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Okomfo Anokye

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Okomfo Anokye (active late 17th century) was an Nzema priest, statesman and lawgiver.

Early life

Okomfo Anokye was born in Benyin,in West Nzema-Ghana West AFrica, now called Jomoro, in the late 1600s. His father was from Benyin and his mother was from Anosuazo, Eastern Nzema. His father was called Kwodwo Ackah. Anokye was named after his paternal Uncle Egya-Ano. The Nzema called him Ano kyi which means Ano Junior.The Ashanti and Denkyira, who were unable to pronounce his name, called him Anokye. He lived in Anosuazo near Atuabo East Nzema, where he began his priesthood. Anosuazo later became known as Anokyi because of the priests frequent visitors. Okomfo Anokye later helped King Amakyi, Kaku Ackah's Uncle, to defeat the first Europeans who came to the coast of Nzemaland.

The Denkyira's later heard of his wonders and requested his aid. Through Anokye's help, the Denkyira's successfully defeated the Ashanti's. Osei Tutu,the King of the Ashanti at the time, requested Anokye's aid. Anokye went to Osei Tutu's aid in Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti Empire, with a group of his tribesmen and women. King Osei Tutu gave Anokye land to settle on after he helped them to defeat the Denkyira. The land given to Anokye to settle on was named Nzemaa. After the Ashanti defeated the Denyira, Okomfo Anokye brought the golden stool from the sky and gave it to the Ashanti's. He also put a sword on the ground as a symbol of unity between the Nzema and the Ashanti.The oath also prevented the Ashanti from fighting the Nzema and allows Ashanti's and Nzema's to marry each other with one single plantain as dowry.When Osei Tutu died, Okomfo Anokye's life was in danger, so he fled and lived the rest of his life in Awukugua. Through Okomfo Anokye, Nzema's gained the nickname, Nzema bayie, which means Nzema's came well or Nzemas are blessed.

 

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