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6 Interesting Things You Should Know About Ghana

Ghana is the gem of West Africa, it is a collision of rich and sorrowful history, culture and traditions. it is surrounded by beautiful neighbouring countries that are easy to access. Here is an overview of the particularities of this fascinating nation you have little or no knowledge about.

1. Origin of Name

Ghana has existed since medieval times. Its name comes from the former Ghana Empire of West Africa: “Ghana” was the title given to ruling kings.

2. Tro-tro

Ghana transport system popularly known as tro-tros are now mini vans holding between 9 and 15 passengers. The name comes from these wooden trolleys which were finally banned in the late 80s for being unsafe. I miss the rush of chasing after one and watching passengers hop on and off from the sides as they moved. They name was derived from the sound it made.

Trotro - The Cheapest Ride to Kumasi3

3. The Homowo Festival – August/September

The word “Homowo” actually means “To Hoot at Hunger” or ‘making fun of hunger.’ The  traditional oral history describes a time long ago when the rains stopped and the sea closed its gates. A deadly famine spread throughout the southern Accra Plains, the home of the Ga people. When the harvest finally arrived and food became plentiful, the people were so happy that they celebrated with a festival that ridiculed hunger. During this fetival, loud music or noise is prohibited, There is a believe that this will disturd the Gods and the crops will not grow.

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4. Love for football

Ghanaians are extremely enthusiastic about their footballers, especially their very impressive home teams which seem to scoop up trophies with ease. It is different any transport system when ghana has a match to play, most stores are closed because they want to view the game and also support their country. Ghana’s football governing body is the Ghana Football Association. Their two international teams are the men’s Black Stars (four times victors of the African Cup of Nations) and the women’s Black Queens.

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5. Okomfo Anokye

Anokye was in the 17th century and still is the greatest medicine man in the Ashanti Region. The golden stool (Sika Dwa Kofi) is the uniting power and commanding spirit of the Ashanti nation and its creation, it was the greatest achievement of Okomfo Anokye. He conjured it from the sky on a certain Friday night in 1700, The stool thus contains the soul of Ashanti and as such the symbol of nationhood. The Golden Stool which is kept under the strictest security and precaution is taken out only on exceptionally important occasions.

To this day, there is a sword planted in the ground in Kumase (capital of Asanteman, the Akan-Asante kingdom) which no one has been able to pull out. it was planeted in the 18th century.  Okomfo Anokye poured the dregs of palm-wine on to the ground and immediately there grew an oil-palm tree. It is alleged that the oil-palm tree stands now near the main street at Awukugua by his shrine “Obuabeduru”. It is harvested yearly and the fruit distributed to the seven Stool holders, known as Adadifo, and the Chief of the town. He also used his own kuronnua or wooden sandals to climb up that oil-palm tree and left some imprints of his feet on the trunk. These are still seen on the tree at Awukugua.

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6. Yaa Asantewaa the warrior queen

Her fight against British colonialists is a story is woven throughout the history of Ghana. Her speech stirred up the men who were too scared fight the white men to release the Asantehene. For months the Ashantis led by Yaa Asantewaa fought very bravely and kept the white men in the fort.

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These were her words.

she said: “Now I have seen that some of you fear to go forward to fight for our king. If it were in the brave days of, the days of Osei Tutu, Okomfo Anokye, and Opoku Ware, chiefs would not sit down to see thier king taken away without firing a shot. No white man could have dared to speak to chief of the Ashanti in the way the Governor spoke to you chiefs this morning. Is it true that the bravery of the Ashanti is no more? I cannot believe it. It cannot be! I must say this: if you the men of Ashanti will not go forward, then we will. We the women will. I shall call upon my fellow women. We will fight the white men. We will fight till the last of us falls in the battlefields.”

Yaa Asantewa and other leaders were captured and sent into exile. Yaa Asantewaa’s war was the last of the major war in Africa led by a women.

In this article:
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