Okomfo Anokye is the only person in Ghana’s spiritual history who has aroused such admiration, wonder, mystery, and amazement. The legends of Okomfo Anokye’s wonders have spread far and wide, and every day, a large number of people hear about his remarkable accomplishments.
One of his greatest achievements, among other notable works, was his role in the formation of the Ashanti Empire, some of which have physical verifiable vestiges today.
You might call him Ghana’s most famous antiquity Ghanaian, and you wouldn’t be far off the mark. Generation after generation, his works and efforts in bringing the Ashanti Empire from rags to riches are recounted. The Okomfo Anokye was, indeed, legendary. Why was he regarded as a legend? Let’s take a look at his life.
The Great Ghanaian Priest was born in Awukugua, a town in Ghana’s Eastern Region, around the year 1655, almost 200 years after the first Europeans arrived on the Gold Coast. Because he was born with a tuft of cow fur in his hand, his birth was a mystery one that astonished everybody who witnessed it.
This puzzled the midwives who attended to his mother because never had they seen or heard anything like that. They went on to call his Dad whose name was Ano to come and see what his wife had delivered. They exclaimed: “Ano Kye” which means ‘Ano look’ in the Kyerepon language which is widely spoken in that area and that became the kid’s name.
They soon came to the conclusion that he was a unique boy who had the potential to achieve great things in his life.
He was a normal youngster like all other kids in those days, yet he was unique in ways that others marvelled at. His mother had gone on an errand after leaving him asleep in their hut, and he was alone son by his parents, who were extended family relatives. It was a week before his 3rd month birthday.
She returned to find an empty room, but she was certain she had shut the door. So she went out and asked her neighbours and family members whether anybody had seen her baby when a neighbour advised her to check the bed for the infant.
She was taken aback, and events like this have encouraged the family to feel that Anokye would play a significant role in the future.
He began performing miracles at the age of 15, much to the delight of everyone in his village. He and his friends once played for longer than normal and became hungry. Anokye instructed them to go home and bring the containers they used to eat in as they became more outspoken about their feelings.
The boys obeyed his request and brought their containers. He then instructed them to fill their containers with sand and cover them for some time, close their eyes and imagine any food they had an appetite for and when they had obeyed his instruction.
their containers had been filled with the very foods they had imagined after they opened their eyes. Stories of this event spread far and wide and his fame grew.
As an adult, Anokye began travelling around and doing miracles, and as a result, he became famous and gained the moniker of “Okomfo” (Fetish Priest). He gained a lot of friends and acquaintances during his travels. He then built a close relationship with Nana Osei Tutu, the then Crown Prince of one of the Ashanti regions strong territories.
Nana Tutu visited Awukugua one day to look for his companion and met the local elders. Because of their disdain for the Okomfo’s fame and excellent reports, these elders lied to the Chief, claiming that Anokye was unavailable.
Anokye felt hurt; being rejected by your family is not a pleasant experience. He had planted a palm nut seed that had grown into a seedling before this incident. He pulled the sapling and replanted it upside down, telling them not to allow a goat near it, according to reports. He subsequently returned to his home in the Ashanti Region with Nana Osei Tutu (I).
The seedling which had been replanted upside-down miraculously germinated and became a full tree and Anokye was heard saying that so far as the tree was alive, Awukugua will never develop. Later when some elders decided to cut the tree, they died mysteriously; eventually, the tree died and got uprooted by itself. Evidence of this tree exists in Awukugua down to this day.
Anokye was overheard declaring that as long as the tree was alive, Awukugua would never develop. When some of the tree’s elders agreed to cut it down, they unexpectedly perished; the tree eventually died and uprooted itself. To this day, there is evidence of this tree in Awukugua.
He then made them sign a deal, saying that he was summoning a Golden Stool and that whoever it chose to head the alliance would be he and his generation. The stool was called and landed on the Nana Osei Tutu’s laps, making him the supreme Chief. The Ashanti Kingdom was formed as a result of the union, and they eventually conquered the Denkyiras and gained independence.
Okomfo Anokye buried a sword in the ground and predicted that the Ashanti Kingdom would fall apart if the sword was removed. Many people have attempted to remove the legendary blade until this day, but have been unsuccessful.
The sword is now buried at Ghana’s Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, the country’s second-largest hospital. Anokye was responsible for the Ashanti Kingdom’s unification and the establishment of Kumasi as the capital city.
Because the inhabitants were illiterate in his day, there was no written record of the past, thus most of the stories were passed down by oral tradition, which has resulted in certain facts being lost and others being slightly distorted.
Even today, the Nzema and Ewe tribes claim the Okomfo as their natives, citing various versions of his life story.