The story of Brakwa
Know the origin of towns
Story: Kwame Ampene (Founder of the Guan Historical Society)
Brakwa froms an integral part of Asikuma Odoben-Brakwa District Assembly in the Central Region.
Traditional of the origin of the ruling Asene family of Brakwa point unequivocally to their ancestors having emigrated from the ancient Akwamu capital, Nyanawase, at a time closely related to the period around July 1733, when the Akwamu, after a decisive defeat (by the combined forces from Accra, Agona, Obutu, Akyem and the Hill Guan people, supported by the Dutch at Fort Crevecoeur) took refuge in the Mid-Volta basin.
At an early stage, the Brakwa founding fathers broke away from the parent-stock and moved north-westwards under the leadership of brave old Obin Piti and came to settle at a place called HIA (literally meaning “hardship”) where Obaapanyi Gyafiaso, the mother of the migrant-leader died.
In 1800, a hunter by name Sisipiri, nephew of the leader, discovered a stream in the neighbourhood and recommended it to the people. The environment condition was excellent; also there were plenty of rocks in the stream on which the womenfolk could do their daily washing; so the leader’s sister called Brakwa urged them to move to the Bank of the stream which they later named Son-nsu. The new settlement which has become their permanent home was named after this royal, BRAKWA, the mother of Nana Yambra, the second ruler of the people.
Originally, the chief of Brakwa owed allegiance to the Paramont chief of Breman Asikuma. However, during the reign of the fourth chief of Brakwa, Nana Osa Ofori, they moved to neighbouring Ajumako, due to the failure of Breman Asikumahene Nana Amoakwa Boadu, to grant them a loan to procure the executioner’s sword to bring home the heads of Asante warriors as war trophies.
They maintained that Asante persisted attacks in the region were rather aggravating and unbearable. They could no longer endure the atrocities as it happened in April 1863, when the Asante army mounted a formidable expedition against Breman Asikuma and won complete victory after which they set up a camp of their own there in-furtherance of their economic and political interests, (the bamboo groove which surrounds Breman Asikuma today has grown from the fences of bamboo that the Asante planted round their camp. Vide: W. E. ward: “Short History of the Gold Coast” 1957p. 133).
This war was far more serous in its consequences in the region where they had all become embroiled in warfare against a common enemy.
The story adds that the Paramount Chief of Ajumako, Nana Eduanan Apea generously granted their requests to enable Brakwahene Nana Osa Ofori procure the Executioner’s Sword, which was supposed to possess astonishing powers to deter the Asante from unwanted destruction of life and property.
The acquisition of the mystery sword restored their morale and self-confidence and made them determined for total victory during unexpected attacks by the enemy. To this end, the chief and people of Brakwa transferred their loyalty to the Paramount Chief of Ajumako, and Brakwahene became Head of the Right Wing (Nifahene).
Coincidentally, the 1988 Local Government Reforms in Ghana regrouped Breman Asikuma, Odoben and Brakwa into one distinct District Assembly, wit the administrative capital at Breman Asikuma; however, Brakwa and Odoben have since continued to play their traditional roles as Nifahene and Benkumhene respectively within the Ajumako Traditional Council set-up. (See, for example; the story of “Breman Asikuma” in the Spectator; February 27, 2010 issue for additional information).
The Spectator Page: 31 Saturday, January 29, 2011