5 April 2012

Ghana: 'Asase-Aban'


If you happen not to know what 'Asase-Aban' is, don't you worry to begin with. You, however, may have heard of an erstwhile famous foot-ball team, whose stadium was at Nkawkaw, Kwahu. I was made to understand, whilst toying with this 'narrative', that efforts are now afoot, to have the old glory of that "Football Club" restored.

Aren't you looking forward to Easter in Kwahu? 'Asase-Aban', someone told me, whom I had consulted, "could mean the entire Kwahu people, not just the district, but the people". Please, mark the difference. But, excuse me, if I did not go back the hundreds of years, when the episode did occur, that led to 'Asase-Aban'. I promise you, we sure will re-visit the saga, only not today.

For your information, almost every "Kwahu", - man, or woman, knows that, we came from Ashanti, (at the time, we called our place of origin, 'Asante'). There seemed to have existed "such" a difference between the letter, 'e', and now 'i'.

If you would be interested in the difference, please, just please ask me, when we next visit the saga. I inquired from a couple of people that I know live in Accra or Kumasi, and do drive to and from any of the two cities, as the need might arise.

Either way, they pass (traverse) the Township, (you could accord the citizens, not the dwellers), the accolade, ('Obooma'), the Kwahu's, by calling Nkawkaw a city. Why not?! To see either of the two major cities of our Republic, (Kumasi and Accra), except if you were so deep-pocketed, as to fly, you would pass through Nkawkaw.

Someone referred to Nkawkaw, as "the place", where the people don't go to sleep at night. He did not say, the city, or the town, -he just said "the place". What I found more intriguing was that, a lot of the people I dialogued with thought Nkawkaw was the whole of Kwahu. One person told me he enjoyed "Nkawkaw dough-nuts".

He stopped "somewhere near a junction", and got himself some 'sweet doughnuts', each time he drove through. I dared correct him, that he got the 'stuff he liked so much', at Nkawkaw, not Kwahu. Nkawkaw is of course in Kwahu, but the proper Kwahu comes up the hill.

"Up the hill?" one yelled, but not necessarily at me. "I have not observed there is anything up there. I haven't seen anything!" he concluded. He was right. You don't see anything beyond the naked rocks looking almost accusingly at you, as you pass on the long-busy-C-shaped street, which leads you out of Nkawkaw to Accra, or Kumasi.

Up the mountain, you 'slip' onto the top of a plateau, where you could count at least seventeen beautiful townships, "close-apart". The Kwahu's came up the hill from ASANTE, behind a long history, which I had promised from the start, I won't go into, not today!

They came as hunter's and farmers, (mention Abetifi, Nkwatia, Pepeasi, Obomeng and Kwahu-Tafo). Then came Cocoa farming, until it was all over with Cocoa anywhere, except in Akim and Sefwi-wiuoso).

The Kwahus took to trading thereafter successfully. But, let me just inform you, so you may not be misled. The Kwahu's these days are into anything, and everything, just like the rest in our Republic. When you may lay hands on this article to begin with, you might be in Kwahu, -having been invited there, or gone on your own, attracted since last year after having experienced 'Show-Jumping' at Atibie-Nkawkaw, when it was Easter!

You may be on board "a motor-less-air-machine", at the controls of which you have one among the best men in the entire world, who do that kind of business. From the air, you have underneath; Nkawkaw, Awenade, Akwasiho, and the rest of the environs.

You might be thrilled watching "aero view" the road, on which you must have arrived from Accra, or Kumasi. The Government Hospital at Atibie, and the Holy-Family, as well as a big private health out-post are at your disposal too, at Nkawkaw.

Having said all that, I almost forgot something else, just as thrilling. Not among the "seventeen thrilling townships" is a neatly planned, elegantly built small township, called "Suminakese." Nkawkaw should be the best location to be, to inquire about your route to Suminakese. On your way from Nkawkaw towards Kumasi, you must cross the 'carcass' of the erstwhile 'Ghana Railways.' But, you don't. You turn right instead, just before it.

Three km and Akwasiho should be the next township. Both Akwasiho and Awenade were once bustling railway stations. There isn't, however, a reminiscence now. No trains these days! You won't possibly get lost anymore, in your adventure to Suminakese, even though, you should drive through four small villages, (you could call them townships), and you would not find the road the best you have ever encountered.

When you begin climbing steeply, (roughly 6km altogether), then you sight a "nice-looking police-station", to your right, all in the center of the township, is when you know, you must be at your destination. This time of the year, your lunch could come the cheapest in your living memory, when you get overwhelmed by young ladies you could call, "corn-venders."

Fresh roasted or steamed corn, -make your choice. It tastes as though, honey had watered the field, not rain-water. After having your fill, just ask anybody: Where is the valley with the "goodair?" You would walk back some 500 meters, i.e. down the hill.

Then to your left, you could not possibly miss the "greenness of the leaves of the cocoa trees, and how suddenly, you begin to enjoy the air, " some air" imparting to you, inertly, a sensation you haven't experienced before.

Then, if you looked forward, you could admire the structure of rocks forming part of the gargantuan mountains, (The Koforidua-Kitnmpo-Range), and you would get the impression, Leonardo da Vinci, who was for sure not born in this place, must have once lived here.

You turn one-hundred-and-eighty degrees, and you would wish you were yourself an artist, and had taken with you, a piece of canvas, and your brushes, to leave an indelible impression, of what you saw. Perhaps, I should not miss adding, your trip to Suminakese would be such an experience, you should have made on a V8.

You are likely to bring friends with you, to continue to Suminakese, just after the show jumping, come another Easter. Do you have a rough idea, how healthy roasted or steamed corn is, and breathing some unique air, better than a "New Buenos Aeries?" That is all part of "Asase-Aban".

Kofi Dankyi Beeko

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