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General News of Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Source: Samuel Dowuona

New Chief for "Accra London"


After 21 years of the destoolment of Nii Nortei Owuo II as Osu Mantse, the Gyaase (Kingmakers) and elders of Osu Traditional Area, specifically the Dowuona Family have finally given natives of Osu both at home and abroad something to celebrate in this Jubilee year of our dear nation. A new and befitting chief has been enstooled.

Twenty-one years was a long time to wait, but considering the stature, intellect, wisdom, humility, vision, integrity, energy and drive of the newly enstooled chief, it has been worth the waiting.

Known in private life as Mr. Michael Nii Okwei Dowuona-Owoo, the 43-year old Banker and Computer Analyst with the SG-SSB Ltd was enstooled under the stool name Nii Okwei Kinka Dowuona VI.

The 6ft 4” tall new chief showed up a little too late, otherwise he would have easily won the title “The Gentle Giant” long before President Kufour showed up. But in the spirit of humility and in giving honour to whom honour is due, he gladly accepts to be called “The Humble Giant” as he shares the seat of government, Osu, popularly known as Accra London, with the president, but in a traditional capacity.

People who know Nii Okwei Kinka Dowuona VI says he is a no nonsense person, action oriented, an achiever, very principled and a computer whiz kid, but he described himself as a reserved, quiet, fair, truth loving, listening person who loves dialogue and does everything in life with his heart. In spite of his intellect, rich peoples skills and financial management abilities, given his banking background and wide travel experience, he humbly admits that in this business of chieftaincy he is an infant and for that matter he is ready to submit to the wealth of wisdom in the good counsel of his elders and other senior colleague chiefs in the Ga state and elsewhere.

“In the multitude of counselors there is safety” so says the good book.

Nii Kinka Dowuona VI believes that his rise to the throne as chief of Osu was orchestrated by God himself, in that almost everybody except one person, at a point deserted him in his quest to occupy his God-given place in Osu, but his dream of being Chief of Osu since age 30 and the encouragement of that one person kept his hopes of ascending to the throne alive until it finally happened on May 4, 2007.

Before his ascension to the stool, Nii Okwei Kinka Dowuona VI served Osu as member of the Kinkawe Asafo (warriors), Secretary to the Gyaase (kingmakers) and also Secretary of the Osu Traditional Council. In all of these capacities he used his time, energy and financial resources to up lift the image of Osu and also in pursuit of what rightfully belong to the people of Osu. In 2003 and in 2004, he single handedly organized the first ever regatta at Osu during the Homowo festivals in both years. He also organized the first and only Ms. Osu Beauty Pageant and some friendly football matches in both of those two years with sponsorship from Guinness Ghana Limited.

One significant aspect of the enstoolment of Nii Okwei Kinka Dowuona VI is the name “Kinka” in his stool name. That name is the root of name the “Kinkawe” (KINKA HOUSE), where the two royal gates of Osu, namely Dowuona and Owuo gates and the Dadebu shrine are based. Dadebu (metal hole) used to be where the Asafo (warriors) hid their weapons from their enemies.

Kinka is the name of the original oath swearing staff, which the first ancestor of the Dowuona family, Nii Nortei Dowuona brought together with the stool, called “Senn Kofi” from his first battle and set them apart for the sole purpose of performing enstoolment rites. It used to be the only staff by which chiefs swore the oath of royalty during enstoolment rites until other staffs came along from other battles.

It is instructive to know that the other royal gate at Osu, which is the Owuo gate have another stool called “ Senn Kwame”.

The process of enstoolment demands that the candidate selected for the stool is blindfolded and sent into a dark room in the Dowuona royal family house called Black House, where the staffs of royalty are kept. He would then select a staff at random without looking and the staff he selects would be the one he swears the oath of royalty by during the actual enstoolment rites at the Kpowulu (Big House), where all Osu esntoolment rites are performed. The Paramount Chief will then be names after the staff he selected.

The process is then completed at Gbatsunaa, the main Osu Wulormo (Traditional Priest) shrine located in the Osu Castle, the seat of political government, where the Wulormo will symbolically handover the power to rule to the Chief. It is instructive to note the in the whole of the Ga state, the Wulormo (traditional priest) used to rule in the past until chieftaincy was introduced.

For a long time now, no candidate has succeeded in selecting the Kinka staff. But in the 50th year of Ghana’s independence, when Ghana is at the threshold of the most promising 50 years of its life, Nii Okwei Kinka Dowuona VI did pick the Kinka staff and therefore brought back the blessings of the first ancestor to Accra London, and by extension to the whole nation as Osu is the seat of government proper.

That the title “Kinka” has showed up again after 21 years of chieftaincy inertia in Osu is a good omen and it gives the elders and people of Osu great confidence that providence and the ancestral spirits have descended on them with manifold blessings in the years ahead.

He tells yours truly that though many people have influenced his life in many positive ways, among them all he his role models are King David in the Bible and Nii Nortei Kinka Dowuona I, the first ancestor of the royal gates of Osu, a man reputed for his courage, braveness and willingness to die for his people.

What’s more; the enstoolment of Nii Okwei Kinka Dowuona VI comes in the wake of the annual Homowo festival of the Ga state, which begins from this month with the corn planting and harvesting. But for the people of Osu, the Homowo proper is in August. One can only expect great and eventful Homowo celebrations in Osu this year characterized by a regatta, football matches, boxing, cycling races as well as cards and draft competitions.

The Homowo festival, which has been quite low-key in Osu lately, is poised this year to serve as a great platform for the new chief to set his vision in motion; a visions that is poised to be loaded with a holistic approach to the issue of development with all citizens of Osu, at home and abroad and of all ages and classes sufficiently captured therein. Born as the fourth child to the late George Nii Noi Dowuona-Owoo and the late Madam Grace Koshie Odarley Wellington on November 7, 1963 at Adabraka in Accra, the 43 years “humble giant” had his basic education at Datus Preparatory School between 1969 and 1976. He then continued to Swedru Secondary School where he obtained his GCE “O” Level in 1982.

After O level, he put his academic knowledge to work in a number of personal business ventures until he finally landed a job at the Social Security Bank, now SG-SSB Ltd, where he worked as a Banker between 1987 and 1996 at the Ho, Asankragwa and Tema branches.

Between 1996 and 1999 he was transferred to the Headquarters in Accra as the Micro Banker in the Project Implementation Office. Whiles there he took advantage of his presence in Accra to obtain a Diploma in Computer Science at the National Computer Centre (NCC – IPMC) in year 2000.

He worked in the Branch Transformation Department of the bank from 1999 to 2003. Now he is a Senior Computer Analyst and Banker with the same bank and has worked in the Flexcube User Support Department from 2003 till date.

In his present capacity ate SG-SSB Ltd, he is the brain behind all the IT software porgrammes that the bank runs. In fact he has written a manual that guides staff in the implementation of the software programs. His role at the bank is so pivotal that in spite of his new role as Paramount Chief of Osu, the bank does not want to let go of him.

With his wealth of experience in banking he is confident about injecting some proper financial management at the level of the Osu Traditional Council to ensure that resources are properly mobilized and applied for the development of Osu.

Besides his work as a banker and computer analyst, Nii Kinka Dowuona VI is also a commercial farmer. He owns a 10 acre cocoa farm at Wassa Dunkwa in the Enchi District of the Western Region.

He loves to watch movies, play with his computer and to travel. In fact he has traveled the whole of Ghana from Accra to Bawku and from Aflao to Elubo. He says of his travel experience that “it has helped me to know how people behave and to master how to manage different kinds of people.”

Nii Okwei Kinka Dowuona VI is a father of three, Grace Naa Shormeh Dowuona-Owoo, George Nii Noi Dowuona-Owoo and Richard Nii Narku Dowuona-Owoo and he is married to Mrs. Henrieta Ama Bemah Dowuona-Owoo (Nee Osei-Tutu), a private business woman. END