THE KOMFO ANOKYE SWORD
Located in Bantama, popularly known among the dwellers of Kumasi as “Gee” is the Okomfo Anokye Sword Site. The term Okomfo is a twi terminology meaning the ‘traditional priest,’ who has been the greatest priest in the Ashanti tradition. The legendry traditional or fetish priest, Okomfo Anokye, is accredited to be the man who conjured from the skies, the much revered Golden stool of the Asante, which is said to have happened on a Friday. The Stool is supposed to “contain” the soul of the Asante nation. Okomfo Anokye was a very close confidante of the Asante monarch, King Osei Tutu. Historicalaccounts have it that Okomfo Anokye one day “planted” a sword in the ground, and told those present at the event that the day the sword would be uprooted, the Asante Kingdom would collapse. Numerous people over the years have tried to uproot the sword but all in vain. What a mighty legacy and magic left!
In the early 1960s, the then World Heavy weight Boxing Champion Cassius Clay, who is popularly and affectionately known by supporters and fans as Mohammed Ali, visited Ghana. While in Kumasi, he also tried in unsuccessful, to uproot the sword and later gave up with the only option. Another unsuccessful attempt was made later to uproot Okomfo Anokye’s Sword using bulldozers. This was also not successful, it is baffling. Visitors to this sword site would have the rare opportunity of trying their hands on this legendary sword which seems to demonstrate supernatural powers.
Nevertheless much of the sword has been shrunken by the weather and other corrosive compounds; at least, the relic still remains. This is where the renowned Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) representing a monumental facility is located. From traditional Ashanti folks, the Ashanti kingdom was united under one king and strengthened, with the help of Komfo Anokye. As a fetish priest, he interceded on behalf of the people and was the mouthpiece of the gods. History holds it that Okomfo Anokye help his friend Osei Tutu I in establishing a capital for the Ashanti kingdom. He asked his friend to plant two “Kum” trees in different locations. The tree that survives will be the capital of the Ashanti Kingdom. With this in mind and already prophesized, one tree died leaving one surviving which was called Kumasi meaning “Kum under”. The other tree that died was called Kumawu meaning the “died Kum.”
Do not forget to visit the amazing Military Museum, Kumasi zoo, and the Center for National Culture. As the heartbeat of the rich culture of Ghana, Kumasi is endowed with numerous cultural activities and festivals including the famous Adae Kese festival which is a Kente festival is celebrated in July/ August in Bonwire (Ejisu-Juaben District). The Manshia Palace is not much distant from KATH.
HOW TO GET THERE
Locating the sword site in Kumasi is like locating the mouth in the dark. Once you arrive at Kumasi, almost everybody can direct you to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH). Arriving at Kejetia, a metro mass transit to either Sofoline or Bantama can be board and the visitor can allied at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH). Also, a trotro can also be board which will get you right in front of KATH, where the sword site is located