendants for transforming the ancient Akuffo House into memorable Museum to preserve the heritage of the great king.
She said the project, which was a community-based effort to identify, document, and conserve the heritage of Nana Kwasi Akuffo must be replicated across the country, “this will attract huge traffic of tourists to Akuapem and the surrounding towns and villages”.
Mrs Asiamah-Agyei who is also Member of Parliament for Akuapem North Constituency said the project may be viewed as a precursor of community-generated museum and tourism attraction vintage to link the ancient and modern.
The commissioning ceremony was graced by Nana Adutwumwa Dokua, Okyehemaa, Kyebi; chiefs and queen mothers who adorned traditional royal regalia, former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings; Parliamentarians, representative from Ministry of Tourism, and Eastern Regional Minister.
Other dignitaries included Dr Nana Baah Wiredu, a Tourism Consultant; leaders from the academia, media practitioners, students, religious leaders, players in the tourism industry, government officials, and a cross section of the public.
In conformity with customs, traditional drummers welcomed and enlightened the audience with enthusiastic performance of the Keteke and Fontomfrom drum beats coupled with energetic dance.