FEKUW OF CHICAGO
A Short History Of Akuapem
In the olden days, Akuapems, comprising the Kerepongs and the Guans were under the rule of the Kings of Akwamu who was then living at a place called Nyanawase, near Nsawam. The King of Akwamu ruled the Akuapems with a very strong hand and his subjects were very cruel to the women of Akuapem.
Unable to bear the treatment being given to them, the Akuapems united with the people of Guekiti, then Kamenas, and initiated a fight against the Akwamus for their independence.
The Akwamus were brave and ponderous fighters so the Akuapems could not withstand their might. Failure was imminent. The Akuapems heard of the people of Akyem Abuakwa and so they sent to King Ofori Panyin of Abuakwa to seek his assistance.King Ofori Panyin of Akyem Abuakwa granted the request of the people of Akuapem and deputed his own blood relation, Prince Safori, with an army of Warriors to assist the Akuapems. Prince Safori and his army came to Akuapem and succeeded in driving the Akwamus across the Volta River.
After his great conquest of the Akwamus, Prince Safori left the camp for a village called Amamprobi and summoned all the Akuapems to go there for victory meeting. At the meeting, victorious Prince Safori requested the Akuapems to unite the cartridge belt from his waist, meaning that they should pay him so that they could return to Akyem Abuakwa. As the people of Akuapem were incapable of paying and reward which could commensurate with the great feat, they unanimously pleaded with Prince Safori to agree to remain in Akuapem as their King.
Prince Safori consentedand went back to Akyem to inform his uncle, Ofori Panyin of it. The King of Abuakwa also gave his approval and Prince Safori came back to Akuapem to be their first King. That was in 1730.
Okuapemman Chicago host 2018 Odwira
What Is Odwira
Nearly every town in Ghana has a kind of festival which celebrates annually. “Odwira” is the biggest festival for the people of Akuapem and Akwamu. Originally, towns in Akuapem which celebrate this great event were only Akropong, Amnokrom, Ahwerasse and Aburi. In fact, only the Akans in the area celebrated it. In recent times, however, many things have changed and most Guans and Kyerepons, who used to have “Ohum” as their main festival, now celebrate “Odwira” in their own special ways.
Akropong and Amanokrom “Odwira” is celebrated exactly 40 days after the last Awukudae or Adaebutuw in the Akan calendar, nine Awukudaes makes one full calendar year. The festivities cover a whole fortnight during which many age-long traditions and customs, which had been handed down by forefathers, are observed. “Odwira” is an Akan word which means purification. It is therefore assumed that the same “Odwira was adopted principally because it is during this festival that the Okuapehene and all occupiers of stools in the area “purify” their tools. “feed” their ancestors, thank their people during the outgoing year and pray to the gods and ancestors for good health, long life, and prosperity in the ensuring year.
In short, it is during this festival that forefathers who, through wars, laid their lives to save Akuapem are remembered. It is also a unique occasion for family and friendly re-unions, and the patching up of long standing riftd, feuds and pretty quarrels. It is a festival which joins together the people and affords them the opportunity for mirth and jollity. Although, there are occasions during the “Odwira” festival for mourning and deep remembrance of the departed, the festivities are full of gaiety and grace. The pomp and pageantry which normally characterize the events single out Akuapems as a people who are proud owners of a foundation of rich culture and enviable traditions.