The capital and largest city of Ghana, Accra stretches along the Ghanaian Atlantic coast, with the equator lying just offshore.
Once the capital of the Ashanti kingdom, today Kumasi lies in the Ashanti region of Ghana. It remains a royal city, although since all of Ghana was declared independent in 1957, the role of king has been mainly symbolic. It is popularly known as ‘the Garden City’ (because of its many beautiful species of flowers and plants) and also ‘the Heart Beat of Ghana‘. Could it also be the true heart of Ghana, in the Sahaj sense? There is no doubt it holds many secrets. Take the three personalities prominent in Ashanti history, who seem to have parallels in Ancient British legend & history:
At the root of the founding of the Ashanti Kingdom is a Merlin-like traditional priest called Okomfo Anokye. There are a number of legends associated with him:
The legend of ‘Golden Stool’ actually tells of the birth of the Ashanti kingdom itself. In the seventeenth century, a meeting of all the clan-heads of each of the Ashanti settlements was called. Legend has it that in this meeting, the Golden Stool was commanded down from the heavens by Okomfo Anokye, who was the sage advisor to the very first Ashanti King. The Golden Stool floated down from the skies straight into the King’s lap. Okomfo Anokye then declared the stool to be the symbol of the new Ashanti union.
The Golden Stool is sacred to the Ashanti, as it is believed that it contains the spirit, or soul, of the Ashanti people. So sacred it has been held, that not even kings were allowed to sit on it. Yet its importance goes beyond this: it is a symbol of nationhood, one that binds or unifies all Ashanti. It has not been seen by many, and only the king and trusted advisers know where it is hidden.
Okomfo Anokye had declared that the spirit of the Ashanti people was embodied in the Golden Stool, and that a capture of the stool would mean defeat for the Ashantis. Some two hundred years later, when the British arrogantly demanded the surrender of the Golden Stool, this challenge to the integrity of the Ashanti Kingdom called forth a Boudica and a Jhansi Ki Rani in the form of an Ashanti Queen Mother by the name of Yaa Asantewaa.
Okomfo Anokye also planted in the ground a sword, Excalibur-like, declaring that nobody could move it: it was to symbolise a unity between the Nzema people and the Ashanti tribes. It was through Okomfo Anokye’s counsel that the first King of the Ashantis, Osei-Tutu (King Arthur to Okomfo Anokye’s Merlin) was able to unite the different Akan tribes into one kingdom. The sword can still be seen to this day near the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, said to be the same spot where the Golden Stool came down from the heavens.