Journeying through Adomi, Nkonya Unveils Rich Cultural Tapestry

Press "Play" to listen to article
Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...
Spread the love

By Celestina Cheba

I’ve been in Ghana for the past five years. In that period, I have visited a few sites, but nothing as captivating as my recent trip to Nkonya, 300 kilometres from the bustling capital.

My adventure to Nkonya began with a spirited 5:00 am departure from Accra on the crisp Saturday morning of November 11, 2023. The journey unfolded with a series of diverse and interesting experiences, each contributing to the tapestry of unforgettable moments that defined this remarkable trip.

Organized by African University College of Communications (AUCC) Crisis Management lecturer Peter Wonders as a practical part of the L300 course, the trip carried along 150 students from different specializations and levels on the journey, in a positive atmosphere, with good vibes making each emotional moment all the more memorable.

Adomi Bridge – seen from Volta river, Eastern region

The first stop was at Atimpoku, setting the stage for what lay ahead. The breathtaking beauty of the Adomi Bridge, an architectural marvel that spans the Volta River, became an awe inspiring structure that provided a picturesque backdrop to my exploration. This bridge, a latticed steel arch suspension bridge, is the first permanent bridge to span the Volta River, which drains south into the Gulf of Guinea.

The Adomi Bridge, commissioned by Ghana’s first president Kwame Nkrumah, was completed in 1957 by Sir William Halcrow & Partners (now Halcrow Group Limited) and William Brown, of the engineers Freeman Fox & Partners.

Venturing into lesser-known towns like Vapko, I shared joyous encounters with locals, navigated bustling markets, and reveled in the sheer excitement of discovering new corners of this unexplored region. Each location exuded a unique charm, leaving an indelible mark on my experience. The hospitality extended by the community, from the warm welcome and the gracious gesture of offering palmwine and bread, created a memorable and heartwarming experience for all involved.

We arrived in Nkonya at 1 pm. According to residents, the name Nkonya originated from the expression ‘Nko-anya’ i.e. ‘Nko’ (wars) and ‘anya’ (unconquerable and ‘invincible’). Nkonya incidentally is made up of two independent traditional set-ups namely, Ahenkro and Wurupong. Historically, their ancestors jointly migrated from the savannah land in the north at a place called Kpembe near Salaga and came down to the coast where they settled at the present site of Cape Coast. Soon the slave trade began to rear its ugly head. Nkonya Ahenkro is a small town and is the capital of Biakoye district, a district in the Oti Region.

In his article “The Story of Nkonya Wurupong”, K. Ampene explains the migration of these Guan people to their present location.

“Their ancestors wandered from place to place along the coast until they settled for a while among their kith and kin at Larteh-Akuapem. The Nkonya people then settled at Senchi on the west bank of theVoltafor a while before the historic split occurred. Wurubito (or Ahenkro) under King Tegyi crossed the Volta at Senchi and settled at Nudu. The other section, the Wurupong, led by King Asiakwa, moved northwards along the Volta bank .. and .. decided to cross the Volta at the confluence of the Obosom River.”

However, the journey takes an unexpected turn as I delved into the enduring conflict between Nkonya and Alavanyo villages. Unraveling the roots of the strife that began on May 24, 1923, I was provided with firsthand insights into the complex dynamics shaping the lives of these communities. The result of the conflict has left the town near desolate and a stark opposite against the obvious cultural richness, traditions, and daily lives of the people.

The Nkonya and Alvanyo conflict is an enduring ethnic dispute over land in the Volta Region of Ghana that started in colonial days, According to a map drawn by Dr. Hans Grunner in 1913, the disputed land’s resources include gold, caly, bauxite, and fertile soil for cocoa cultivation. This is the backdrop of the conflict’s complexity and underlying motivations.

The trip offered a unique perspective that not only enriched my personal experiences but also laid the foundation for a future journalist’s understanding of human stories and conflicts. As the story unfolded, it shifted to a personal encounter with Nana Ayikankam, an elder of Nkonya Tayi. The ensuing conversation served as a window into the essence of the village, providing a deeper understanding of its residents, their lifestyle, and the intricacies of their daily existence.

Nana Ayikankam bemoaned the impact of the ongoing conflict, explaining how the dynamics of farming and community unity have shifted and brought about many negative challenges.

The cultural odyssey continued with a visit to Nkonya Wurupong as twilight cast its enchanting glow over the landscape. Despite time constraints, an encounter with Pastor Celestine from Togo added a unique perspective, shedding light on the ongoing conflict.

“It is still a peaceful haven, despite the ongoing wars,” Pastor Celestine said, suggesting a nuanced exploration of the village to discover the positive aspects that make Nkonya an appealing place to live.

The return journey to Accra marked the end of a captivating day, filled with rich experiences and profound insights gathered from the heart of these communities. Embarking on a cultural odyssey through Nkonya, Adomi, Nkonya Tayi, and Nkonya Wurupong proved to be a gateway to new experiences.

Zahida Abdul, a L300 journalism student said the trip was a journey of cultural exploration and learning. She says Ghanaians should explore more, emphasizing the significance of discovering new places, meeting new people, and being captivated by cultural displays.

Sandra Tetteh, anothet L300 journalism student, and a native of the area, said she experienced cultural immersion.

“The beauty of scenic landscapes, and the meaningful connections forged with the local community creates everlasting memories and adds a touch of nostalgia.”

Travel enthusiasts, especially foreigners, must venture into the wonders these locations offer—a chance to witness the richness of culture, traditions, and unique stories that await those seeking to broaden their horizons and immerse themselves in the beauty of an unfamiliar yet captivating landscape.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *