KNOW THE ORIGIN OF TOWNS- THE STORY OF KOMENDA
By: Kwame Ampene (Founder of the Guan Historical Society) – November6, 2010
The story of Komenda The Komenda Tradtional Area is bounded on the east by Elmina, on the west by Shama, on the north by Wasa, on the north-east by Eguafo and Abrem in the Central Region.
The capital of the State is Akatakyi, which means “the town of great people” known in European records as Little Commendo, while describing the Komenda State as British Commendo.
Komenda traditions allege that their ancestors originally lived at Takyiman in present-day Brong Ahafo Region, and that they formed part of the Borbor Fante emigrants which broke off in search of peace and security, because in those days the Takyiman area was constantly in great turmoil-there were wars and rumours of war.
The Komenda dissidents were under the leadership of Nana Kome as they trekked southwards; however, Nana Kwarhin (Who later founded Kwarhinkrom), was the pathfinder of Twafohin for Nana Kome till they reached Mankessim, the nursery ground for Fante ideas and institutions.
Earlier, the whole congregation had settled at Kwaman (Akan-manmu) close by a rivulet, where the three warlords namely Oburumankoma, Odapagyan and Oson died and their remains carried to Mankessim and interred in a nearby grove which became the famous Nana Pow. When the Fantes were afflicted by any misfortune they turned to the deity. Nananom in the night.
At Mankessim, the Borbor Fante lived in five quarters- Nkusukum, Anaafo or Ntsetse, Edumadze, Bentsi and Kurentsi Amanfo, each quarter enjoyed absolute independence of the other.
They settled at Mankessim a long time before they began to form new territorial state, leaving behind the Kurentsi Amanfo, however the quarters of Edumadze and Kusukum left Abaatam in their original quarters at Mankessim.
After their, departure from Mankessim, Nana Kome and his followers first settled at Komantse, and as they were leaving this place the younger brother called Kome Kuma refused to accompany the main party and chose to stay behind. Soon the Asante army invaded the area and Kome Kuma was captured. It is alleged that his elder brother felt aggrieved and exclaimed. “If Kome Kuma had listened to me, he wouldn’t have been captured”. The expression in Fante was Komeantse or Kormantse.
Earlier, they had stopped briefly at Biriwa, a fishing village, and thence to Yamoransa (Akatakyiwa in Nkusukum). Where after a sojourn a few remnants were left behind, while the bulk of the people followed Nana Kome to the land of Eguafo.
Nana Kome approached the king of Eguafo, humbly requesting for a piece of land to settle on. He was told to help the Eguafo to get rid of a monster which disturbed them a lot. Nana Kome’s gallant fighters took up the challenge and got the monster killed.
Then Nana Kome and the king of Eguafo drank fetish that henceforth the Akatakyi would occupy the land between Kankan (Dutch Komeda) and the mouth of the Pra River. Up to the second half of the 18th century, the king of Eguafo controlled the stretch of coast from the west bank of the Benya River to the estuary of the river Pra. In those days, Jabi (Shama), Elmina, Abrem and Efutu were part of the Eguafo state.
The story is that the monster killed by the gallant fighters was known as Ekyi, which gave them the new name AKATAKYI. Finally they left for Mmaado where they build the Akatakyi State. The chiefs spied the land and then came to inform Nana Kome, where each wanted to stay, and were accordingly granted permission to build their various towns and villages.
TOWNSMIGRANT LEADERS RULING CLAN ANCESTRAL HOME
1. Akatakyi Nana Kome (Omanhin) Abrade Takyiman
2. Aboransa Kweenu Amoa (Nifahin) Abrade “
3. Antardo Ansah Pregow ( Antardohin) Abrade “
4. Bisease Kwedu and Aban (Kyidomhin) Abrade “
5. Dominase Kumi Kuma and Kwesi Ebeng Abrade “
6. Dompoa Kobinko and Sumawuah (Benkumhin) Abrade “
7. Kokwaaso Kwansan (Kokwaadohin) Abrade “
8. Kwarhinkrom Kwarhin (Twafohin) Abrade “
9. Kyiasik Ofiram (Kyiasihin) Anona Tarkwa Dunkwa (Denkyira)
10. Kissi Barima Kissi (Adontenhin) Abrutuw Asankare Breman (Wassa)
11. Ahwene Amoakwa Kouna Wamaso
Komenda in the past strongly determined to maintain their loyalty and allegiance to the British when so many invasions and attacks were made by the Portuguese, Danes and the Dutch who were exploiting the west coast of Africa.
Thus, J. K. Fynn (1974) remarked that the political growth of Akatakyi from a dependent market centre into an autonomous city-state was largely the outcome of the perpetual tension between rival European trading companies which competed among themselves for commercial supremacy on the Eguafo coast, Akatakyi in which the English fort stood became a fast growing town and enabled the Komeda chiefs to rival the Eguafo kings in importance and power.
The Spectator Page:31 November , 6, 2010