Feature Article of Friday, 25 February 2005
Columnist: Ntiamoah-Mensah, Charles
The Kwahus have been credited for being the most versatile and enterprising in business. In business it is a well-known fact that their forefathers who were unfortunately not well educated or did not have the necessary basic education had always been shrewd in all aspect of business especially trading - store-keeping, petty trading, tailoring, spare parts dealers etc. etc. They are known to have adapted the Easter celebrations as their "Christmas" where Kwahus all over the world pay homage to their hometowns and villages. They have favourite sons like Nana Ampadu of African Brothers fame, Adofo, aka The Black Chinese, Kojo Antwi, George Jaraah, Obrafuor and the well known, Daasebre Akuamoah Boateng, Omanhene of Kwahu. Tourists love Kwahu because of their fascination with the mountains.
On a recent visit to London, Mr. CNN of Ghanahomepage had the privilege of being invited to the Kwahu Towns Association (KTA) and was informed about their forthcoming plans to help build the infrastructure of Kwahu University. This is an incredible development in the history of Kwahu. The Kwahu Towns Associations of UK/Ireland are working hard to make this a reality so they have outlined various fundraising events to achieve this goal. To set the ball rolling, a Fundraising Dinner & Dance has been scheduled to take place on May 28th in London and a publicity campaign is in progress.
One thing that sounds interesting and is worth learning is how the name Kwahu came into being or its history, where it is situated in Ghana. Why are they called Kwahus and not something that relates to hill District "Beposo"?
Where situated and size Kwahu lies in the Eastern Region of Ghana (formerly known as Gold Coast) about 110 miles from Accra, capital and seat of Ghana?s Parliament. Kwahu is sometimes appropriately referred to as the ?Hill District? (Beposo) because of the Kwahu scarp which rises from 220m.to 640m.above sea level. It boasts of being the second largest in the Eastern Region, comprising of 15 (fifteen) administrative districts with a population of approximately 400,000 people and covering a total land area of 1.876 km.
How the name originated:
The spelling of the name ?Kwahu? is one of the many remnants of Ghana being colonised by the British and in fact the correct spelling is ?Kwawu? which justifies the way the name emanated and pronounced.
Documentary evidence about how the name Kwahu emanated can be said to be non-existent but there are oral authenticated profound evidence which have been heard or obtained from individual renowned elders that Kwahu district comprise of
a) KOWU KINGDOM
B) AKOAWU KINGDOM
and C) KODIA BE KINGDOM
KOWU KINGDOM The name Kowu became the nickname or sobriquet for this kingdom, which meant
you go there at your peril in other words, ?you go there to die?. This is because of the formidability of the people of that kingdom. The inhabitants were also known as ?Kwaemfo? meaning people living in thick forest. This kingdom was situated near Bepong and for which accessibility was difficult due to impenetrable guarded mountain passes. Fear was therefore, evoked by the kingdom through their prowess
in guarding those mountain passes to prevent any intruders. The first call before venturing to gain access to the top of the mountain is Nkawkaw. The town Nkawkaw got its name from this saying ?Nko ko wu? translated as, ?don?t venture to go there to die? To gain access by venturing to travel to this Kingdom near Bepong one has to pass through Nkawkaw.which is at the foot of the mountain.
AKOAWU KINGDOM Renowned elders have confirmed orally that there was one kingdom based at Bokuruwa. Bokuruwa is situated in the north towards Afram River and was established by one person by name Kwaw Baadu understood to be a nephew of King Ntim Gyakari of Dankyira. Kwaw Baadu left home with his brother Frimpong Manso in search of adventure and settled at Anweam. He later found that Anweam was less healthy and wanted to find a new settlement for his people. Baadu sent one of his scouts by name Kofabra to find a most-healthiest place, which he finally accomplished by discovering and selecting Bokuruwa. Kofabra later died. As a commemorative evidence of their faithful servant who founded the new site, the site was called ?Akoawu? meaning ?fought and died?which later became coined into Koawu or Kwahu.
KODIABE KINGDOM It has been said that the people of this third Kindgom had a craving for palm fruits that was abundant in Abene and surrounding areas, thus they acquired the sobriquet ?Kodiabe fo? (palm nut eaters).
This kingdom was founded by a Tena-Bretuo clan, which left Adanse to flee from dictatorial rule of Ntim Gyakari, a powerful chief of Dankyira and settled at Abene.
They were later joined by Asona and Dwumuana clans who founded Aduamoa and Nkwatia. The Asona and Dwumuana clans together with Tena-Bretuo groups experienced harassment ending in dire calamities at the hands of Koawu people and culminating at one stage, in their fleeing across Afram River to a place called Dikoman but came back to enjoy the their palm fruits.
GENERAL REMARKS In general it is evident and is accepted by many Ghanaians that, among other qualities characteristic of Kwahu people, Kwahu people are undoubtedly endowed with two rare human resources, that is perseverance and public awareness and spiritedness in its people. Over the years it has generally been recognized that Kwahu people are the most self-reliant people in Ghana.
The idea, therefore, of a University being established in Kwahu district is long overdue and the people of Kwahu wherever they may be, it is envisaged that they will undoubtedly be willing to help in many diverse ways to build adequate permanent buildings befitting a modern University.
The writer call this ?our first University as, in the not-too-distant future?, it is the hope of many Kwahus including the writer of this sypnosis that a second University based on commerce is established in Kwahu. Kwahu people are born traders and our elders excel in this field.