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THE STORY OF SEIKWApdf print preview print preview
28/08/2010Page 1 of 1
 

THE STORY OF SEIKWA

KNOW THE ORIGIN OF TOWNS

 
 
By:   Kwame Ampene

(Founder of the Guan Historical Society)

 
 

The tradition of the origin of Seikwa in the Tain District of Brong Ahafo, disclose that their ancestors originated from the Bouna Kingdom in the north – eastern part of Cote d’Ivoire.

The Seikwa lived there together with other related groups, namely the Badu and the Bunn people. Their ancestral lands were Angayi and Jerobaba. They spoke the Kulange dialect.

About that time, they were being harassed by the Bouna and Lobi tribes: so they fought against them, killing the whole Lobi tribe, hence the name KULAME, a corrupted form of the expression”Kulabo,” i.e. Killers of Lobi.” After the war their ancestors deserted their homeland and migrated southwards. On arrival the three groups congregated near Sikasoko (Sampa) before they set out. They settled in Suma area where there is a river called Bunn, hence they are known by that name. The Bunn and Seikwa stools were the same. The former is the nephew of the latter, but were virtually independent of each other.

The Seikwa and Badu set out till they reached a place called Dafupogy (i.e. Dafun-pogyega”) meaning “where earthen hearths were in great abundance.” They trekked further afield till they reached YEREKAE, so named, because a very old Amitra queenmother complained of tiredness and could no longer continue the journey: so she was left behind. The spot she settled has since been called YEREKAE.

When they reached Domea, the Badu ancestors broke away and founded the present town, Badu, named after their second chief, Kofi Badu. Simultaneously, the Seikwa founded Nyimpeneano. About that time, Abo Kofi, the tenth chief of Gyaman, who had made a golden stool for himself, was strengthening his power to eclipse the Brong tribes in that region, so the Asantehene Obiri Yeboah sent his army in 1740 to defeat the Gyaman and chased Abo Kofi across the Comoe River. The Gyaman served the king and paid tribute to him.

After this war of liberation, the Seikwa and Badu who fought on the side of the Asante army, were invited by the king of Kumase for their bravely in the war. The first chief of Seikwa, Kaka, had earlier passed away and his successor, Kaleme (1731 – 1752) led his people to Kumase, being guided by an influential person from Awua Odumase. They first called on the Bantamahene who in turn led them to greet the Asantehene, they were settled at Ampabame. The Badu also accepted the invitation and were settled at Adum, however the Bunn chose to stay behind.

Interestingly, after spending one year at Kumase, the Seikwa people decided to return to the lovely land of Nyimpeneano simply because they were displeased with the vegetation, which was a dense forest because they were used to staying in the open Savanna moreover they could not obtain a type of chewing stick, Kpasogo, mostly favoured by the elderly men.

It is noteworthy that Badu also made similar observation, but stayed in Kumase for three consecutive years before they returned to their homeland. At Nyimpeneano they experienced, perennial shortage of water until a hunter by name Debretia, went on hunting expedition and discovered a stream whose water looked whitish (Nsufufuo). He spread the news about the steam which never dried up and was being wasted. From that time till today, the expression “eresee-kwa became corrupted into SEIKWA.

Truly, Seikwa drum language is a testimony of their chequered history,

 Where do you come from?         -            From Bouna. 
To where?                                       -           To Asante Kotoko
To where again?                            -           To Bono Kyempem Duoduakwa
Where is your home?                   -           Seikwa

How Seikwa                                    -           Seikwa – True!     Pure!!    Unblemished!!!

Dagboo Kaleme who let the Seikwa to Kumase passed away and was succeeded by Ankwmah (1752-1777), Debra Agyei (1777-1737) and Kwaku Dwuma (1837-1855) who became insolvent and sold half of their lands. Fortunately, the next chief, Ekye paid all the debts, and made them free people. He therefore earned the appellation “Gyampasi-a-ohye-aka” ie “Gyampasi, the liquidator of debts.” Seikwa had been a Wing Chief (Kyidomhene) of Badu Stool, but during the reign of Dagboo Ekye, they took a bold step to denounce the rank and chose to create an independent state. To Badu, this decision was a complete violation of customary law and usage. The dispute was settled by Gyamanhene but the Seikwahene still maintained that the Baduhene at that time was his son, and so a father could not serve his son.

Thus the hostilities erupted into civil war in which the Seikwa chief lost his life. The cause of another Seikwa Badu was resulted from sexually relation of Seikwa royal member with one of the wives of Baduhene. This brought the war in which the seventh – Seikwahene Bekoe lost his life on one Friday morning which ushered in the state Oath “Fuada’ (Friday), the penalty of searing it is a heavy fine. He was succeeded by Kwasi Bekoa-Ababio.

Finally, as result of political unrest in the whole of Asante and Brong regions, the chiefs of Seikwa, Kwasi Bekoe, and Baduhene Kofi Fofie (Akrosumah III) went to Accra to seek protection from the Governor. They were given a flag each and automatically came under British protection. The first District Commissioner G.R. Orsborne, was stationed at Sampa in 1899. The boundaries with Suma in the north, in the south is River Tain (Zoroo which takes its source form far away, hence (Akwata.) The boundaries were certified by the Districts Commissioner Mr. Fair (Fell during the reign of Dagboo Kwasi Bekoe I who earned the appellation:

NANA KWASI BEKOE

Descendant of Agyei and Kaka

Anomakode  -  (a bird) with broken wings

Yet manages to survive

Grandson of Agyei and Kaka

A great King whose name is on the lips of every traveller.

 
 
 
 
*Source

THE SPECTATOR –                         page: 31           Saturday, August 28, 2010

 
 
 
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