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Covid-19 Will Surely Leave Us, But Should It Die With Africa’s Education And History?

One of my fondest memories of my late grandmother, Akua Addai, was her oral history teaching me about why the first settlers of Goka migrated from Akwamu, passing through Dormaa Ahenkuro, Suma Ahenkuro, Seikwa, and settling in a far away land reserved for the mirth of the beasts and habitat of unfriendly spirits to mankind. She said, (keeping on to instill in me the history that undergirds the Kurontihene stool I am a royal of), if you’re not taught these, you’ll see not the need to pass that our rich history and values to the generations after you.

Though without a formal education, rote learning, my grandmother was comparable to the proverbial old woman whose death is to be mourned as a burnt library. No wonder she kept her consorts unbreakable with the renowned prophetess Maame Sarah before her (my grandmother) death in advanced age.

This narration of hers was in response to my questioning that: “Nana (Granny), why do you keep on telling me to be as strong as our forebears?”

With a broad smile, she answered as: “those who first settled here (Goka), had left the Akwamu Kingdom because of divisiveness that has caused civil war between the two sons, twin brothers, of Ansah Sasraku, the deceased occupant of the Akwamu stool.

Settling a wager between them by answering with their swords, the winner should succeed the dead king, their father. The senior of the twin pitched his camp with his combatants, so did his junior brother. Their warriors, and those they’re warring to rule over, are the very Akwamu people who are now divided in opinions and actions. The duel was so bloodletting that women couldn’t gather food for their households, or had peace to feed the brains of their children with the food of the soul – knowledge.

 So, Abrewa Doku, my great ancestor, led her entire family under the cover of darkness to sneak through an unapproved routes of the Akwamu long fences. They walked months through the forest, braving hunger, thirst, and threats of diseases and preying beasts.

On their way, Abrewa Doku narrated to her train that: she wouldn’t want any of her descendants to settle disputes through fisticuffs, and where she’s leading them to was a fertile ground to teach her progeny the need for unity for a common purpose. And that, it’s not always a leader should be in front of the marching crowd, there are times he or she could be at the back, pushing the weak ones, the followers, with the strong bones”.

“They reached the destination, near the Asuo Goka, or Lake Goka, where they found Go (a fig used for craftwork). One the artisans worked on for their livelihood, making them rich, and paid debts they owed people they’d bought swords from in Atumfourso. The armoury used to face the big cats, primates, elephants, buffaloes and the hyaenas who threatened their existence.”

Today, if you see Twie (Women’s coconut), in Goka, it should tell you there were elephants and other mammoths that dwelled there. They planted the Twie, a strong tall tree that these huge animals can lean on or scratch their itchy bodies on.

She added that: “is it wonder to you, you’d learnt from me the chief of Goka today is the Adontenhene, (the chief warrior of the Suma Ahenkuro paramountcy, and that under the reign of Nana Adinkrah, the inventor of the Adinkrah Symbols, it was warriors from Goka who safeguarded the symbols from the heist of the Dwira people from Ivory Coast?”

Such it was in the mind of an old lady who never stopped ceasing the opportunity to lead her progenies to the path most needed for human progress. She was for education that would instill in the future generation the need to hold on to the sacred ancient values and virtues that built empires and impregnable kingdoms in the noble spirits of brotherhood.

In her views, Akwamu was falling from grace after seeing the greatest Renaissance in Black history. The blind could be tutored through gadgets she called “magic machines”. Those magic machines she’ll add: sent recorded voices and motion pictures. The hearing impaired or the bedridden lame could not be left out in acquiring knowledge or be given a respectable employment. But no, the pursuance of the polarity war meant; these beautiful human creations would be directed at teaching strategies of war, or announcing a propaganda communiqué showing cooked claims of gains made in the war.

In the end, Abrewa Doku saw no better future for her  children and grandchildren. Another world in Goka would immortalise her history, raising souls hungry for arts that builds than destroys.

Indeed, it did. Abrewa Doku’s family lineage are the Domeabra people, the custodians of the Goka Black Stool. If the stool is vacant, it must be kept in the custody of the Kurontihene, the Regent Duke, of the Goka people, who happens to be the head of the Domeabra family. You keep your priced property with a trusted relation who associate and share your toils.

Oburoni Vasco, a repository of more of such oral history of ancient Goka sits on the Kurontihene stool today. The writer relate to him as a nephew.

It’s not the battle between the twin brothers of Akwamu that should compel Africans to take a critical look at how the new war, the Covid-19 battle, is sinking our education system and history. It’s our misplaced priority of how we’re utilising the media in solving the disease outbreak.

Africa is only using the new media, radio, television, Internet… focusing on how to market personal protective equipments (PPEs), build new hospitals, finance vaccine production, and getting abundant glutinous feeding.

Here in Ghana, at least, twice in a week, the government and the biggest opposition party address the nation. None of such addresses had had priority placed on the education of the school-going-age. It’s only mentioned in brief how students are to use the Internet for their studies. No efforts had been suffered to bring on board the remotest cottage dweller  pupil of poor illiterate parents who has never heard of, or will never have access to such facilities. The kids get up today and close their brains to studies as the doors to their classrooms are locked, respecting restrictive measures.

Our education system was already limping on one rickety leg, I’ve in my writings called for its complete overhaul and revamping. The successes sought for by the One Ghana Movement (#1GhM) was not given a footing before we were plagued by this deadly virus.

If we’re seriously battling the lethality of the novel coronavirus with all our arsenals owing to its disrespect for all souls, big or small, rich or poor, royal or commoner; we should not leave uncleared the weedy brains of Africa’s future, our education. If we do, then, we’ll have Covid-19 leaving our shores with its ugly stranglehold, but not until it carries away our education and rich history.

Written by: Charles Yeboah (Sir Lord)

The Founder Of One Ghana Movement (#1GhM)

Contact/WhatsApp: +233249542111


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