Royalty In Dwenem

According to history, in the year 1828, about 200 years ago, the Asantehene at that time, Otumfuo Osei Bonsu massed up a frightening gigantic imperial Army of 200,000 foot soldiers and invaded JAMAN called Adinkra War by historians.

When Otumfou got to Berekum on his way to Jaman he picked up more troops under the command of General Diawuo, son of Berekumhene. The war lasted three years, during which Asante firmly subjugated Jaman.

Jaman, even today, is very big. In those days Jaman covered well over 500 villages and Berekum soldiers were based in the Awasu capital, called Dwenem. After the war Dwenemhene sent a message that General Diawuo had put his sister Nana Amoah in the family way, and Berekumhene sent soldiers to go and bring the woman over.

200 years on, the family that Nana Amoah came to start in Berekum is today over 2,000, spread in over twelve villages in Berekum, with yours truly as the current HEAD OF FAMILY.

Just before Christmas 2022 I remember so well that I was in the High Court premises in Accra when I had a message that the Head of family of Nana Amoah back home in Dwenem, 93 year old DANIEL TAKYI had crossed the river of death, with two main death bed wishes.

First that he does not want his dead body to be put in the mortuary for even one night, so immediately he passed on, permission was sought from the current Dwenemhene and he was interred that very night at the Royal Mausoleum in Dwenem.

His second wise was that the next Head of Family MUST come from one of Nana Amoah’s grandchildren in Berekum. After series of consultations and postponements we finally selected NANA KWADWO GYAN as the new Head of the Nana Amoah Royal family called BEANKRA family of Dwenem.

The grand royal farewell for Daniel Takyi was fixed for Saturday 6th May 2023 the very day King Charles III was being coronated in London.

At exactly 12 noon on Saturday 6th May 2023, a four car convoy carrying about 75 members of the Nana Amoah Royal Family in Berekum left my house, passed through my birthplace, JINJINI, the FETENTAA and entered major BoakyeGyan’s hometown, BAABIANEHA (everywhere is here)!!!!

We entered the Jaman South District Capital, DROBO, full of people, moving up and down, and carried on, across three communities before entering the Awasu capital DWENEM.

A one big dual carriage street community, like ANYINAM, in the Eastern Region, DWENEM has a rough population estimate of about 30,000 people, their buildings all in very neat rows that stretch far, both left and right.

The funeral took place at the forecourt of the imposing Presby Church, astride the main road. I counted as many as 24 canopies with chairs all occupied and several mourners seated under the shade of the Presby Church.

One very good legacy of the COVID-19 Pandemic is that previously when you go to a funeral you go round shaking hands with those in the front row. Now, thanks to COVID-19, you just walk by waving, like Parliamentary candidate waving to crowds at a rally.

In my capacity as Head of family from Berekum I was given a very coveted chair to sit on and all the special dignitaries at the funeral did not wave but shook our hands.

They had a very correct truly loudspeaker beaming proceedings to all and playing very popular current tunes that brought mourners to the vast open funeral grounds to dance.

In fact at one point I was confused: the powerful exotic dressing of the women – is this at a funeral in Accra, Kumasi or Berekum? Reader, where am I?

As I looked on staring at the captivating dancing steps of the excited mourners, I wondered quietly – so these people, are they bothered about Galamsey, Aisha Huang IMF, Professor Boateng’s Report and all those “Accra booklong problems?”

Suddenly I heard the announcement – “Captain retired Honourable Doctor Nana (Oh my God, why all these meaningless titles?)…….then he started playing some song…….then he stopped abruptly, and again announced that he made a mistake, and my song is now coming…….m’atwenAwuradeAnin……whereupon several women poured unto the dancing grounds…..

Reader, I looked at my wrist watch – 5pm – just now? I had been seated for four hours.

At one point I had a call from my father in law’s daughter Gloria and I closed my eyes as I talked briefly only to open my eyes to see the Honourable MCE for Jaman South and his entourage of NPP Executives all standing in front of me – they wanted to say goodbye to leave for yet another funeral elsewhere.

As a climax to the funeral, Nana Kwadwo Gyan the customary successor as Head of Family who we had brought from Berekum in a dazzling funeral cloth was introduced to the gathering and he went ahead saying thank you to everybody.

It was now 6pm and we rose up, leaving the DJ to continue playing music for the youth to do their own thing.

The Royal funeral in Dwenem was over.

Written by Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect The Chronicle’s stance.


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