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“These Akans” and their hangers-on

Source : Kwawukume, Andy C. Y.

Andy Kwawukume

Kwawukume, Andy C. Y.

The long awaited searchlight on these particular breed of human kind is soon at hand. This is just an interlude to warm you up. It is opportune in the light of the current consternation caused by the senseless and completely intellectually and academically bankrupt political puke vomited by Prof. Mike Ocquaye, a hanger-on, on us again. Enough! Is Enough!

It has now become normal that when one logs into the comments section of news posts and articles on Ghanaweb with intent to provide what one thinks are sensible comments, or find out what fellow Ghanaians think on the subjects at stake, one is NOT surprised at finding out that some jaded, dirty-minded, foul-mouthed, over-bloated and overrated, jealousy and envy-ridden Akan cyber trolls, have found the news or article as just another opportunity to heap insults and vituperation on Ewes with intent to demean and demonise them. “Northerners” have been added since President Mahama assumed the presidency. So to the Ayigbe this, trokosi that, we are now also greeted with pepeni this, ntafuor that. However, I won’t be concerned about the recent addition here.

For “these Akans,” no doubt some Asantes and others from within the former Asante Kingdom without a history of their own except that of Asante, being subjects and vassals, and their hangers-on, everything is about dissing Ewes as dirt and evil impersonated; while proclaiming at the same time that Ewes are dominating them in the civil and the security services besides other unfounded accusations. Some of them had even written books incorporating such accusations. This anti-Ewe vilification, as I had shown elsewhere, were simply a fall-back on the virulent anti-Ewe campaign of Busia and his Progress Party during the 1969 General Elections against Gbedema’s National Alliance of Liberals which introduced the Akan/Ewe schism in Ghana’s politics.

Some Ewes who think the minds of “these Akans” are impervious to reason have unfortunately also taken to wholesale insult of Asantes in particular, whereas a Bono jerk and a scion of former vassals like Osei Tawiah might be the offender. Or, even someone with origins from the Elmina area, known for their close historical links to the Asantes since the latter got the Notes to the Castles after the defeat of Ntim Gyakari might be the culprit. Of course, they were all known as Asantes before, including even the Denkyira rebels that joined the Denkyira subjects to overthrow their king Well, it is the collateral damage innocents suffer in case of conflicts like this; just as all Ewes are subjected to these insults, stereotyping and demonization because of the actions of a few. So, those smug ones who think they are above descending into the mud-pit shall have some mud hitting them too. Nobody shall be left unscathed.

Of course, these claims of dominance are not supported by any of the available statistical studies but was inbred into the psyche of “these Akans” by Dr Abrefa Kofi Busia and his Progress Party during the 1969 General Elections, the records of which I had drawn attention to several times by quoting Dennis Austin, even though the memories of that anti-Ewe campaign are indelibly implanted in the minds of some of us who were old to know what was going on. They have coined a word for it: “Ewenisation”! BUT then, curiously, they’d claim Ewes envy them (often mentioning Asantes as the major victims) when they are challenged! Envy them whaat??? When Ewes were supposed to occupy even ALL the late President Mills’ ministerial posts, as claimed by Kwabena Akurang-Parry, masquerading as Akadu Mensema, and many of “these Akans”, such as Justice Sarpong, were praising him for “telling the truth”??? What truth???

Some go about insulting Ewes as thieves. Now, if the prison population of Ghana is taken, can any one of you prove that Ewes dominate significantly those in prison for stealing? What about Ghanaians imprisoned abroad? Which ethnic group from Ghana predominates? Who are often cited among the most corrupt in Ghana?

I am sick and tired of this JJC sons of peasants, newly miseducated, foolish and ignorant wannabes, constantly insulting we Ewes simply because they think, in their warped and prejudiced minds, that some Ewes have taken what belonged to them, presumed former overlords of what is now Ghana. So can anyone tell me what “these Akans” had which I, Andy C.Y. Kwawukume, a scion of Alfred K. Kwawukume of blessed memory; I, grandson of NC (Nathaniel Cooma), Court Registrar and Chief of the Native Police of the Eastern Province, Keta, and of course, nephew of Torgbui Sri II KMAC, OBE, MCE, all of us who can trace our ancestry to the leader of all Ewes before they split up way back in history to far back in Nigeria, do not have and I envy? By the way, times have changed and so I have been eking out a living off my own business for over the past ten years in London. Not easy but I had given jobs to Sri Lankans, Nigerians and Ghanaians and survived the credit crunch while many didn’t! Hurraayy!

I won’t say I don’t know about how some other Ewes feel, and I speak for myself and family only. I know most don’t have a clue as to how to respond to these abuses. Glibly proclaiming, as the Anlos do, that they are just “dzimakplaviwo” – unbred people (which they are); “gbemelawo” – bush animals (which they are not); “egbe tso mo na wo” – bush has covered their faces (which is debatable); “mi da asi wo nu” – leave them, are not the appropriate responses at this time in our association with the Akans, even they were decades back when Ewes were first penetrating Akan areas after WW1. As for many non-Anlo Ewes, especially from northern Eweland, the problem is an Anlo one which is bringing opprobium on all Ewes, and they should deal with it. One of them, the late Dr Kodzi, even wrote a book in the 1990s in which he pointed out the Anlos as culprits to be targeted by “these Akans” in case of reprisal attacks, just as that demented man in Ghana advocated on air! Holy smokes! Can “these Akan” Avengers tell the difference between an Anloga man and a man from Hohoe? Neither is the renewed, open calls for secession (no longer a clandestine activity in the VR; perhaps, thanks to the demise of my notorious, secessionist busting uncle?), with same Antor’s divisive slant, that derailed the Ewe Unification quest started by Torgbui Sri II in 1915, which will see the Anlos (includes the Tongu areas too) left behind in Ghana, the way to go. “These Akans” will jump though with joy, and proclaim: good riddance! They won’t have that satisfaction. I have what I think are the appropriate responses to them and the situation: the personal and collective. This one is personal – a case study you may call it – heralding the collective which comes later. Komla Dumor also did it his own way with his “Ayigbe Jokes” series on MyJoyFm in the late 1990s, in response to the wholesale abuse of Ewes in the pro-NPP press then, which mortified me tremendously.

So how many of the parents of “these Akans” could afford to buy and use a Mercedes from proceeds of their private enterprises like my late father did from 1960, after parking the Jeep he used in the North, when he and his British partner were liquidating the Gonja Settlement Scheme at Damongo on behalf of the departing colonial authority? Yes, we were there when President Mahama was born, just as two siblings after me at the same Government Hospital, no doubt. Were my father alive, I’d have heard all about the courtship that led to one of my many aunties giving birth to Ibrahim, step-brother to the President. As for the Gonjas, we go a long way back. It is a pity that we haven’t as yet unraveled the saga that led to my own great grandfather reportedly marrying 32 of their women, earning a sub-titleship over what he built up and becoming one of them but that is another story situated at the Daboya area. It is, of course, such stories that shaped some of us while growing up. So what were the parents and grandfathers of “these Akans” when my father was appointed the first African Administrative Manager of John Holt Bartholomew with over 20 whites underneath him when S. Africa was getting Apartheid? So where were the forebears of “these Akans” when my great, great grandfather, father to Torgbui Sir II who was in the Legislative Council from 1916-42, sat in prime position to negotiate peace with the British after the Sagrenti War? So what do “these Akans” and their hangers-on have in privileges, educational attainment, material well-being, physical looks – name it – which I as an Ewe who writes against the prejudices “these Akans” express against my ethnic group [and others] does not have and I envy? When we are supposed to be monopolizing all the goodies already? Doesn’t make sense!

A couple of weeks ago, one of such ignorant fools wrote on SIL that had it not been for the largesse of Nkrumah with his grandfather’s cocoa money, I, Andy C.Y. Kwawukume, would have been an illiterate! You see, that is their images of us, based on their utter ignorance! They have no clue that the VR was a major grower of cocoa and Ewes also own cocoa farms, besides engaging in other productive activities which add more to our GDP than cocoa! Yes! Growing maize can be more remunerative in some years than cocoa! All that reminded me of how much the late Torgbui Tamakloe IV was upset when Kofi Koomson in early 1993 devoted a whole centre spread in his “The Chronicle” insulting with reckless abandon the Tsikatas, fellow members of the royal Adzorvia clan of Anlo and unarguably one of the most educationally accomplished families in Ghana, calling the long deceased mother of Kojo an illiterate woman, blissfully ignorant of the fact that that woman was a Gold Coast icon and an educationist who was the first Gold Coaster to head the Catholic Convent for Girls in Keta, which is now Ola Secondary School in Ho. Yes, the school the wife of President Kufuor attended and learned to speak Ewe in Keta. As Torgbui remarked then, because their parents are illiterates, they just assumed that the parents of all Ewes are illiterates too! The issue is taken up in the collective response.

There are poor Ewes and there are poor Akans. There are educated and uneducated Ewes just as same for Akans. That much I saw and was horrified when I travelled extensively in parts of the Central, Western and the Ashanti Regions in December 1992 and early 1993 collecting data for my dissertation on the rural banks. As for the Eastern Region, I know it quite well. I did my National Service there. By the way, Akurang-Parry, aka Akadu Mensema, I didn’t write on the appalling lack of toilet facilities in Ghana, though it is a topic deserving urgent attention by scholars too! Teachers are now falling into those monstrosities that pass for places of convenience! [Since writing the foregoing, a journalist had written on the disgraceful toilet situation in Ghana.]

Are “these Akans” aware that 33% of present Asantes are descendants of the slaves they kept, that is, those “lucky” not to be sold or killed in rituals, and some of them are Ewe in origins? Are they aware that some ancestors of Ewes even fought on the side of the Asantes in those predatory pre-colonial inter-ethnic wars of plunder and loot, including against the English? Indeed, the time to break the “afisem” taboos, etc., has arrived. I am pissed off mightily! These ignoramuses and fools need to be taught some proper history, not that Mansa Musa died in a pair of trousers and Yaa Asantewaa the heroine folk tales we were all fed in basic and secondary schools. As a matter of fact, same refined and polished yarn are taught in our universities.

To the Asantes specifically, from the former Asante Protectorate which included the Brong Ahafo Region, let me tell them that they have indeed made much progress in joining the Civil Service and the security forces, considering the fact that they were not part of the Gold Coast colony until 1946, whereas a large section of the Ewe homeland was from the C19th. They were therefore not recruited into those bodies until after 1946 unlike southern Ewes who were part of the Gold Coast colony decades before the annexation of Asante and the Northern Territories (NT). That’s why out of the 29 Gold Coasters who had reached officer ranks in the Army (I have their full bios data), Afrifa was the only officer in the Ghana Army from both present Ash/R and B/A combined on the eve of independence. Northerners, specifically from among the “Frafras”, though not in the colony, were recruited into non-officer positions in both the Army and Police because of their presumed fighting spirit and undoubted loyalty to authority similar to the same beliefs about the Gurkhas of Nepal. Only Col. Bawa who was shot and killed allegedly by Afrifa himself during the 1966 coup made officer rank from the NT. Ewes were recruited for similar reasons but to fill middle level and senior positions too because they had education. Because of the very early missionary activity and formal education in the Ewe areas, which stretch from the Atlantic coast to the Peki/Ho/Hohoe areas, it meant that many Ewes acquired formal education from the early C19th. Even some coastal people, Ewes included, who did not go to school in those days learned to speak European languages through working for white people. And then there were those with European parentages who even had it better, taken to Europe to be educated and returned, or educated by their parents to serve them as clerks, factors, etc, in their businesses.

In fact, those mulattoes, from the Western Region to the Volta Region, ran the slave trade from the coast and formed the core of the earliest educated Gold Coasters. Yes, the slaves the ancestors of you these Akans used to bring to the coast from the interior to be sold were bought and sold by those people after fattening them up to gain back weight lost on the grueling march to the coast. That’s why a former white VC of Legon said the Fantes made more money from the slave trade than the Asantes except that you won’t catch them boasting about how rich they are! Wait until I tell you all about it, bloody-minded ignorant fools! If you are really educated and read, you should have known about that already.

Now, the ignorant fools on Ghanaweb, like the rest of them in Ghana, do not know that trokosi came from among the Adangmes to Eweland. It is thus found along the Volta River in the Tongu Districts where the Adangme fugitives from the Akwamu wars settled among the Agaves and other places in Eweland, to as far as Togo, where those refugees settled. That’s why trokosi is found in the Ada area, which area, by the way, was first settled by the Agaves before the Adas came as refugees to join them. An examination of the clan origin of the trokosi priests would reveal their Adangme origins. That’s why trokosi is not found in the Ewe areas where the Adangmes did not settle for long specifically, the whole of northern Eweland from Ho, Peki to Hohoe areas [they left the Avatime area where they settled to Agortime]. The northern Ewes therefore have no clue what it is! We in the south know because the Ga-Adangmes settled among us and are now part of our clan system. Only some very few uneducated, particular clan members, mostly with Ga-Adangmes origins, still patronise those trokosi shrines.

The vast majority of Ghanaians, literate or illiterate, are superstitious beyond belief. It is a topic I have been grappling with for over two decades now. It is simply some ignorant and foolish “these Akans” and their hangers-on who believe that all Ewes practise juju and trokosi. That Ewes who are mostly Christians now and, increasingly, Muslims and Buddhist as I found out in 2003, practise traditional religion too can only be claimed by ignorant Morons with capital M. I don’t even believe in the myths found in the Bible and, for that matter, the Qur’an, about a god creating this universe, human beings, the flora and fauna and causing floods and what not! I did not go to “school plenty, plenty”, come from a fourth generation educated background and still have my cosmology and cosmogony still rooted at the Weberian primitive, substantive rationalisation level like the mass of you miseducated “these Akans”, your hangers-on and others! I knew that most Ghanaians were/are not civilised as a child in the 1960s before Ken Kuranchie came out of prison for contempt of court and pronounced sweepingly that Ghanaians were not civilized, as if Ghana was ever wrongly classified among the comity of acclaimed developed and civilized nations.

Yes, there was a time Ewes were encouraged to burn the cliché mid-night candle, as we’re told education was our cocoa. Many Ewes therefore shined in their studies, leading to their recruitment by the colonial authority and the merchant houses to run their administrations. Upon independence, Ewes were thus among the top elite with experience to take over the positions the whites were vacating. My father and uncles, not to mention a host of clansmen, women and tribesmen, were among those people recruited from the private sector to set up and run the myriad of new projects the CPP started. The 1966 coup saw my father in the role of the Acting Financial Comptroller of the Workers Brigade again from his role as the substantive Deputy from its inception. The incompetent Brit the CPP had recruited again, still under the cloud of white superiority, with my father doing all the work for him to be signing, had deserted post too after getting what he wanted. Some of those CPP Ministers couldn’t hold a candle to my father during the colonial era, not to mention white people, and Papa used to be so incensed with their unwise decisions and actions, which included sending that fair complexion man (name withheld) to the house to convince Papa to help them steal public monies! You see, Papa never took a penny home which didn’t belong to him; that’s why I am writing publicly about it now, even though the Kom Commission Report is there to support me. Those corrupted upstarts thus refused to pay him his full contract entitlements because they said he thought he was rich and so would not share in stolen public money and so did not need the extra money for acting as the head. Even after a number of court judgments in his favour, the full entitlements were not paid before his passing away in 1982! The lawless bastards and nobodies that took over the running of the Ghanaian state have since increased in their numbers! Today, it is thievery and lawlessness that are the badges of honour! That is not how the model colony of the Gold Coast was built by the grand and great fathers of some of us under British supervision.

Now, which dog born you these trolls, you “these Akans”? Where were your great, great grandfathers when the Gold Coast was being formed? Mine were at the negotiating table after leading the battles against the British too! I refuse to be insulted and demonized constantly with reckless abandon by the scions of nonentities and so-called royals of ill-repute alike! Is it because the ancestors of the latter plundered, massacred, kidnapped and sold the relations of some present Ghanaians more than my ancestors? We sold a few too, you know? Eweland was not known as the Slave Coast for nothing. Our misfortune was the great cowry inflation of the C19th that turned most of the “hotsuitorwo” into paupers when it was over and cowries ceased to be medium of exchange in Africa. Yeah! I know you haven’t heard of this super hyperinflation before but I read long ago that even a very good teacher could only teach a student 45% of what a student needs to become educated. I have done my part, start doing yours!

I shall return with the bazookas, as I go on the offensive! I did warn you all repeatedly before.

Andy C.Y. Kwawukume
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