What is the history of Okomfo Anokye? Real name, virtues, sword

What is the history of Okomfo Anokye? Real name, virtues, sword

Okomfo Anokye was one of the founding fathers of the West African Ashanti Empire. It is the modern-day Ashanti Empire located in the Republic of Ghana. Anokye was an influential political and religious leader. It is believed he performed miracles.

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Okomfo Anokye's history
A statue of Okomfo Anokye. Photo: @blackstarofafrica
Source: Facebook

Okomfo Anokye convinced the divided Asante chiefdoms to unite under Osei Kofi Tutu I and create the Asante Empire (Asante Twi: Asanteman). Tutu took the Asantehene (king) title in 1695 and ruled until 1717. The empire lasted between 1701 to 1901, with Kumasi as its capital and the Golden Stool of Asante as its unifying symbol. Check out the history of Okomfo Anokye and the Golden Stool below.

Profile summary

Full nameKwame Anokye Frimpon Kotobre
Other name (s)Okomfo Anokye
Place of birthAwukugua-Akwapim, Akwamu Kingdom
DiedAround 1717 - 1719
Age62 - 64 years (at the time of death)
FatherAno from the Adansi tribe
MotherYaa Anubea from the Ashanti tribe
LegacyAshanti fetish priest (traditional spiritual leader)
KingdomAsante Empire (today's Ashanti Empire)
Regime17th century

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What is the real name of Okomfo Anokye?

Okomfo Anokye's real name was Kwame Anokye Frimpon Kotobre. He earned the title Okomfo (priest) when he became a religious leader. As a result, he was called Okomfo Anokye throughout history.

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What is the story of Okomfo Anokye?

Anokye was born in 1655 in Awukugua-Akwapim, Akwamu kingdom (now in Ghana). His father, Ano, was from the Adansi tribe, while his mother, Yaa Anubea, was an Ashanti.

What was in Okomfo Anokye's hand when he was born?

He was born holding a short white tail of a cow (Podua) in his right hand, and his left hand was firmly clenched in a fist that no one could open. The midwife called his father to help her open the fist.

Okomfo Anokye's face
Okomfo Anokye's statues at Adanse in Ashanti. Photo: @Okomfo Anokye
Source: Facebook

What did baby Anokye say to his father?

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The baby opened his eyes, stared at his dad, opened his hand, and said, "Ano...Kye." The father took the talisman/totem poles (inscribed ring or stone believed to have magic powers and good luck) from the child's hand and named him Anokye.

The people believed the talisman and Podua were gifts from the gods and signs that Anokye was destined for greatness. He and Osei Tutu would later establish the legal, philosophical, and political foundation of the Asante Empire.

Okomfo Anokye's legacy and miracles

The Asante Empire conquered neighbouring kingdoms like the Denkyira of the Aka people (1699). The Denkyira-Asante war lasted for two years, and the Asante army was initially weak.

Anokye (King Osei Tutu's advisor) reportedly shouted incantations toward the Denkyera army, thus making most of the Denkyera army generals to defected to the Asante side. As a result, the Asante people defeated the Denkyera, gained the Elmina Castle, and Anokye was considered a mighty priest.

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The Elmina Castle granted the Asante Empire access to the coast, where they traded gold, agricultural produce, slaves, and craft work with the Dutch and other White settlers.

The empire defeated other kingdoms and expanded from the Ashanti Region to parts of the Ghana Empire, Ivory Coast, and Togo.

History of Okomfo Anokye
A painting illustrating Anokye holding his sword. Photo: @thiswayafrica
Source: Facebook

Okomfo Anokye's miracles

There are many records of the priest's great deeds and miraculous cures. Some of Okomfo Anokye's miracles include:

  • Okomfo's supernatural power united the scattered Asante chiefdoms into the Asante Empire.
  • He commanded the Golden Stool to land on Osei Tutu's knees, thus making him the Asante Empire's first king.
  • Anokye's priesthood power helped the Asante conquer the Denkyira in 1699.
  • He climbed palm trees with his sandals on.
  • The priest redirected the flow of rivers.
  • The rain never fell into his roofless house.
  • Okomfo fetched water in a basket without spilling a drop.
  • He planted a magic sword in the ground, which has never been removed.
  • He commanded rain to stop falling at a traditional festival.
  • Anokye could teleport from one place to another within seconds.
  • He walked in the rain daily and never got wet.
  • A crowd witnessed Okomfo make plantain grow in one day. They harvested and cooked it on the same day.
  • Anokye carved a board for Oware (a pit and pebble game) from a stone slab with his bare fingers.
  • A palm tree grew at the spot he poured a dreg of palm wine. The tree is in Awukugua town. Its fruit is harvested annually and shared among the area's seven traditional stool holders.

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Okomfo Anokye's sword
A historical landmark where the legendary Okomfo Anokye's sword is located. Photo: @GoldCoastGhanaa
Source: Facebook

Can Okomfo Anokye's sword be removed?

King Osei Tutu rewarded him with a massive piece of land in Asante. The Nzema community occupied the land and named it Nzemaa.

Anokye drove a sword into the ground to signify unity between the Ashanti and Nzema communities. It was part of a sealed covenant for them to intermarry and never wage war against each other.

Okomfo Anokye's sword stands to date at a hospital in Kumasi. The people believe removing it will destroy the Asante nation.

Did Okomfo Anokye die or vanish?

When King Osei Tutu died in 1717, Omkofo Anokye returned to his homeland, Akwapim. He passed away between 1717 and 1719 at Kyirapatre town in Kumase.

The circumstances surrounding his death were unclear. No one mourned him because it was believed he went to bring the key to death. The people realized he was gone forever when he never returned.

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The British forces invade the Asante Empire in the early 1800s. They burnt Kumasi and made the empire part of the Gold Coast colony on January 1, 1902. Today, the Ashanti Kingdom is a constitutionally-protected sub-national traditional state under the Republic of Ghana.

history of Okomfo Anokye
A statue of Okomfo Anokye. Photo: @skyfm96.7
Source: Facebook

Okomfo Anokye is one most famous ancient leaders in Ghana today. People write songs and poetry in his honour. He warned that chaos would befall the Asante community if the Golden Stool was destroyed.

Dr Kwame Nkrumah stood on it on July 1, 1960, when Arku Korsah swore him in as the first president of the Republic of Ghana in Accra.

Facts about Okomfo Anokye

  • He restructured Asante institutions.
  • His sandals and the traditional Oware game board (a slab of stone) are on display in Awukugua, Ghana.
  • It is believed that King Osei Tutu was Anokye’s uncle.
  • Okomfo Anokye's statue is located at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital's entrance, Bantama road, Kumasi, Ghana.
  • Historical statutes do not accurately represent Okomfo Anokye's face.

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What were the best virtues of Okomfo Anokye?

According to historians, Anokye had strong oratorical skills and intellectual and psychological capabilities to influence regional states to unite under Osei Tutu to form the Asante Empire.

Is Okomfo Anokye a twin?

The Ewe history claims Okomfo Anokye was an Ewe Togbi. His twin brother was Togbi Tsali, and their father was Togbui Akplormada. Brothers Tsali and Tsala (alias Okomfo kye) were endowed with potent spiritual powers.

Tsali stayed with his tribe in Nioatse (where the Ewe tribe comes from), while Tgobi went to help the Ashanti in their wars.

Okomfo Anokye is one of Ghana's most honoured ancient leaders. His guidance and priesthood power made Ashanti the most powerful kingdom in the 1700 and 1800s.

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Yen.com.gh also shared a list of current ministers in Ghana and their positions. Many politicians who have been in government for years still hold civil public offices in a national government.

The government's work and powers are divided into ministries. Like other countries, the ministers in Ghana collaborate to make and implement decisions on policies.

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Source: YEN.com.gh

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