Nana Kwasi Akuffo was enstooled as the 15th occupant of the Ofori Stool of Akuapem in 1895 when he was 32 years old.

EALY LIFE AND EDUCATION

It was on 21st June, 1863 that Opanyin Kofi Bekoe of Kyekurotia, Akropong and Odehye Amma Yeboaa (alias Amma Tanoa) gave birth to Nana Kwasi Akuffo at Akropong. The birth of this bright star took place in the house of Ohemmaa Nana Adwoa Asantewa at about 10.00am. 

Young Kwasi Akuffo, who hailed from Sakyiabea House – one of the three ruling houses – began his schooling at the Akropong Basel Mission Junior School at the age of nine years. Two years later – on 3rd May, 1873 – the late Rev. George Widmann of the Basel Missionary Society baptized him and gave him the Christian names of Frederick William.

Brilliant as he was, young Fred passed through the elementary school in seven years (instead of the usual ten) and, without going through the Middle School, proceeded straight to the theological Seminary, also at Akropong to train as teacher-catechist. There, also, he was renowned in his class as one of the best Greek and Latin students.

ADULT LIFE & WORK EXPERIENCE

In 1883, he left the prospects of teaching and ministry, which he was pursuing at the Seminary, for the commercial world. He gained employment with Messrs. F.A. Swanzy at Akuse as an Accountant. But this was short-lived. He became a trader, who plied between Akropong and neighbouring Mamfe, his stock-in-trade being rum in casks. Besides trading, he also farmed.

 

On 25th September, the same year, he married one of the beauties of Akropong at the time, Miss Sophia Afua Owarewa.

 

In 1886, he was engaged by his uncle, Nana Kwame Fori I, then the Paramount Chief of Akuapem, as his personal Secretary and the Registrar of the Akuapem Tribunal. It was while in these two capacities that his uncle nominated him as his representative to accompany the then Governor, Sir William Brandford-Griffiths, in his expedition against the Krobos in 1892. In 1895, he was elected the Asonkohene (heir apparent) to the Ofori Stool to prepare him for Kingship. 

ASCENSION TO THE STOOL

On 3rd December, 1895, shortly after the death of his uncle, Nana Kwame Fori I, young Fred was enstooled to succeed him as the Omanhene of Akuapem, under the stool name of Nana Kwasi Akuffo

 

Immediately on ascension to the stool, Nana Kwasi Akuffo decided to prepare for the final funeral celebration of his late uncle. This, he successfully did in May, 1896.

A BRILLIANT PACE-SETTER , ALL THE WAY

By his enstoolment, Nana Kwasi Akuffo became the first paramount chief in Akuapem- if not in the whole country – to have received a formal Baptism as a Christian and a continuous eleven years of formal education up to a high institution.

 

His ascension to the Ofori Stool wrote a new chapter in the annals of Gold coast chieftaincy, as he established himself as one of the most enlightened chiefs of his time. He was simply outstanding among his predecessors. He was a member of the Aborigines Rights Protection Society which he joined in 1906.

 

When he attended the first meeting of the Joint Provincial Council of Chiefs in 1926, he was elected the Provincial Member of the Legislative Council. It is on record that it was the late Nana Kwasi Akuffo who, in his bid to improve the living conditions of his people in the rural areas, pleaded in the council for the extension of the railway line to Kumasi to be constructed through Pakro, Mangoase and Asuoya.

On 29th July, 1907, he was destooled after a long political dispute and went to settle at a village, called “Bogyabi Ye Dom” near Nsawam. It was there that he took the opportunity to unite all his children and grandchildren under one great family tree and sought to educate them in Akan customs and traditions as well as the culture, usages and practices of Ahemfi.

By the unanimous consent of his people, Nana Kwasi Akuffo was re-instated in 1919 and reigned peacefully and progressively thereafter.

Nana Kwasi Akuffo’s two reigns (1895-1907 and 1919-1927) could be described as pace-setting in many respects. For instance, despite his Christian education, he lived in a manner peculiar to himself.

 

Not only was he a great paramount chief, who was endowed with abundant wisdom and was well-versed in Akan customs and practices, but also his 20-year reign made a great impact on both the Chiefs and people of Akuapem and chiefs and people of other traditional areas of the country. The late Nana Kwasi Akuffo is credited with the fact that it was during his reign that he introduced and fashioned the use of golden paraphernalia in the form of crowns, sandals, bangles, etc. Hitherto, these had been made of ivory, hides, leather and cowries.

 

When Nana Kwasi Akuffo died in 1927, he had as many as 62 recognized wives, with wives in each of the 17 towns of Akuapem, 147 children, 142 grandchildren and 54 great-grandchildren.

© 2020 AKUFFO HERITAGE . Powered by WordPress. Theme by Viva Themes.