We Are All Pilgrims Here….

According to history, in the year 1828, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Bonsu assembled a frighteningly strong Imperial Army of 200,000 soldiers, drawn from all over the ASANTE Empire and invaded JAMAN in a war that lasted three years.

On his way to Jaman, when Otumfuo reached Berekum, he asked for a contingent of troops from Berekum, and the aged Berekumhene sent troops under the command of his biological son, DIAWUO.

After the war when all the Asante troops had returned to their various bases, a delegation came to inform Nana Berekumhene that his son, General Diawuo, during the war, impregnated the sister of the Omanhene of Avasu Traditional Area, called Nana Amoaah.

Nana Berekumhene said this was good news. He sent a deputation which went to Awasu, Jaman, and brought the heavily pregnant royal to Berekum. She ended up bringing forth FOUR children, one of whom was the famous army general, YAW WORO.

The descendants of Nana Amoaah today dominate the landscape of Berekum, controlling three public stools – Krontihene of Nanasua, the Chief of Biadan and Akwamuhene of Berekum and the ultimate, the Omanhene of Avasu Traditional Area, Dwenem.

The current MCE of Berekum is one of us, yours truly, the writer of this article, and our current standard bearer, Deputy Commissioner of Police Nana Asomah, formerly Tema Regional Police Commander, and husband of Mrs Lily Asomah, hold your breath: Member of Council of State, representing the good people of the Western Region.

On 23rd July 2018, Martha Bosomah, mother of the Police Senior Officer crossed the river of life and the funeral was fixed for Saturday 17th November 2018.

But for the fact that His Excellency the President was not present, I would have classified it as “super state funeral”: reader – a friend once told me “Captain, you don’t need to be a Chief before you can wear an expensive cloth”.

Come to BIADAN Methodist School Park with me, and see as many as THIRTY executive black and white OTATEN canopies, dressed in white all round, see over 5,000 executive Assembly Hall chairs neatly arranged, EACH WITH A PARCEL on it, as if they are reserved seats, see over 50 smart looking young men, all wearing black T Shirts with deceased Martha Bosomah’s picture embossed on them. Wow! Money talks!

There was a huge giant size platform with over fifty pastors drawn from the church of Pentecost nationwide, and another, smaller, platform reserved for musicians to perform.

At the center of the arena was the gold plated casket, adorned with white flowers…………….reader, I did not see Cocobod Chief Executive Dr Opuni’s mother’s funeral, but I dare say the funeral of my younger brother Commissioner Asomah’s mother is definitely a “mother of ALL funerals”.

The only dent in this magnificent funeral was the extremely very long sermon delivered by the Area Head of the Church of Pentecost. NPP Chairman, Stephen Kankam seated on my right made himself time keeper, and announced to me: “captain, this man has been preaching for ONE HOUR two minutes.”

His theme was “We Are All Pilgrims Here.” Each of us will one day die and where shall we spend eternity? I noticed that getting to the tail end of his sermon, we the mourners were not concentrating, just chatting away.

Pallbearers came to lift the golden casket, did a slow march, dancing with the corpse on their shoulders, into a magnificent hearse, labeled Transitions”.

But, reader, this “mother of all funerals” graduated into the Grand mother of all funerals during the “final funeral rites” held at the same venue after returning from the cemetery.

Come and see the Honourable Mrs Catherine Afeku (MP) and Minister for Tourism, seated directly on the right of Police Commander Asomah, the NPP chairman for Western Region; come and see the large number of chiefs resplendent in their cultural costume.

Easily the pick out of the multitude was Osegyefo Oseedeyo Agyeman Badu, the Dormahene, who came escorted by an entourage of ONE HUNDRED divisional chiefs, sub chiefs, armour bearers and four giant size state umbrellas……..Nana, who doubles as Justice of the High Court, proportionate to his grandiose entourage donated cash sum of ONE HUNDRED MILLION cedis to the bereaved family………… ‘danduruwa’ – Money talks!

The Queenmother of Berekum, Nana Akosua Ameahene III was there in a super royal stature, seated there, surrounded by over twenty queenmothers – reader, it was simply a mind blowing cultural fiesta.

I went round greeting the mourners with my little priviledged entourage, made up of His Lordship, Mr Justice Obeng Diawuo, Justice of the High Court, (Kumasi) a native of Jinjini, NPP Chairman, lawyer Solomon of Dormaa East, Honourable Noah Ramsey, Assemblyman and others, and when we sat down, my brother, DCOP Asomah and his wife Council of State Member came to welcome us. She made all of us laugh when she told me “you are supposed to be my husband but you don’t give me chop money……”

As if all that I have written above is not enough let me add that while all this was going on, the music legend, the all time maestro in music, DADDY LUMBA was there, LIVE, performing all his golden beats as the youth, moving in frenzy, were all over him.

Reader, darkness fell, and the “final funeral rites” were still ongoing, at Biadan Methodist School Park.

I got home around 9pm.

By Nkrabeah Effah Dartey