Oburumankoma, Odapagyan and Oson
3 great warriors who split from the wider Akan group at Krako (modern-day Techiman in the middle of Ghana). Their names meant “The Whale”, “The Eagle” and “The Elephant”. Oburumankoma and Odapagyan did not survive the difficult journey, but Oson did (almost Romulus and Remus, huh?). Oson led the Fante southwards towards the coast and conquered the original inhabitants of Adoakyir who they called “Etsi fui fo” (the bushy-haired people). The Fante renamed Adoakyir “Oman Kesemu” (the Great State), which is now known as Mankessim.
Osei Tutu Kwame Asibe Bonsu – The Hostage-King
During the scramble in pre-colonial Ghana for gold-rich land, the Denkyira people dominated other groups. The Oyoko clan became refugees in the town of Kumase, which became a vassal of the Dekyira King. The Denkyira King, Nana Boa Amponsem, requested for a young, male Kumase royal to serve at his court, and the Kumase Chief sent his nephew Osei Tutu Kwame Asibe Bonsu. Osei Tutu rose to become a great General in the Denkyira army who won many battles. Circumstances compelled him to flee back to Kumase (accompanied by 300 elite warriors given him by Nana Ansah Sasraku, the Akwamu King). When the Kumase Chief died, Osei Tutu became chief (the biblical Joseph, huh?) He founded the Great Asante Kingdom with the help of his friend, the Chief Fetish Priest Okomfo Anokye. The Asante Kingdom (at its peak of power) covered to an area bigger than present-day Ghana.
Hogbetsotso Za – The Great Escape
King Agorkorli of the clay-walled city of Notsie (in present-day Togo) was one very cruel king to his own subjects. He would, for example, order broken bottles to put in the clay used for buildings, and force subjects to knead it. To escape, the subjects (engineered by the women) used laundry and dish-washing water to soften a section of the city wall, until it collapsed (Berlin, huh?). Then, they escaped at night by walking backwards out of the city. Seen from afar, the escapees appeared to be entering rather than leaving the city. The last to escape, scattered millet grain on the ground, and when the birds came to peck, they erased the footprints too, throwing the King’s trackers off-course. Totally brilliant! To celebrate the Great Escape, the descendants of the escapees – the Ewe people – have the Hogbetsotso Za Festival.