The Story of Kwame Danso
KNOW THE ORIGIN OF TOWNS
Story: Kwame Ampene
(Founder of the Guan Historical Society)
Abini Nobia was ejected forcibly together with his followers and they escaped to Mowaso near Grand Basa – a settlement on St John River in Liberia.
Successive Paramount Chiefs were Azu Ekyi (1700-1741), Annor Breman II (1746-1789), Mensah Ohie (1789-1820). Kamma Panin was followed by his nephew Kweku Acka who preferred to stay at Atuabo where he had been nurtured by a respectable person on a farm land. It was soon detected that King Dweku Acka had tyrannical traits and perverted tasted for blood, and therefore chose to stay at Atuabo in order to evade surveillance at Fort Beyin.
He himself visited the Fort in 1828, and was very popular with the youth who nicknamed him “Ngutan” to which he responded “Omiamenia-ba”.
In 1835, a British man – of – war was dispatched to punish King Kweku Acka and his subjects for practicing human sacrifices. He remained quiet for some time when Captain Maclean was appointed Judicial Assessor 1843 – 1847. He then resumed the executions and acquired a pervasive influence throughout the west coast.
The new Governor, Commander Hill, appointed in 1843, threatened to punish him exemplarily for this action of brutality. But with sheer impudence, Kweku Acka sent a message to the Governor saying “he would raze Cape Coast Castle to the ground and dine off the Governor’s liver!. There might be some exaggeration in this, but the Governor became enraged and immediately set up a task force against the recalcitrant king. He was captured and imprisoned at the Castle of life where he died on December 28, 1851. The governor’s prompt action ultimately restored peace and tranquility in the sub-region.
In appreciation of his services, the Governor made Benjin who had been instrumental in capturing Kweku Acka, a chief of Atuabo as a sub-chief for the purpose of settling disputes. Kweku Acka’s successor, Amakye, had his seat at Beyin as the overall head of Nzema. The Atuabo were resentful of this new dispensation since their chiefship had been subordinated to that of Beyin.
In about 1867, by a convention between the British and the Dutch merchants, Nzema became subjects to Dutch interim administration. As a result, Atuabo in Eastern Nzema decided to break away from the Dutch who sent messengers to ascertain the truth of this move from the Elders Atuabo. Unfortunately, the messengers were murdered. Immediately a Dutch gun boat went and destroyed Aturabo.
Soon afterwards, Avu of Atuabo hastened to Wassa where he managed to solicit the help of some men who accompanied him to fight Amakye at Beyin when Amakye learnt of Avu’s advance, he also sought help from the Asante who had supported the Dutch move.
Then under the command of Pani Yanna Acka of Naba, the Western Nzema army marched on, and defeated the Eastern Nzema, killing Avu in the process. Benyin, therefore, gained complete success in the Avu War, in 1869. His death gave rise to a more severe and universal wave of persecution of opponents and forced many people to flee into exile to save their lives.
In order to maintain peace and tranquility in the sub-region, Nzema was split into two separate states under different paramountcites. Beyin became the capital of Western Nzema Traditional Area, while Atuabo remained the capital of Eastern Nzema.
The people of the two states who originated from one common stock entered a period of rehabilitation and reform, and have since shown remarkable stability and persistence centuries later. On the 29th October, 1969, a century after the Avu War, Count Vinigi Grottaneli, Professor of Ethnology in the University of Rome, Italy, gave a lecture on RESEARCH ON NZEMA TRADITIONAL CULTURE, under the distinguished chairmanship of Prof. J. H Nketia as part of Museum Lectures. I was then a first-year student at the instituted of African Studies, Legon. I had then began to develop interest in conducting research particularly into the traditions and the past of the Akan and Guan people of Ghana, which eventually led to the publication of my book ATETESEM, Waterville Publication, 1978, and subsequent establishment of the Guan Historical Society of Ghana; 1982. The society has since compiled twelve volumes of the Guan Research Papers –
The Spectator Page: 31 Saturday, December 4, 2010