i was born on 27th January, 1956 and grew up as a self-made scholar. In 1971, 1972 and 1973 I won three scholarships consecutively to attend secondary school but as a result of my mother's divorce to my father, I became a victim of circumstances. Secondary education was denied me, so I took to the learning of different trades and profession - kente weaving, bead-making, adinkra cloth making and professional driving. During all this time, I poured my frustrations into verse. Then in 1977 and 1980, through the advice of a friend I took the GCE 'O' Level as a private candidate and cleared the first obstacle in my scholarship career. Since then, the way was clear and in 1990 I graduated from University of Science and Technology, Kumasi. In 1995, I took the Post-graduate Diploma in Education to become a professional teacher. In 2000 I had the opportunity to become a Guest Teacher to Denmark where I studied Comparative Education for a Post Graduate Certificate in Education. Back from Denmark, my destiny as an English Language Teacher changed and I became the new computer teacher for the training college where I was working. Apart from various awards, in 2007, I was awarded as the Nationa Best Computer Teacher for Ghana; this took me to the African Innovative Teacher's Forum where I placed second and was thus selected to participate in the Innovative Teachers Forum held in Hong Kong in November 2008. Currently, I am studying for my Masters degree in IT Education at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana.
As a language teacher, I have written many commentaries and appreciation of many poems by different writers; and my personal collection of verse is more then 600 pieces. None of my poems have been published in a volume though many have appeared in different magazines.
I am married with five children - two girls and three boys.
1. TALES ANCIENT & MODERN
A Collection of Short Stories
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Twists And Turns Of Fate
The Thanes Of Amuria
Beginning Errors Become Happy Endings
Kwaku Ananse Meets His Match
The Marvelous Number Thirteen
I Ventured Into The Land Of The Visualizes
TALES ANCIENT AND MODERN
THE TWISTS AND TURNS OF FATE
Kasilo and Kusomo had bee bosom friends from childhood. Their friendship had grown and blossomed into a close relationship somewhat like blood relations. (In the of their existence), they had gone through tight situations together and these sometimes sweet, sometimes sour, sometimes pleasant, sometimes bitter experiences further cemented their already intimate bond.
The two friends held similar views on most issues. The only area where there was a sharp difference between them was the philosophies they held. They were as widely divergent about the essences that governed the future as the east is from the west. Kasilo firmly believed that man’s life was controlled by a strange, irresistible force some sages called destiny or fate. Man is a mere play thing in the hands of the deities. He had no doubt at all that man was absolutely helpless and powerless in the grip of this all-conquering principle. Try as he might it did not lie in his power to extricate himself from the web of events which would be his lot as he progressed from birth unto his final breath.
Kusomo, on the other hand, held on to the Epicurean view of life which stipulated that the pursuit of pleasure was the ultimate goal and objective of any sensible human being. Further, one was the architect of one’s own destiny. The bold and the determined ones who are able to take their destinies into their own hands and paddle their own canoes are bound to hinge on success in the end. This kind of creed enjoins their members to be up and doing because they can create happiness at all times and places even in the midst of woes. Kusomo was firm in his resolve to take the world by storm and weather any storm wherever it would rear its ugly head.
However, these bigoted positions of the two were never allowed to disturb their friendly relations or their good wishes in the least. They did not try to bring their beliefs and opinions to bear on one another. They held those views as personal choices and preferences.
At school, Kasilo was as brilliant as Socrates in the sciences. He was judged as one of the school’s extraordinary scholars by all standards. But in the presence of one of the female classmates, Kasilo found sharpness and keenness of mind he never though imaginable. He was able to fathom the complex scientific and mathematical problems and come out with correct and precise answers each time. This really baffled him without end.
Kasilo adored this budding and blossoming relationship with the mysterious Rumia whom he realized had a strange power over him. Kasilo, however, did not have time enough to explore their relationship further. When school reopened after the long vacation, Rumia failed to report at school. The school authorities dispelled all the rumours being peddled in the school about Rumia by confirming that she had left the country to further her education in a foreign land.
Kasilo’s progress in academic work never dimmed; his bid to climb the academic ladder never waned. Initially he was devastated by the sudden departure of Rumia, but he held himself together when he came into grips with the reality of the situation. It was clearly fate at work in one of her twisting devices.
His friend, Kusomo, offered tons and tons of consolation to cheer him up and this kept him going. Kusomo reminded his friend, time and time again, to make sue of his unique philosophy of life; he never failed to conclude that the fates were really in control. He also made an ingenious prediction that there was every possibility, no matter how slight or remote, of their meeting at some future time. It has been true and the future will not be different that the fates favoured whomever they fancied and suppressed those whom they wanted to.
Kasilo never heard of Rumia and never saw her for a very long time to come. With the passage of time, his memory seemed to lose hold of the grip Rumia had on it. He even started to make passes at, and amorous overtures to, an overly attractive computer typist in their establishment – Kasilo and Associates computer works. He came to realize that a rare treasure was close by and started to make suggestive remarks of his intentions to her. The lady, however, did not give any specific or committed answer to Kasilo’s demands. She always smiled sweetly as they talked ho and her face became even lovelier when her dimples appeared with her smiles. Kasilo took this to be her way of consenting to his proposals and so he sued to boast about his conquest of the lovely Lala, his newfound love, to his friend.
Kasilo never ceased to praise the surpassing and unequalled beauty of his lady-love, Lala. In his eyes, she was the non-pariel of beauty. And who can blame him? After all “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”. One fateful day, Kusomo decided to visit his friend at his work place and also feast his eyes on the beautiful and attractive Lala. He was met on arrival at the huge entrance of A and Z electromagnetic centre a wing of KACW.
The two friends shook hands warmly and exchanged pleasantries. They smiled knowingly as they entered the exquisitely furnished office of the computer magnate’s office. When his friend had settled down comfortable in one of the cozy arm-chairs, a huge welcome sign appeared on the screen of the office computer.
“Hei”! Kasilo, there are always new things at your office. This office is posh as that of the chief executive.
“Hei Kusomo! Business is booming and this is reflected in the exquisite furnishing”, Kasilo replied.
After their laughter which greeted this remark had died down, Kasilo rang a bell and almost instantly the lovely lady appeared bearing a well-decorated tray of drinks and other choice goodies.
An animated conversation ensured among the three. Kusomo could not help but respect his friend’s taste. For he could not take his eyes off the beautiful Lala as they roved hungrily over her features the shapely figure, her bewitching glances and tantalizing smiles. And when their eyes met, the two felt that their hearts and sour had been knit together and were therefore inseparable; they were just made for each other. They also had the feeling that they had known each other before but did not know exactly where or when. Their similes spoke volumes and communicated the intensity of emotions and burning desires they felt for each other.
Kasilo began to make introductions. “Lala, dear, meet Kusomo, my childhood friend. He is one of the best friends or companions that mother earth has ever produced, a fidus achates!
A quizzical look crossed over the lady’s brow and her crisp and terse answer was even more puzzling and captivating.
“Did I hear you say darling?” She quizzed with more spirit than Kasilo had ever known she possessed. Kasilo was clearly taken aback but persisted in his introductions. This is not the time to cross me like this. You know as well as I do that we have been good friends and have gone on steadily! That was Kasilo.
All her looks were now on Kusomo and her eyes were reading his features and facial expressions like a book. Kusomo and Lala needed no telling that they were on fire for each other.
“I don’t think so. Please let us leave this subject for the present!” Lala found her voice at last. Kasilo could not bring himself to fathom the reason for the lady’s denial or her behavior. As if by design or stratagem a glass filled with red wine got spilled over in Kusomo’s shading hand. Drops of the precious liquid fell on the well-polished mahogany table. The lady dropped her bag on the table and walked gracefully across the waiting room into an adjoining room to get a napkin. Kusomo’s eyes followed the receding posterior of the lady and swore, under his breath, to make her his own. Kusomo saw the lady’s mobile phone number neatly inscribed on her bag and wasted no time in memorizing it.
As soon as the lady left the room, Kusomo made a pretext of scrutinizing some well-decorated volumes of books which lined the wall at the far end of the room. He quickly dialed 0944449990 which was the lady’s number. He was hugely relieved when the phone at the other end began to buzz. It was clear that he had not made a mistake.
“Hello! Who is on the line?” Came Lala’s silvery voice made sweeter by anxiety. Kusomo wasted no time in explaining his feelings without mincing words and she also responded with equal fervour. They quickly arranged to meet at Kusomo’s apartment immediately after leaving the office. Kusomo made an excuse and beat a hasty retreat from his friend’s office as if a thousand ghosts were after him. He drove speedily but carefully to his apartment and was joined almost immediately by the attractive Lala.
It was an inexplicable something they call love at first sight, a phenomenon they had read and heard about but now felt and knew it. They began caressing each other and whispering words of endearment into each other’s ears. In their haste to be in each other’s arms they forget to close the door leading to the bedroom.
Kasilo planned to explain matters to his friend about what happened at his office. He also entertained the hope of enlisting Kusomo’s help to enable him win Lala’s hand. He felt in his heart of hearts that an invaluable friend of such high social standing and caliber, a man of such an esteem in the society, could prevail upon Lala to accept his proposal. So he moved to his friend’s home.
When he reached Kusomo’s splendid mansion he found, to his surprise, that the door was left ajar. So he gained easy access into his living room. He started shouting their common nick name. “Asuo! Asuo! Asuo!” and when no reply came, he burst into the bedroom. He could not believe neither his eyes nor ears as he stood watching the two lovers in tight embrace uttering sweet nothings to each other and totally oblivious of the outside world. He turned quietly closing the door gently on them. He walked quickly away, with a heavy heart, to get away from it all.
Perhaps it was due to the dictates of fate. Strangely, he did not brood over the incident or harbor any ill-feeling against his friend. In the perplexity of his mind, he reflected deeply on his philosophy of life and sought refuge in its assurances. He tried to see if fate could make fortune smile on him. No doubt he would find consolation and hope for the future; and indeed consolation came sooner than he thought possible.
It was no wonder then that he entered his office and threw himself heavily in his favourite swivel chair; different thoughts were racing through and crisscrossing his mind. His eyes had become dim and hazy and so it took quite sometime before he could see the visitor’s card on his table. He was pleasantly surprised to see a writing that was vaguely and strangely familiar but whose clear remembrance the long passage of time had washed or written off from his memory. He rang the bell only to be greeted by a self-assured, pretty, well-dressed lady.
“Kas! I thought that you were never going to admit me into your office”. There was a strange familiarity in this silvery, feminine voice also. His mind raced, worked overtime and traced the familiarity to his school days. Could it actually be Rumia?
In confirmation and to dispel any shroud of doubt Rumia quizzed.
“Kas! Have you forgotten me?” Only Rumia called him Kas. He also felt something strange in her presence. He rose to his full height and when his eyes took in the dazzling smile of Rumia’s he stretched his arms to their fullest length. Rumia came into his arms and the two were locked in a tight and warm embrace.
“Ru Welcome! Rue welcome!” Rumia was assured that Kasilo had not intended to keep her at arms length. At that moment Kasilo’s phone buzzed, and, when he received the call, it was from Kusomo asking when they were to meet at the club for the usual weekend relaxation. He intended to explain matters to his friend and could only hope that Kasilo would take his explanation in good faith. The strange and sudden twist of events had however not affected Kasilo in the least.
Kasilo assured his friend that he and his long-awaited lady were already on their way to the club house. Kusomo wondered who this so-called lady was. He was soon to learn. When they met at the club house, the two couples were exuding good wishes for all around in absolute contentment.
O Fate! Sometimes you are sweet
O Fate! Sometimes you are bitter
O Fate! Sometimes you are cruel, and at the same time, kind
O Fate! If you smile sweetly
Our lives are filled with the choicest memories
O Fate! If you are stingy
Our lives can never be ordered aright
O Fate! If you are cruelly-kind
Our lives are passed in painful joys
O Fate! Be still! Be always benign
TALES ANCIENT AND MODERN
THE THANES-PHILOSOPHER KINGS OF AMURIA
Many features of the choicest distinguished Amuria from all other places as a town with a difference. Its marvelous psychical features, diverse cultures and delightful surroundings were some of these nobel marks which heightened and enhanced Amuria’s beauty. Amuria never ceased to surprise all and sundry; young and old, residents and the newly-arrived were all enchanted and fascinated by Amuria.
In the ancient world, Amria was a town that attained the highest level of development in all spheres of life. Its surpassing and impressive sides mostly in the peculiar architectural design of the buildings left a lingering and even indelible memory. Amuria’s citizens were also in a class of their own for their transparent honesty, probity and religiosity.
What glories made Amuria come into the limelight attaining the title of the most beautiful town in the ancient world? Many factors came into play to account for this. One of them was that the abundance of game in the luxuriant and profuse growth of the wild forest and its position nestled securely and protectively among the high and formidable mountains attracted settlers. Huge birds, goats, rabbits, grass cutters, giraffes, elephants, sheep and other types of game were all found in rich abundance all the year round. The other attraction which made life easier for the Amurians was that the area around Amuria was well watered by several clear rivers and gushing sparkling springs.
Legend had it that Amuria was founded by the powerful and mystical figure, Amulio, who gave his name to the town. And the town has lived to its reputation as a haven of peace, safety and absolutely free from crime. Amulio was reputed to possess magical powers which rendered him invincible, invulnerable and sometimes invisible. These, maybe, gave Amuria the noble characteristics and reputation it has ever been known for.
In the course of its existence many different nations had tried to subjugate Amuria and bring her under their hegemony but all to no avail. To say the least, its impregnable position among the lofty mountains formed effective natural protective barriers. The saying is true that if you cannot conquer them, then go along with them. The relatively peaceful atmosphere prevailing at Amuria made many tribes come and settle there giving its population a complex and cosmopolitan character. These ethnic groupings came with their various cultures and traditions; Amuria could boast of a rich and variegated display of cultures.
Many different religions were also practiced there but what made Amuria really enviable was that the diversified religions lived together in perfect harmony with mutual respect and tolerance. They reciprocated each other’s feeling of goodwill. There was unity in diversity at its best in Amuria. And the citizens kept their religious beliefs and rituals strictly to themselves and so there were no religious conflicts. The citizens practiced their religions with such extreme intensity, fidelity and zeal that crimes were virtually unknown and unheard of.
The great traveler, Salamagala, heard of Amuria and her charms and bent his steps towards that city. He reached Amuria late in the morning and secured lodging at an inn. Before that he had rested his tired limbs on an outcrop of rock near Amuria’s shrine. In his haste to get accommodation before mightfall he left his expensive locket and golden bracelet on the rock. Both items were of incalculable worth.
Salamangala lodged at the Cool Springs Inn for one whole week before it dawned on him that he had missed some really priceless valuables. Salamangala hired a swift horse and rode in all haste to the place where he had sat. His joy knew no bounds when he saw his own belongings intact. Only the polished gold had slightly dimmed, having been left at the mercy of the elements.
Salamangala knelt down and thanked his stars for preserving his things for him. He could not contain this piece of news in his head alone but confided in an old woman who had stood there for quite sometime observing him.
“Sir, stranger, even the slightest of misdemeanors are never known or practiced in Amuria!” She assured him.
No doubt Amuria became prosperous as trade flourished. The art of medicine also flourished. The fine arts-music, sculpture, painting, and carving also flourished. Amuria’s peculiar architectural designs were unparalled in any part of then world.
A strange aura surrounded Amuria making it offer many irresistible attractions to those who admired or were fascinated by nature. The encircling mountain ranges had a forest diversity of ecosystems with abundant flora and fauna. Fountains, waterfalls and springs graced the mountain sides. Visitors could not possibly forget the astonishing and undoubted beauty of Amuria’s story nights. Some eye witnesses testified that on particularly clear nights they had been surprised, beyond measure, to see some stars beckoning to them.
But Amuria’s catalog of surprises knew no bounds. For of all the wonders which Amuria was noted for, perhaps, the most astounding was the story of her twin sovereigns, the Thanes of Amuria. Amuria was ruled by two identical twins-the Thanes – who looked alike in all respects in looks, complexion, stature and all. Indeed one was the exact replica of the other. It was impossible to tell one from the other. This was also one of Amuria’s mysteries.
The two identical twin kings ruled from two identical, magnificent and imposing palaces from the extreme ends of the town. It was established on well-authenticated and reliable sources that on august occasions the Thanes descended to the ceremonial grounds on gorgeous thrones made of precious stones. After such meetings the eminent historian Maro confirmed from cave paintings and drawings, oral tradition, and narrations and sworn testimonies that, after the meetings, the twin kings were borne aloft on their thrones into their palaces. This had a profound effect on the Amurians and might well explain the source of affection and respect they had for their kings.
Amuria’s twin kings were a real wonder. Their thought processes were similar and this perhaps enabled them to arrive at the same decision as if they had one and the same mind controlling both on them. On special occasions when the two kingly personalities dressed in similar regalia it was a splendid sight to see. All the Amurians, old and young, lined “long the sides of the principal streets to catch a glimpse of their kings as they rode in their glittering chariots drawn by magnificent, well decorated horses”. It was indeed a spectacular sight.
One fateful morning, the Amurians were beside themselves with amazement to see both kings in a splendid array of dresses in immaculately spotless white flowing gowns. The Amurians loved their philosopher kings and even put them on a pedestal.
The two kings bent their steps irresistibly towards the side of the mountain just behind the shrine of Amulio as if directed by a force they were powerless to withstand. To add to their state of perplexity, the citizens heard the sweetest and the most melodious music imaginable. The music sounded long and clear but the citizens could not see the unseen and wired essences playing it.
The two philosopher kings entered the cave at the side of the mountain and immediately there was a deafening crashing clang and a bang and the entrance was sealed with solid rock. The two were seen no more. Some of the citizens rushed forward to hold the Thanes but it was a rather belated effort. Some attached their ears to the rock in an earnest desire to hear the enchanting strains of the music. But it was all to no avail, for they could hear nothing at all. The Thanes vanished with the music.
It behaves those who want to build an utopia on earth to delve deep into history and ancient sources and take inspiration from Amuria and the secrets of her twin philosopher kings. Even though Amuria now exists only in the dim recesses of history, it really existed in one of the five continents. You might wonder on which of the continents. If you want to hazard a quess, it will always be right because Amuria is the universal yearning and craving for utopia.
BEGINNING ERRORS BECOME HAPPY ENDINGS
The two men held each other firmly and seemed resolved never to let go of their deadly suffocating grip. The looks on their faces were too terrible, too fierce, to see and told volumes. What went on in their minds had exploded into the hardened hatred on the outside. They glared at each other with murderous intent.
It was no chance meeting but the two of them had come to the place because they had received phone calls to meet their lovers. Mapalo and Jomako felt strongly that the one he was holding was cheating him and even trying to swindle his girl friend from him. Strangely, these arch rivals were thinking the same thoughts – to teach the other the lesson of his life.
A good Samaritan passerby who ventured close to bring peace to the two combatants was roughly shoved off and savagely told to mind his own business. The two warned him of dire consequences to his person if he dared approach them and concluded by raining terrible curses on him. All other onlookers kept their distance.
‘I tell you, man, you will not get away lightly!’ Mapalo said rather too truculently.
‘And who are you to issue such a warning to me?’ There is absolutely nothing you can do. Or you think that you are dealing with your child? That was Jomako’s retort.
‘Well! After I am through with you, you will see me in my true colours. You will then need no telling to keep away from my beauty’. Mapalo wanted to sound as tough as possible and so replied sarcastically.
‘By the way, who are you calling your beauty? Ataa has been mine and mine alone and I am not about to relinquish her to anyone, least of all you. I will teach you to interfere in my amorous relationships’. The other man’s challenging response was clear; the intention was also clear. He always acted with an air of finality.
The good old Samaritan peace-maker picked himself painfully from the ground and started walking slowly along the street that led to the Merry Dreamland Hotel. Just when he turned the corner he met two ladies who were engaged in a tete-a-tete. They were jiggling and talking about something they only knew about. Feminine secrets are kept secret to all outsiders, you know.
They conversed in undertones and only streaks of their inaudible conservations reached his ears. He could, however, not make head or tail of their whispers. As he passed by the ladies, he made a comment.
‘I am sure that those young idiots are engaged in a life-and-death fight and I bet it is over a woman. So long as women excite men, they will always go to any length to vie for them. When I was young ……………………..!’
Old One became aware that the two ladies were intently listening to his words; he felt that he was no longer thinking aloud to himself and stopped the sentence in mid-stream. The two ladies had, however, heard more than enough. Old One’s words had stirred them into startled realization; curiosity burnt in their breasts like wild fire and had the better of them. They made up their minds to find out what was actually happening. They made their way towards the place where Old One had indicated with his index finger.
When they were about to reach the area of the two combatants Ataa was quick to see that one of them bore close resemblance to her fiancé. Anxiety turned to trepidation as she hurried her steps and asked her friend to double up. The two ladies then started running like Olympic gold medalists. In no time at all, they had reached the spot where the two rivals were at each other’s throat. Each of them was waiting for the other to throw the first blow. Ataa could now see quite clearly that it was Mapalo, her man. She stood for a split second trying to figure out the cause of the quarrel. She wondered what on earth could have made this prefect gentleman of her dreams act that way. She reached out and held Mapulo’s hand, but blinded by jealousy, he did not even recognize his own right there under his nose, in front of him in flesh and blood. Ataa Aakaa’s real and becoming self. Jealousy had made him see only green.
Ataa tried desperately to calm tempers down but to no avail, until she said that, if Mapulo would not listen to her, then that would ever be the very last time she would see him.
‘Never! Never again!’ she played her last card on the table in a desperate attempt to see that her man was out of harm’s way. She called her lover by an endearment name known only to the two of them.
‘Map! Map! You wont mind me?’
Mapalo then turned and recognized Ataa Aakaa by his side for the first time. A smile played at the corners of his lips. He let go of the other man instantly as if ‘kakape’, a black ant, had bitten his hand and shouted.
‘Did you hear that? Now who wins?’ Mapalo’s victory jibes.
Jomako also saw his malaica angle darling in the same Ataa Aakaa and wondered why on earth she had deserted him at that very crucial time.
‘Aakaa, don’t you know me any more’? He querried the worried Ataa Aakaa, the bone of contention, in a voice charged with emotion, and heart-broken.
Ataa Aakaa saw in a flash the root cause of the quarrel that would have erupted into horror. A dear blessed angel dropped the idea into her mind. She asked the two men to excise restraint a second or two and allow her to sort things out. They appeared somewhat appeased by Aakaa’s soothing plea and came to fragile peace terms, if only for the time being.
Aakaa saw her chance and grabbed it. She took her mobile phone from her bag and dialed a number as rapidly as her shaking hands would permit, asking the receiver to proceed to the spot where she was with all the speed she could muster.
With the speed of lightning, Jomako whisked away the ultramodern mobile phone from Ataa Aakaa’s hand saying that it was he who gave the highly sophisticated phone to her. It was one of the most expensive phones on the market and very rare. He even bragged that he could recognize it by the mark on it among a thousand. He explained that his lady’s picture had been indelibly embossed on the phone and was visible to him alone.
Ataa-Ataa saw the phone in Jomako’s hand and asked, ‘Why have you taken the phone from my sister? I mistakenly used her phone to call you this morning!’
Ataa Aakaa also said that she also used her sister’s phone to call her fiancé. It was then realized that heir mobile phones had been playing tricks on the two lovers. What was to have been an ugly scene and a violent confrontation faded into a peaceful resolution! What was to have been a nasty incident with tragic consequences became averted! The mystery was resolved at last.
The two men realized that they were really brothers, bench brothers. What baffled them was that they could not tell the physical differences in the features of their lovers. Identical twin sisters with the same eye colour and the same smile, in all and naturally identical. Only Ataa Aakaa and Ataa-Ataa could and knew who they really were as they stood by their men.
‘Brother! Let us thank our stars that we did no serious harm to each other’. That was Mapalo’s conciliatory remark.
‘Really, Brother, this near tragic event has taught me a lesson on patience’, his rival friend acquiesced. The foursome then planned to go to the Merry Dreamland Hotel to ‘chill’ and drown all their unhappiness and unkind words in a bottle of champagne.
As they made their way towards the hotel hand in hand, Ataa Aakaa tried to find the Good Samaritan peacemaker, but he was nowhere to be found. Later enquires yielded no positive results. He could not be traced and no one knew him nor his whereabouts. He had vanished into thin air.
At the Merry dreamland Hotel Mapalo asked his now best of friends, ‘How would you translate “Ntokwahunu” just like the one this afternoon into civilized English?’
‘I shall try. It can be beautifully rendered, useless fight. No, wait a minute, fight for or on nothing. But more correctly, the most accurate translation will be baseless fight. And the best thing in the world is to have A squared by us’. They all burst into hilarious peals of laughter.
KWAKU ANANSE MEETS HIS MATCH
Long, long ago, there developed a budding friendship between Ananse and Crow. Ananse was the first to see the unique advantages that such a relationship with Crow would bring to him and his family and was quick to exploit the situation. He realized that Crow was strong and could fly to faraway places to gather and bring bits and pieces of information which was beneficial to him, Ananse, in particular and to their mutual gain.
At the initial stages, Crow did not want to enter into any kind of association or have any dealings whatsoever with the celebrated Kwaku Ananse. So whenever Ananse came into his house Crow regarded him with suspicion and kept him at arms length. Ananse tried to convince Crow about his noble and pure intentions in countless conversations.
‘Ananse, you think you can deceive me with your base tricks. Your deceitful ways are common knowledge. You are always hatching wicked plans and putting them into execution in cruel jokes. All those who come into contact with you suffer one humiliated experience or other. Keep off’.
That was the harsh sentence Crow slammed in the face of Ananse. Ananse looked intently at Crow and shook his head sadly. ‘There you go again. Such are the false accusations and malicious lies perpetrated against me by me enemies and detractors. I thought that such negative impression had died down long ago. I have always respected you, Crow, for being level-headed. Ananse was trying desperately to make Crow see eye to eye with him and give him the chance to enter in close friendship with him.
Crow was a little taken aback but was still far from being convinced and still kept his distance. ‘Kwaku, I am not the only one who has such abysmally low opinion about you. Most of the animals in this Wild Creatures kingdom are also in the know. No animal, great, bulky, diminutive, slow or swift is safe from your wiles and planks. And so goodbye, Kwaku. I have to find fruits, tit-bits and other edibles for my little ones. The season is cold and I have to keep them warm under my wings in the nest.’
Ananse reluctantly directed his steps towards his hut. But crafty Kwaku was far from giving up on Crow. He kept Crow under close observation and watched his ways and favourite haunts; he also studied his likes and dislikes. He had the intuition that Crow would be of immense help to him sometime to come and was bent on winning his confidence.
Once, when Crow had gorged on his choice fruits and was in a particularly joyous mood, hopping from treetop to treetop with his little ones, telling them his experiences of the past, Ananse suddenly chanced upon him. He did not want his unexpected and unwelcomed visit to appear to intrude upon Crow’s pleasant moments and times or mar his joys.
Crow became abruptly alert and demanded rather too curtly. ‘And what is it this time? I gave you my final answer last time we met. My impressions about you have not changed in the least. I shall continue to hold the same opinions about you.’
Ananse feigned surprise; his whole facial aspect assumed a cloak of worry. ‘Crow, is that the welcome greeting a friend should give to a friend?’ Ananse’s penetrating question was about to find a target. I was just passing by on my way to my farm just across the river when I saw you. In fact, I hardly use this path. Civility and courtesy dictate that I should say hello to you. I have given you every good reason to make you see that I mean you on harm.
When Crow remained silent Ananse pursued his probe with more vigour. ‘Ehe! It almost escaped my memory. I heard of your enduring feat of flying for many hundreds of miles to Adamankolo kingdom to get a rare leaf that possessed healing potencies from the lofty heights of Omomo mountain to cure our sovereign Lord’s son, Prince komolokolo. I was overjoyed top hear that the king has decided to elevate you into a very high and enviable status in his kingdom. I wish you every success in all future endeavours. Kindly accept my well-meant congratulations.’
But Crow was still adamant, ‘Ananse, I have told you, in no uncertain terms, to stay away from me and all mine. I shall tell you what! I do not want the likes of you around me or my premises.’
‘Crow, these are harsh words. You do me great injustice. You know what?’
‘What?’ Crow responded with spirit.
‘Oh Crow, do you, by any chance, realize that there are many types of Ananse? There is Ananse, the curator, Ananse, the farmer, Ananse, the gold digger, Ananse, the rock breaker, Ananse, the singer, etc. I don’t want to bore you about the exploits of my genealogy!’
Crow had never heard about these different Ananses and his surprise showed clearly on his face. Ananse was inwardly pleased and immensely relieved to read signs that Crow’s hard-line stance was about to thaw. Crow now looked intently at Kwaku Ananse in a long searching gaze. He read both transparent honesty and reassurance in Kwaku’s face. Ananse, like Ananse his ancestor actor, was putting up an acting performance as later events showed.
Crow began to reason with himself if Ananse was telling the truth this item round. Ananse was quick to exploit the situation, ‘I am a completely changed man. It is quite unfair to judge someone by a deed he did donkey years ago. It is equally unfair to visit the deeds of my forebears on my poor self.’
Ananse pressed his case more, forcefully and persuasively. Crow read both sound reason and merit in Ananse’s words and began to change his opinion about wily Kwaku. Ananse knew, for sure, that his well-chosen words had struck home the correct chords in Crow’s mind and heart. Now with the last obstacle removed, a close relationship budded and developed between the two families: The Ananses and The Crows. Ananse was careful never to do anything that could bring him into disrepute before the Crows. He always displayed noble and purposeful actions which further cemented their bond of friendship.
Ananse and Crow selected a delightful, serene and picturesque spot in the forest where they built their dwelling places far from any disturbances. Kamalakamala was a lovely village indeed. The Ananses and the Crows found both happiness and absolute contentment and safety there. Year after year, the two bosom friends built large farms and shared the proceeds equally.
Once Crow flew into a very far place to observe new territories and for more daring adventures. He stayed for many days. The trip proved to be highly successful because he saw unbelievably delightful lands and rare trees and tasty fruits. On his return journey, violent winds blew him to the top of a high mountain. The storm was so terrible, forcing Crow to seek refuge in a hole in the mountain.
After the storm had spent itself and the rays of the sun had brightened the area, Crow was beside himself with surprise to see that there was a very big chamber in the mountain and that the room was brightly illuminated.
At first, he was afraid to enter in but curiosity had the better of him and he ventured further into the inner recesses of the chamber. What greeted his sight was a stupendous array and heaps and heaps of treasures of all sorts. There were pure gold pieces, diamonds, rubies, sapphires, amethyst, agate, emeralds, precious stones of all kinds and descriptions. It was unbelievable. Crow blinked his eyes time and time again before they got used to the glittering scenery of the precious stones.
Crow had enough presence of mind and prudence to weave a garland of brightly coloured flowers on top to the tallest palm tree which marked the opening of the cave. He also took two gold pieces of the choicest and carried them in his beak. He flew in all haste to Kamalakamala village. As luck would have it he arrived safely. He wasted no time at all in pouring his pleasant story into Ananse’s ears. Kwaku listened with rapt attention and could not hide his curiosity. He expressed deep interest in the treasures as it was bound to bring untold prosperity into and mean a really big elevation into their lives. The treasures would bring vast improvements into their circumstances. Kwaku already saw himself living in luxury, in a magnificent and imposing mansion surrounded by all finery.
Crow gave one of the gold pieces to Ananse who regarded it with open but exaggerated fondness. There and then they made plans to get the treasures. Our ancient sages said that the head of the housefly has no lack of blood. Kwaku, true to his character, also drew secret plans to get the treasures for himself alone. Someone said that character was like pregnancy. It cannot be hidden but will surely show clearly with the passage of time.
Kwaku’s real character was about to manifest itself. He hatched a perfect but mischievous plan to put Crow into captivity for a number of days in order to cart the treasures into safety. Crafty and wily Kwaku always put himself first. After the treasures had been safely stored away, he would then release the simple-minded Crow, that is, if he so desired. Or he could leave him to his devices as an act of clemency. On the appointed day the two treasure hunters quickly journeyed toward their destination. Ananse, in his anxiety to get to the mountain in record time, wove strong and silky strings which he used to catapult himself from tree top to tree top. By such means Ananse was able to move with incredible swiftness. When he slipped from the heights of the tall trees and was hanging perilously from a bough, Crow was always at hand to rescue him. Crow actually lent a helping hand in all difficult situations. He even sometimes carried Ananse on his back or under his wings where the terrain was difficult and devoid of trees.
After several days of non-stop traveling they reached the place. Crow was sure because he readily recognized the garland of bright flowers on top to the tallest palm tree. Ananse could not believe his eyes. On deeper reflection, he backed out of his wicked plan because the treasures were big enough to fill the coffers of a whole nation to the brim. As his eyes roved hungrily from one heap to the next and back again he could not even know which one to choose over the other.
After sometime he told Crow he wanted to get the garland of bright flowers from the palm tree as it might be a tell-tale signal to other treasure seekers. Always safety first. Crow saw wisdom in Kwaku’s concerns and readily agreed. Ananse wove a splendid silky thread to climb the palm tree by. As soon as he reached the top of the palm tree and away from Crow he devised an ingenious trap to catch Crow and hold him in bounds.
Kwaku carried his plan to perfection. He set the trap at the entrance to the cave. He entered the cave and put on a garb of cherubic innocence on his face. A few moments later he asked Crow to fetch ripe fruits from the palm tree for the two of them to feast on. He explained, in all earnestness, that he was too tired to climb the tall palm tree again.
The unsuspecting Crow was too eager to get the fruits and therefore was not aware of the trap. Poor Crow! He fell into the trap and got both feet and wings hopelessly entangled in it. He called out to Ananse to come to his rescue, but all that he heard were peals of derisive laughter form within the cave.
Crow realized that the more he tried to free himself, the tighter the grip. So after several unsuccessful attempts to extricate himself from the trap, Crow gave up and abandoned himself to his fate. He saw the truth in the saying that one’s good deeds can lead one to wear rags. Ungrateful ones repay a benefactor’s gift of tasty salt with hot pepper. And such is the world! As you are trying to throw a stone at a bird, it is also trying to find a safe place to perch. Crow also began to devise plans to teach Ananse the lesson of his life. He remained quiet for a long while and a bright idea flashed across his mind. He called out to Ananse telling him that from his elevated position he could see that intruders were coming to disturb them. The smoke from the fire Ananse had made had definitely attracted the attention of other seekers of the treasures. Ananse raced out to see for himself if that was really true. Crow saw his chance and seized it. He had, throughout his life, been guided by one maxim or truism, ‘Seize the day!’
‘Ananse, you are making a sad mistake,’ Crow warned his friend, now turned enemy. ‘Ungrateful one, remember the future.
‘Are you in your right senses, Crow? Look at you writhing in excruciating pain and you have the guts to tell me I am making a mistake!’ That was Ananse, the ingrate in his true colours.
‘Listen carefully and listen hard. I don’t care one whit for myself but I have concerns for you. That you will be able to enjoy the treasures to the full, you have to perform certain rituals. The ritualistic black stone I left in my house in Kamalakamala kingdom. I alone know the exact spot where it is hidden. But the goddess of the treasures warned that anyone who tried to enjoy them without performing the due rites and ceremonies would vanish into the underworld. She gave the black stone to me. Its powers are proverbial. If you do not get the black stone all the precious stones would turn into ordinary useless and worthless pebbles’?
As a proof Crow uttered some incantations which sounded somewhat like ‘Kalama Kalama Kata Kala Kola.’ Within the twinkling of an eye, the cave was filled with bitter, acrid smoke and Ananse could not even find his way back into the cave. Kwaku indeed saw that he had made a mistake and proceeded to make amends. He tried all his skills to persuade Crow to get his way out.
He told Crow that it was all a joke. He meant Crow no harm at all. It was rather unfortunate that Crow had taken his playful tricks too seriously. He was dreadfully sorry for any mishap that might have befallen Crow and was profuse in his unreserved apologies. If Crow would work the magic effectively the treasures would be for the two of them. It was also very vital for Crow to fly down to the kingdom and bring the magical black stone.
Crow again uttered some magic words. “Kappa Kopa Kapa Kopa Kopa”. The cave brightened with a strange light making the treasure glitter with unusual brightness. Crow gave Ananse his word of honour; thereupon Ananse worked to loosen the tight rope holding him. Crow was free at last. If you want a tree to crash the monkey it really bends down for him to land in safety on the ground. Crow flew higher and higher up and perched on the tallest tress and hid securely in the abundant foliage. He was thus able to observe Ananse unseen. He also destroyed all the means of escape for conniving and heartless Kwaku Ananse. After some time Ananse became worried that Crow had still not come back.
One clear morning, Ananse came out of the cave to get some fruits but realized that all his ropes had been destroyed. That was very wicked of Crow who basked in self-righteousness. Just then Kwaku spotted Crow on top of the tall odem tree and appealed to him to help him out of the predicament that had befallen him; otherwise he was doomed to come to a very terrible end.
Thirst and starvation stared him in the face. Already the pangs of hunger and thirst were gnawing at his bowels with relentless fury. ‘Crow! Take all the treasures. I am no longer interested. Only get me out of this accursed place’. Ananse pleaded in a voice filled with emotion and earnestness.
The only answer he got was peals of derisive laughter from the heights of the odem tree. Ananse was completely cut off from all means of escape, all means of life, all means of sustenance no water, no food, no fruit. His greed had gained him all the treasures that could buy food for a whole nation and yet he was dying of lack of water and want of food.
With the passage of time, Kwaku became weak and emaciated. When Crow was sure that Kwaku Ananse lacked both the will and strength to cause him any concerns, he ventured into the cave. He stood for a long time observing the wretched and pitiable form of Kwaku Ananse as he lay among all the glittering precious stones of priceless and incalculable worth.
He realized at once that inordinate love of money could lead one into a tight situation indeed. Crow still kept his distance. Kwaku Ananse was capable of all kinds of pretences. His eyes were attracted to Ananse’s mouth. The mouth appeared to be forming words like, ‘Creed was my undoing’ but the words were not audible enough to Crow.
THE MARVELOUS NUMBER THIRTEEN
I have not seen a horoscope before but someone told me that it provides a means of finding out one’s future chances and how to grab them. It also gives warning about future pitfalls and how to avoid them. Whatever the horoscope when I checked from a highly authenticated and authoritative source – the encyclopedia.
I have never had any intention of dabbling in occultism or spiritism nor delve into the unknown. I want my dealing to be honest and just yes or no in all my ways. Even at my present stage in life and circumstances I still will have none of the diabolical arts and dubious means people employ to improve upon their lot in life. My impressions about the number thirteen made me nearly revise my notes about fortune telling. But it is good I did not because it would have led me into a horrible mess both physically and spiritually.
Later in the course of my existence, I found out that here were special columns in some papers and magazines dedicated exclusively to star predictions. Some of them talk about business matters, love affairs, returned to unrequited, and all subjects under the sun. Some of them made me laugh because the predictions were put in too broad statements, hiding behind vague generalizations, to make the gullible and unguarded believe the unbelievable.
My main preoccupations had been with the number thirteen. Some inexplicable happenings on the calendar date of the thirteenth day of the thirteenth month have made me feel more than baffled. The thirteenth month really exists but only in the author’s special and secret calendar. The thrilling strokes of good fortune which came my way on that day were indeed something extraordinary. Whenever I feel run down, I screw my memory up and isolate the series of events of that day. I become highly elated almost immediately. I would feel on top of the world.
It was one bright and sunny day when I had nothing particularly urgent or pressing doing at home that I decided to go for a stroll along the dusty road which led to the next nearby village. I walked in a leisurely manner and enjoyed the sights as I took in the newly-erected magnificent buildings popularly called self-contained. I read the posters, billboards and sign boards depicting bold and attractive scenes advertising catchy slogans of various business concerns. I was not particularly; interested in any of the adverts but some, admittedly showed laughter-provoking signals and comic figures and scenes. I stood still and watched those about foods and drinks and beverages which brought smiles to my face.
Just when I was about to turn my steps back towards home, I saw a car approaching from the opposite direction coming at a speed. I wanted to dodge the column of dust particles which hung around the car and which came along with it. In a bid to get out of harm’s way, I stumbled and almost fell into a gutter.
When the car had passed by and gone and the dust had settled, my eyes fell on a crumbled piece of paper in the gutter. Thank God there was no dirty stagnant water in the gutter and so the paper was dry. Under normal circumstances I would have passed on without taking any notice of the paper; even more so since it was crumbled. But the brightly-coloured edges held my attention. The strange deep pink ling at the sides of the paper was more than ordinary.
I went near, stooped low and picked the crumbled paper up. On impulse I had wanted to tear the paper into bits and throw them back into the gutter but some figures had been neatly scribbled on the pink edges. When I straightened the edges of the paper I was able to decipher the numbers with some difficulty but, at long last, I was able to make them out. They were 13, 31 and an accompanying instruction in bold hand which rather startled me. The instruction was clear, lucid and specific. It was something like, add 13, to 31 and then get the next lucky number. Then add thirteen to the resultant number and arrive at the fourth number. That is all. Go no further.
If those four numbers were genuine then I could win a whooping amount of money on the lottery; I could actually hit he jackpot. I look my scientific calculator and made the additions and easily arrived at forty-four as the third number and then fifty-seven as the fourth. I then assembled all the four numbers in a line-viz 13, 31, 44, 57. But why could I not just add 13 to the fourth number and arrive at the fifth? That just would mean more money, more dough.
But I have always been content with what I have gained by fair, never by foul, means. Honestly it had never been my intention to dabble in the game of gambling but my curiosity was stirred to the highest pitch, fanned and kept ablaze by the prospect of getting rich.
I took a few paces along the road and saw a lotto kiosk; I had now firmly resolved to get the tickets. I took out my wallet from my pocket and realized that it contained all the money I had for the rest of the month. And it was only the thirteenth day of the month. I did not want to risk putting all my eggs in one basket. Supposing that the numbers were fake and a calculated attempt to dupe me by an enemy who would later mock me! I, however, did not thing that I had enemies. But whoever has not got enemies in this world? Someone even said that there was no one on this planet earth who had no enemies. Even trees had enemies. No, not one! When a woodcutter entered a forest he would pinpoint one particular tree among thousands to be cut down. So even a tree could have an enemy indeed. That was very sound and disarming reasoning.
With these thoughts racing through my mind, I reached the lotto kiosk. What was I going to do if the numbers did not drop? The month had not advanced far enough; at thirteen the month was not even middle-aged. All the same the instruction on the paper seemed too true to be neglected. I brought out my wallet and stared at the neatly folded money notes in it. A note of caution still harped repeatedly in my mind.
‘Komako! Stop this uncertain game before it is too late!’ Something deep within me warned, timely admonition indeed.
I had, however, made up my mind to give the numbers a trial for once and the very first and last time. My courage was given a further boost because, having worked the numbers myself, I felt that I had graduated to be a lotto professor. I felt deep within me an almost irresistible urge to add a fifth number, but the paper stopped at four. Was it another calculated attempt by enemies and witches to block my chances of becoming fabulously rich? It was easy enough adding 13 to 57 to arrive at the fifth number. I did not even need my scientific calculator to do this. If four would work, then logically, five could work even more effectively. Greed had, however, never been one of my faults.
I stood in front of the lotto kiosk. The struggle going on in my mind might have shown on my face in a frown of indecision. The agent stretched his hand as if in encouragement and a reassuring, ‘Yes, can I help you?’ I took the paper and gave it to the agent. He glared at the numbers and made an observation which almost nearly put me off.
‘Yes! How much of the tickets do you want to buy?’ The clerk asked.
‘All the numbers. All four of them. Sure banker.
‘What makes you feel so confident? Ever since I started this week nobody has staked these numbers. They appear somewhat unusual and strange in their permutation. The clerk appeared to be a wet blanket trying to dampen my spirits. These comments almost nearly put me off, but my resolution was firm and unshakable-as hard as adamantine stone. I brought out all the money I carried from the wallet. The wallet had now become virtually empty and too light.
‘I want all’, I said.
‘I would strongly advise you to stake half the money. Even half would fetch you a large fortune to make your bread well buttered for the rest of your life, that is, if it goes through’.
‘Man, keep your advise to yourself. Don’t waste my time. Who appointed you my counsllor and advisor?’
‘So be it!!’ the lotto clerk breathed a silent wish to confirm and stamp the deal. He wrote rapidly, tore the tickets and handed them over to me. I put them inside my wallet, a fair exchange-money for tickets.
I walked on until I reached a place called Divine Searchlight Centre. I was very thirsty, so I bought sachet water from a young girl and drank it thirstily to quench my thirst I threw my head back and swallowed the water in gulps. The girl stared fascinated and smiled at the way I took in the water. I was happy that the Center’s doors were open. I entered the hall and was surprised at the attractions and superb interior decorations. Everything was spic and span. I sat down on one of the benches and started to recite some verses our taught us.
I was only half-way through the verses when I began to feel drowsy. My eyelids had become heavy and I was dozing. It was then I realized how tired I was from my long walk. I fell into a deep slumber which took me into the dreamland for the most wonderful and pleasant dream. I thought I had won vast sums of money in the lotto game. I was beside myself with joy.
My friends heard about how luck had smiled on me and came from all the four corners to offer congratulatory and goodwill messages. I had become fabulously rich. The society held me in high esteem.
My happiness knew no limits. In my dream I thought I had built magnificent mansions, imposing and prestigious palaces and lived in luxury and absolute contentment. I had become the prince of a great king in the most beautiful country in the world. Many foreign dignitaries from far and near came to the Rewentecola palace to transact business, pay courtesy calls or just to enjoy the sights.
One day, we received a very important message that a great king was passing through my father’s kingdom and had plans to make a stopover. Feverish preparations were going on; I had to play the royal role of receiving our august visitors and directing the guests to the places reserved for VIPS and other foreign dignitaries. The day of arrival came at last and I put on my gorgeous apparel, resplendent in my royal robes. My friends flattered me that my appearance was par excellence, most becoming and decent. I felt deeply flattered. A siren was sounded and the impressive royal entourage and train of courtiers came in sight. There was excitement galore. I smartly saluted when their golden chariot reached the palace grounds. I held the keys to the capital city of Asaliakala to His Royal Highness as a symbol of welcome. I might have made a deep impression because the royal sovereign signaled to me to come forward and held his ring with the kingly signet to me to kiss.
Then it happened, something inexplicable and profound exceeding my wildest expectation. I saw the most charming girl in the whole wide universe. Princess Namasala’s beauty was unearthly. I wondered whether she was a real woman or goddess. Her clothes were exquisitely made and she walked with a grace and dignity peculiarly her own. She smiled at me and I felt transported to the clouds. Then our eyes met. I knew it when a strange feeling came over me. I summoned the last once of my strength to comport myself from throwing myself at her feet as she sat on the purple cushions in the royal chariot.
On the morrow a great banquet was made for the visitors. Princess Namasala sat beside me at the high table. I enjoyed her beauty now so close and her sweet voice and laugh. All of a sudden, my father, the king, called me and said, Alumuzolo, it has been agreed to make plans to unite our two kingdoms.’
My heart burst into a song of thanksgiving within me as I hung anxiously and expectantly on my father’s next words. His words fell from his gracious mouth in deliberately measured tones to make sure that I had taken in his message hook, line and sinker. ‘In a pursuance of this most desirable and noble objective which we believe will be to our mutual benefit, I king Koko and King Yobo have agreed to merge our kingdoms. It is a win-win relationship. His people and our people are now one. To further cement this already strong bond we have decided to join the two young heirs to the two thrones in matrimony!
There was deafening applause. The king was given a standing ovation. My father might have read both perplexity and doubt from my face even though he could not fathom the depth of joy within me. As if in answer to my concerns his next words were most reassuring.
‘The two sovereign monarchs have just finished signing the agreement papers which come into effect one second after midnight tonight. The agreement further makes the prince and princess of the two kingdoms marriage partners.’ The king had not even asked for my opinion nor permission but my mind and heart and my whole being had consented totally and unreservedly. Soon after, father dismissed me peremptorily from his presence. I tried valiantly to hide my enthusiasm and excitement and undercurrents of strong emotions that welled up in me behind surly looks but my ploy did not work to perfection. What a day of days!
I started for my chambers and in the privacy of my rooms I gave full vent and rein to my feelings. As a way of showing gratitude and thanks to my stars I recited some of the verses our teacher taught us. So I possessed the prettiest dream girl! I felt absolutely thrilled. My princess was extraordinarily beautiful in my eyes. Was it real or a mere figment of the imagination to be dispelled sooner or later? I kept asking myself again and again. Happily I learnt later that the same feelings were coursing and cruising through my bride’s mind and delicate self.
The very next day, the wedding proceedings started in real earnest. Many religionists came from far and near to grace the occasion. Many distinguished gentlemen and galaxies of noble ladies were also present. I held my bride’s hand and we knelt before the altar for the nuptial blessing. The officiating priest then said, ‘we are happy to witness this marriage of the century between Princess Namasala and our prince, Alumuzolo, our future king’!
At the mention of future king, my bride nudged my hand and snapped the finger which held the royal ring. I woke up and came back into reality.
‘Where is my beautiful princess?’ I asked myself. I looked around. ‘So it was a dream?’ I asked myself aloud.
The questions seemed to startle a group of children in the Centre. They stared at me and looked at me askance. I opened my eyes and saw some children playing hide and seek in the Centre hall. They had actually disturbed my sleep. I almost shed tears of self-pity. I mused on the vast difference between the dream world and reality. I got up angrily and started for the well polished mahogany and ebony doors. But something caught my eyes. A thorough scrutiny revealed that on the wall opposite the bench I had slept on was a neat writing, ‘the number thirteen bench.’
‘This is very strange. This world we live in!’ I said to myself. I left the Centre feeling bad about myself and walked into the street. But I did not go far. I heard footsteps behind me. I turned and saw a well-dressed gentleman, well-advanced in age holding a portable radio set. It was news time and the announcer’s voice was clear as it boomed on the radio.
‘Today is the thirteenth day and here are the results of the thirteenth draw of the year. The winning numbers are: 13, 31, 44, and 57’. I held my breath. ‘Unfortunately, because we had a fault in our disc machine the fifth number could not drop. And in fairness, management has decided to grant a bonus to all stakers.’
I braced myself for more. The announcer continued: ‘This does not apply to those who selected a fifth number in their stakes!’ That gave me five clear winning numbers. I was completely drunk with joy and overwhelmed by the good news. The instruction to drop the fifth number was correct after all. The commentator went on to say, ‘The tickets of stakers should reach our offices without the least delay for prompt payment. I put my hand into my pocket for my wallet, but there was none. I began to panick. I rushed wildly into the worship centre and saw the wallet under the number thirteen bench. I still felt a bit apprehensive about my tickets. What if my enemies or witches had traced my steps into the Centre to cause havoc to me and my winnings? Baseless suspicion! Unfounded or imagined! Thank goodness! The tickets were all intact. I knelt down and recited some of the verses our teacher taught us in thanksgiving.
I got up to leave but a polished bronze metal fixed in the door glittered in the rays of the setting sun and attracted my attention. I saw, for the first time, the centre’s order number thirteen inscribed neatly on the bronze plaque. It told worshippers tersely and succinctly to leave the Centre doors wide open always and all times. The Centre welcomed all and sundry with open arms just as it had welcomed me. I slipped out of the hall and laughed out loudly.
The old gentleman held his radio set close to his ears to hear the news better. He turned sharply but as he was absorbed with the news he did not say a word. I half walked, half ran home as quickly as my legs could carry me to compute my winnings with the aid of my scientific calculator. Just when I took the tickets out of my wallet the crumbled paper also dropped down.
I took it up, straightened the edges and was pleasantly surprised to see some faint green figures scribbled at the edges of the pink lining. When I eventually succeeded in deciphering the writing clear figures came out somewhat like, ‘One plus 13 times thirteen thousand times….’
I used my scientific calculator and arrived at a colossal sum of money. Just then I received a call from the lotto operator that I had won the exact amount I had on the screen of my scientific calculator and reminded me about my promise. I set out for my winnings and the mountain of money notes that was all mine exceeded my wildest imagination and expectation. I wish I could see another crumbled paper with mysterious writing on it again but wishes are not horses. My numerous trips to the spot have yielded on positive results. My leisurely walks with care and diligent vigilance have not helped. I keep on reciting the verses our teacher taught us in hopes that, one day, I would chance on another paper with yellow lining this time and many times the previous numbers.
I VENTERED INTO THE LAND OF THE VISUALIZES
We have lived at our present site since time immemorial. My great ancestors and forebears lived in the very hut. My father and mother also lived in ti. When I came into the family it had already settled on the bank of the mighty Oxis River. The river teemed with plentiful supply of delicious and tasty fishes of all kinds-cod, herring, salmon, even large crabs and giant lobsters.
The Oxis River stretched as far as the eye could see. In my calculations, using my eyes as compass, I put the breadth of the river at three miles, sometimes a little more or less than three. The waters of the Oxis River were of the deepest blue especially where they met the horizon far, far away. My parents and the Casablanca village elders warned the young ones repeatedly never to venture into the river. The parts close to the bank were shallow and people went there to fetch water for domestic use. It was said that the river became suddenly abysmally deep and that could deceive the unsuspecting.
That reminded me of the river called Strangers’ Woe in a nearby village. The natives were aware that slippery flat rocks were at bottom of the river from the middle and would not venture far enough into the river. The unsuspecting strangers would be hold enough to continue in the middle only to slip on the rocks and fall into the river to the fun of onlookers. The natives even used to play tricks on strangers by luring them onto the rocks.
The waters of the great Oxis River appeared to be perfectly still towards the middle and appeared not capable of harm. So I could not understand why my parents restricted us only to the shallow waters. Still waters run deep indeed and have strong undercurrents too as later events proved. Once while walking along the bank on one clear hot afternoon, I chanced upon that part of the bank that was clothed with trees with large leaves, far larger than any I had ever seen. Their yellowish, brown colour added to the strangeness of the peculiar trees. Because the sun beatdown with relentless fury, I entered an undergrowth of a clump of trees to seek refuge in the cool shadows of the trees. I pressed on a little and saw a slight incline and sat down. I slipped down only to discover that a beautiful craft turned upside down was hidden beneath a slight mound of earth. It was made of very sturdy, light-weight metal, perhaps bronze or titanium and was unbelievably light. I freed the craft and was delighted to find that it was in perfect shape with two large oars fastened to its sides. I pushed the boat over the sandy bank and into the river intending only to enjoy myself in the shallow water, in obedience to my parents’ admonitions. The tide immediately gripped my little craft and whirled it round and round in eddies. The waters had seemed too calm and I had not gone far enough into the middle. That was actually the deceptive character of the Oxis River which my parents had always been concerned about. I was helpless and before I was aware I was in the middle of the river.
Fear suddenly seized my heart but when I used the oar the craft responded obediently to the direction I wanted it to move. But a swift current then wrenched the craft violently and it moved towards deeper waters, even though I paddled with all my might to get the boat back into shallow waters. I then abandoned myself to my fate.
The craft began to cruise widely downstream and towards the opposite bank. The velocity of the craft was so great that I felt dizzy but held on to the side of the boat with all my might so as not to get thrown into the river, into a watery grave or to be fed on by some large fish.
The other bank was very close now but a new danger of a greater magnitude also loomed. For unknown to me, the waters of the great river emptied themselves in a mad rush into an abyss of boiling pool of water many feet below. Just when the craft was about to be hurled into the eddying water I saw the branch of a huge tree jutting well into the river. I saw my chance and grabbed it. I stood in the boat and summoning all my strength to the very last ounce, I held on to the branch and swung myself onto the bank. I was safe but in strange surroundings. I turned back, in my uncertainty, to find that the bank which harboured my home was very far away.
The land in which I found myself was quite different from mine. There were flowery shrubs laden with fruits of all kinds. Because I had become exhausted by the adventure on the river I ate some just to keep myself from fainting. I also drank water from a stream emptying itself into the Oxis River.
Almost immediately I felt sleepy and fell into a deep slumber I had a dream in which I saw my father and mother looking at my picture in my room and asking the picture where I was and what had happened to me. I left my parents and was pleasantly surprised to see my fiancée, Ayenkele, on the bank of the Oxis River. I joined her and we sat on the bank of the river splashing water on each other with our feet. Suddenly something forced us into the water and drove Ayenkele and me irresistibly into the bottom of the river.
We were surprised beyond measure to see a magnificent edifice there. The doors opened of their own accord to admit us. We were met by some fishes that could talk and sing just like human beings. Their queen whom we later knew to be called Fisaladi told us that that splendid mansion was to be our home for all future time. We thanked them profusely and began our new abode. The first room we entered was exquisitely furnished and what made it even more delightful was that it had my favourite food on the table. The aroma of the food wafted to my nostrils and excited my appetite. The decorations on the table were overpowering. There was however no fish in the soup. We later on learnt that it was a taboo to eat fish in that kingdom just as cannibalism was detested and frowned on in human societies. We washed our hands in readiness and fell to! After the tasty meal we heard music in the adjoining room and rushed to see the fish orchestra blasting melodious music.
Just when we settled down to enjoy the music I felt a jolt in my leg and was rudely awakened into the realization that I was in a strange land. I was surrounded by weird people who were square-shaped. They had broad faces and two large bright eyes. There was also a small eye in each of the lobes of the ears. These enabled them to see great distances all around them, at all times. I was in a state of bewilderment and became even more perplexed when they began to speak in my mother tongue.
There were three of them with me in a room. The one whom I took as the king wore purple robes, overflowing gown and had a large penetrating eye in the middle of his brow.
He addressed me as follows: ‘Konkoma!’ How did he manage to know my name? ‘Why have you dared to trespass into our land without out express permission and authority? Were you not warned by your parents not to venture into this place? Why did you act in disobedience?’
I explained that it had never been my intention to enter that land of nor return but was seized by rough and violent hands and whisked in the river which spewed me out on their shore. The desire in man to be able to extricate himself out of tight situations is strong. So I wanted to adduce more plausible reasons in my defense but was abruptly cut short by the judge, the one who was dressed as a judge with a large headgear and holding a pen and a big book shouted on me.
‘Lair! You came by the craft which one of our servants took away from our kingdom and left on the other bank to gain his freedom. We saw you as you struggled to get out of the boat. We planted the tree to save people from the abyss. It was the branch which we made deliberately jut out far into the river which lifted and deposited you safely on our side’.
I saw at once that there was no need arguing with them for they knew everything about me. So I held my peace.
Judge Hammonton continued, ‘We saved you for pity’s sake and the fact that you are the only child of your parents.’ This was also correct, not a guess. But how did they know?
‘For straying into our territory we are going to subject you to the rigours of the severest laws. The long arm of the law ahs caught you. You will perish in a slow death.’ The judge slammed the sentence in my face. I stared into the vacancy before me. Judge Hammonton had not finished.
‘You ate some of our fruits. But from today you will receive a scanty ration of one cup of our sweet porridge which will just tease your appetite. You will grow progressively lean and emaciated until you pass away and join your ancestors!’
They left me and I started my plans to escape from the dreadful fate and punishment that was to be my lot. But was escape possible? While there was life, there was hope. After trying for the umpteenth time I gave up and ruled out escape. Escape was completely out of the question.
After a few weeks on the scanty provision I became terribly weak and could not even get up. Then to my surprise and delight the ration was increased. So I had a cup of unbelievably delicious porridge, a lunch of assorted meat pieces and boiled potatoes and another cup of highly invigorating drink at night. Fuelled by the food my body became strong once again. A little while later I was my former self once more. I could also roam the fields without let or restrain. I even entertained the hope that I was now on my own and that the authorities had forgotten all about me. I became even holder and started eating some of the pawpaw, mangoes, oranges and apples which grew in luxuriant abundance. This gave more strength and energy to my body day by day.
In my wandering, one day, I came across a mighty edifice hidden among trees far a field. It was surrounded by flower shrubs and a pool of water at one side. I entered the house to find that it was exactly like the one which I found under the water with my sweet-heart. I sat down on an armchair and was reflecting on my plight made particularly painful by the absence of my sweet-heart, Ayenkele. I also brooded over the fact that every time I planned my escape I would go very far but was always irresistibly brought back to the cabin.
Once when I felt that nobody was watching I got out of the mansion which I had conveniently taken over as my home. I directed my steps towards the place where I thought the great Oxis River was. Suddenly something appeared to give me wings. I flew over vast distances and sped on with the speed of light. I followed the direction on a map which I saw in the mansion but I was not absolutely sure for their sense of direction was different from mine. Freedom at last! I eventually sighted the great river. My joy knew no bounds.
I slowed down because I could not cross the great river when I reached it. The wings suddenly vanished and I became my normal self again. I sat down dejectedly on the bank. When darkness set in I crawled cautiously along the bank to seek shelter under a clump of trees from any possible night mishap.
Eyes know no sorrow for soon they closed in sound sleep. Shortly before I came into full wakefulness the next morning my ears caught the voices of several people in a chat. I heard the silvery voices and laughs of women but I could not open my eyes. When I eventually opened my eyes, I realized that I was lying between the statues of two women. Beautific edifices! Even though I was afraid beyond measure I could not take my eyes off them, the cold and well polished marble human images or effigies. Even one of them appeared to blink at me. Did I actually hear human voices or was it my mind playing tricks on me? Admittedly my mind had become distracted as a result of my plight. I got up and walked in a leisurely manner towards the river. I waded into the river for a few yards and this time I appeared to gain some distance towards the home bank. Suddenly a strong current seized me and deposited me on the bank. I made many attempts but no success crowned my efforts. On my last trial a huge fish suddenly appeared in the river and shoved me onto its back. I sat on it and it deposited me exactly where I had started. Home was so near and yet so far away.
I gave up and sat down to brood over my misfortunes. Suddenly I became aware of some presence. I saw that the three beings who had accosted me initially were again with me. Their leader spoke once more. ‘So you thought you could escape! Ha Ha! Such ingratitude! We pardoned you for intruding rudely into our domain and sphere of authority. We rescinded our decision to put you to slow and painful death. We even gave you freedom to move about our beautiful countryside. You even had the audacity and the impudence of a dead lion to enter our sage’s abode and ate the food of the wise. You even listened to our goddesses. And you repay our generosity and benevolence with gross and base ingratitude!’
As he spoke I saw a group of Visualizer children swimming happily in the great river but carelessly moving in the direction of the strong currents. I had wanted to shout and warn them but I could not find my voice. All too soon they were in the grip of the swift currents and whirling round and round at the mercy of the eddies. The spinning waters began to whisk them rapidly towards the abyss. It was painful to watch. The old Visualizers however remained aloof and unconcerned. How could they possibly keep their cool under such trying circumstances?
Quite overcome by anxiety for the children and the cruel fate that awaited them a few moments away I took a few steps towards the river to save one or possibly two of them at least but my feet became suddenly heavy and I was rooted to the spot. The children however appeared to enjoy the apparently perilous ride in the current. They stood in the water almost up to breast level holding their hands above their heads and smiling sweetly as they were carried swiftly by. Within the tinkling of an eye all of them had been swept and hurled down the abyss into the boiling waters several hundreds of feet below.
I formed a poor mental picture of the Visualizers; I felt completely justified in painting them as heartless and insensitive beings. What a callous and irresponsible disregard of the sacred duty to children? Indeed some people, I mused, even delighted in seeing their fellow human beings suffer and actually created problems for them to augment their already unbearable plight. Perhaps these Visualizers belonged to this class of people. If this were not so then why have they not caused the Long Branch to become even longer to rescue the children? They had the know-how. But strangely the branch was standing straight just like the humans and towering over and above the water level, completely aloof.
On second thoughts I felt that maybe it was their way of sacrificing to their goddesses. That spirit of sacrifice surely soothed their consciences and explained their nonchalant attitude.
As if they had read my thoughts or in answer to the nagging and perplexing questions in my mind, the trio said in unison. ‘You will soon see!!!’ Then after a little while, I saw all the children on brightly coloured wings flying in circles in the sky, but sometimes swooping gracefully close to the surface of the river. It was a spectacular sight.
‘Oh I see!’ I shouted louder than I had really intended to as I grazed fixedly at the rare display. My gaze still lingered after them long after they had gone past.
The judge took a magic wand from beneath the folds of his purple gown and waved it. All of a sudden I found myself in my cabin. A journey I had taken so many days to accomplish with the swiftest flying skills was done in a matter of seconds. By what magic? I sat down in my cabin lost in thought. I resigned myself to my fate. Fate will definitely guide me safely home one day. However, after sometime my restless nature had the better of me. My adventurous disposition also rebelled against the boredom of my present stage of existence. So I started to roam about again just to while away the time. Why can’t they allow me to go home as a persona non grata or, if as the leader claimed, I had received royal pardon? I went round the countryside and stayed for days exploring rolling hills and sinking valleys and taking in the breathtaking, unspoilt natural scenes.
On one of my wanderings I came across two hills with a large lake in between them. I sat down and forgot all about home and escape; all my thoughts were focused on the enchanting beauty of the surroundings. I was deeply, even totally, fascinated by the extraordinarily spectacular attraction of the trees, shrubs, flowers and fruit trees.
Just when I was about to doze off, quite overcome by the wonders of this picturesque land, a droopy human figure with white hair came into my view coming towards me with surprising agility. I held my hand with three figures held high in line with the custom of greetings of the Visualizers. He signaled to me for silence.
He then proceeded to tell me that my earlier attempts at escape had failed because I lacked protective charms to counter the powers of the magic men of the land. And that was the reason why he had come, viz to fortify me with very efficacious mystical power to help me get home in prefect safety. He informed me that my father was desperately ill and on the threshold of death. Firstly of all, he gave me a crystal ball which reflected powerful light from the sun. On whomever the rays touched they banished all ailments, illnesses or diseases from him or her. He asked me to set my heart at ease as my father would be snatched from the jaws of death and be completely cured as soon as I performed the crystal wonders on him.
Next, he bestowed on me the power of invincibility. He gave me a string of beautiful cowrie shells to wear around my neck as a protective charm against all dangers. He also gave me a whitish powdery substance which was to be sprinkled into the river. If I performed the rituals, accordingly with the accompanying spells and incantations, I could be transported back home, as safely as a baby kangaroo in its mother’s pouch.
As he spoke Old One might have sensed a presence for he broke his speech abruptly. Then, quick as lightning, he plunged into the depths of the pool. The ripples had hardly settled when two beings appeared; the middle eye of one of them, whom I took to be of royal lineage, bore deeply into my mind. I stood my ground fortified by Old One’s magic. The glare of their deeply penetrating eyes finally left me and they left as suddenly as they had appeared. Just then the beloved grew head of Old One appeared from beneath the lake. I breathed a sigh of relief. The clear pure waters of the lake sparkled in the sun’s rays.
I had wanted to ask Old One how he managed to stay under water for so long. I had wanted Old One to teach me that secret but he did not give me time enough even to say thank you. He just told me to start my homeward journey without the least delay, the time being the most auspicious and opportune.
It was already moonlight and I was pleased that the wings had appeared. I was already on wings homeward bound to Cacabanca. Old One also gave me a kind of mobile phone in the form of a red feather and said I could see and talk to him by means of the feather anytime, anywhere.
In obedience to Old One’s instruction, I rested under shades of trees and sped away towards home at night. I covered great distances and had almost despaired that I was on the right path. Suddenly the great river loomed in the distance. I touched down and immediately sprinkled some of the whitish substance in the river. I entered the river and swam safely across it to gain the safety of the other bank. The wings had vanished as soon as I entered the river. Then, all of a sudden, a figure having the features of my fiancée came into view. She was drenched in fears. But her tears of sorrow became jiggles of joy as soon as she saw me. She ran into my arms and I held her tight. She however disengaged herself from my embrace and ran like a hare to inform my parents.
I walked briskly towards home and met my mother just as she was issuing from the door. I embraced her warmly and wasted no time in getting to my father’s room. Fortunately the setting sun had thrown brilliant rays of light though the window and across the room. I fished through my bag and fetched the crystal ball. Old One was the very epitome of truth. The crystal ball caught the rays and produced powerful light which I directed towards my father. He recovered almost immediately to the astonishment, relief and joy of all.
2. ABU BONSRAH AFRIYIE
A Collection of Trditional Poems (Translated)
ABU BONSRA AFRIYIE I – CHIEF OF FOMENA
Abu Bonsra Afriyie –
Royal kinsman of Kusa Asakyiri Amoabeng Kotoko speaks.
Attention! Ekuona Nyankoma’s royal son
Has a message for us all.
Ancestor of Bonsra Afriyie
He who balances the scales
To change destinies from left to right;
Without whose fortitude
The royal princes of Adansi
Might have fallen victim to the Akyem.
Abu Bonsra Afriyie
Whose courage inspired Adansi kingdom;
Your timely arrival,
Were all divinely ordained.
Speak! Speak! Speak!
For the Ekuona clan is attentive;
And the Adansi kingdom is all ears.
NANA KWANTWI BARIMA – CHIEF OF FOMENA
There he comes! There he is!
Man of courage;
Ancestor of Anokye Obiri Komfo; son of Kwaako Oseikwa.
Barima Kwantwi – the great man who does not gasp
To brace the currents.
He dares the musket,
He dares the serpent,
He dares the elephant;
Truth makes him formidable.
Three times your like
Deserves to raise the cornerstone of
Adansi Kingdom of the Ekuona clan (from the ruins.)
The procreation of combined ferocity and valour;
The brainchild of aggression
Conceived between Wednesday and Saturday;
Delivered for the Ekuona clan
And presented to Adansi and Fomena.
Lover of the aged;
Beloved of the young;
Impartial judge, indifferent to all.
Who doubts the pride of his lineage?
Asona royal Kwame Anokye who related to
Ekuona kinsman Akua Kwaako.
Truth fosters life, wealth, joy, prosperity and freedom,
But courage nourishes them all.
And there you come again! Kwantwi.
You grasped all and held fast;
The proof of your courage
Everyday resounds your great name.
Kwantwi the Great,
Lover of justice –
He who never cheated his enemies.
There you came again –
NANA AMOAKO AGYEMANG – CHIEF OF FOMENA
Listen! Listen and spread the message
Amoako Ogyampa Agyemang Opambour –
Valiant, courageous Ekuona royal kinsman speaks.
The son of Kusa Asakyiri Amoabeng Kotoko;
Son of Fomena Yaa Birago of Blessed Thursday is speaking.
Valiant one, whose royal kinsman is never stranded in a strange land.
Take note! He who rescued the sacred bones
Of Nana Nkansa, victim of the Edina strife
To settle with his royal ancestors is speaking.
I say: Listen and spread the message with you.
How come? How come?
For what apparent reason the owl hoots?
For what reason the drums disturb the peace?
What unfortunate message
Has given lamentation the control?
Adwoa Adani Pommaa II and the Ekuona clan
In lamentation adorn their bellies with red cloth.
How come? Valiant men
Royal kinsman, Yaw Kensa with the
The great warriors of Besease
Adorn themselves in tears.
What truth do I discern from the grapevine?
How come? The eavesdropper – the bird of falsehood
Circulating the rumour has proven right the eternal journey
Of Nana Ofori Agyemang II.
How come? Death, gatherer of all dead sticks,
Cruel Kaka tree who braces all and spares none;
Whose story never gets untold!
You have declared you stand
And wrestled unchallenged power.
How much is your demand;
What price is your ransom
To balance the scale in rescue of Ofori Agyemang?
Adwoa Pomaa Kuase, daughter of the Bufallo
Whose stock of gold breaks the scale questions to know:
How much is your ransom from Adansiman,
Fomena, Ejisu-Besease and the Ekuona clan?
How come this deadly Thursday has dawned on us unprepared?
How come the great army of Adansi kingdom has fallen apart
In the campaign to rescue their great leader?
The protector could not protect himself;
He has fallen victim- taken prisoner of war.
The saviour could not save himself;
He has succumbed in broad daylight.
The eloquent debater could not convince death;
His words have fallen apart.
Knowledge has eluded the seeker of knowledge;
His argument is lame before death.
Ofori Agyemang Pambour –
Adansi policemen plead their lame excuse;
They could not fire at death.
Adansi nurses have failed with the potency of their injections;
Death has eluded them all.
Adansi school children have pledged their school fees, but in vain;
Death shakes his silent ears.
Now, Family members, lovers and subjects all
With one message seal our parting covenant:
Cruel Death can please himself;
Nana, enjoy your journey safely back home.
Peace! Peace lead you home!
ROYAL PANEGYRIC FOR NANA OPUNI KWAGYAN OF NKYENKYEMADUAKOTENE (AKROFUOM)
We are all ears! We are all ears!
Opuni Kwagyan! He who captures alive.
He is Asona Kwaku, the dread of the monster;
The preserve of the mangrove, Ntiamoah Kwaatutu.
It is not in vain
He’s referred to as Ntiamoah.
He is a genuine progeny of Date and Anokyewaa.
The valiant warrior of the Akyeresiase War;
Kwaku ee! The lion flees from you.
Valiant one who captures live the lion
And removes its canine teeth.
He who devastates to ruin
The streets of violent men.
For the moment –
So speak Valiant Kwagyan.
NANA OKAE ABABIO
Who is he? Who is he?
I told you so!
Kwame Anokye and Eno Tabuaa have reincarnated Okae.
That is it! Osumkae Berempong.
That’s him! Asona Kwadwo –
The royal prince of Oforina
Who challenges his ancestry?
He registered from ancient times
As Nkyenkyemaduakotene –
Harvester of the gold mines.
Amo Frempon Kwaatutu and Anokye Kotobre’s drum,
He who entertained the ‘Black Stool’
And unseated occultism from it.
If you are not adored
Why would they praise you as Ababio?
Your advent is long overdue
For your first coming
Ensured our good living;
So Oforina, ‘Give us your word!’
NANA GYEKYE AND AFOAKWA
One palm harvesting herbs cannot grasp all;
Two heads carrying a load, the pressure is bearable;
An individual does not capture the lunatic.
Hey! Gyekye and Afoakwa
The Asona and Akrofuom nation salutes you.
Ntiriwaa who bore you
But for a split second
Had wished you cloned as twins.
But then, your demonstration exceeds look-alike.
Your aspirations portrayed harmony,
Unity, love and above all
Goodwill for the Asona and Akrofuom nation.
Truly, true progenitors of Ofori
Whoever plots against you
Shall labour in vain.
And now, because the Asona people with Anene
Have taken control over heaven and earth,
Your plotting enemies plot in vain;
The foresight of your harmony being vanguard
Odomankoma the Creator forms your rearguard.
Move on! The enemy who tries to play you weathercocks
Is betrayed through your honest labour.
You have proven:
‘One palm harvesting herbs cannot grasp all’.
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