Obapanyin Nana Yaa Agyeiwaa …a short biography of the queen mother of Kumpese in the Amansie South District of Ashanti

Kumpese is a village, now becoming a town, in the Amansie South District of Ashanti. It occupies a strategic position in the mining concession areas of the district. Let us read about its history, with special reference to its Queen mother, who is now aged.

Her full name is Nana Yaa Agyeiwaah of medium height and fair in complexion. She was born in 1934 and celebrated her 88th birthday this year. Her father’s name is Nana Kwabena Dufuor of Nsuta in the Ashanti Region. Her mother’s name is Nana Nyarkoh Abena from Manso Nkwa Nta. She was appointed as the Queen mother of the town during the time of Nana Adu, who was also the chief (Odikuro) of the town. She and Nana Adu were therefore the caretakers of Kumpese. She has four children with her deceased husband Opanini Akwasi Bosomtwe. Three of the children are girls, and one of them is a girl. The girls are: Abena Manuh, Afua Serwah, Akosua Adwubi. The boy is Kwado Buabeng . He died in 2012. Nana Agyeiwah is hardworking forceful; and influential. Thus when the Obotan Mining Company were in search of mining concessions in the area she was the first person they contacted. She then led them to Nana ObiriKusi AppiahII, of Mansoh Nkwanta, the current paramount Chief (Omanhene), of Amansie West . At Mansoh Nkwanta, the paramount Chief directed Nana Amankwah, (deceased ) and Nana Kwaku Abebrese to demarcate some areas for them. They demarcated the Tantumso, Ebekawobrem, Gyakaamu and Adubiamas mining concession areas. She was also responsible for giving a large tract of land sited at the point of three junctions, to the Roman Catholics for the cultivation of oil palm at Kumpese. The Catholics also constructed an oil mill in the farm for the extraction of the oil and made her the cashier. During festivals she would travel from Kumpese to Mansoh Nkwanta for consultation with the Mansoh Nkwantahemaa, Nana Aboraa, now deceased. The two would then goto the Kyidomhene, as tradition demands who would then lead them in the pouring of libation. On other occasions she would accompany Nana Aboraa to the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi. She belongs to the Aborankaase family which is the ruling family in the Amansie West district of Ashante. They belong to the Asonafoo clan in the Akan tradition. Nana Agyeiwahused to be a member of the fire fighting committee inKumpese.

The following is therefore the history Kumpase. Etymologically, the name Kumpese breaks into the following three. Twi words: Ku, meaning chimpanzee, Mpe, meaning should look for, and Seemeaning teeth. Combined together it means that Chimpanzees or apes should now grow stronger teeth. The story has it that the earliest settlers in the village used to cultivate large acreage of corn which chimpanzees; abounding in the forest, would invade and eat them. They then increased the acreage of the cultivated corn asa challenge to the apes. Namely, that they would now require stronger teeth than before to enable them eat all the corn. Hence the name Kumpese. Among the earliest settlers in the town are the following three families: The Aboronkaase family from Mansoh –Nkwanta to whom belongs the Amansie land.

The Mpatasie family who were migrants from Mpatasie near Kotwi on the Kumasi Anhwia- Nkwanta road. The Abukrom families were also from the Mansoh area, but were not land owners like the Aboronkaase. All the three families lived at various vantage points around the site that later developed to become the Kumpese village. With time there was intermarriage between the Aboronkaase and the Mpatasie family leading to the appointment of Nana Akom(1901-1934) as the first chief of the town. After him, came Nana Yaw Gyempeh (1943-1975).  Then came the next chief Nana Adu (1975-1986). Nana Adu was succeeded by Nana Ofori Amanfor (1986-2020). Kumpese chiefs swear oath of allegiance to the Nkwantahene through the chief of Adubia. Adubia is the district capital of the newly created Amansie South.

The Mansoh Nkwanta stool dates as far back as the time of Nana Osei Tutu (I). He created the stool to serve the purpose of a buffer and a listening post to any Denkyirrahsurprise attack on Ashanti. In case of an attack by the latter Nana ObiriKusi(I) the first chief to the area would send information to Kumasi to prepare to stop them. Little wonder Mansoh Nkwanta is sited at a hilly area with the vantage of enabling enemy troops to be easily sited. Hence the name Mansoh, meaning ”Oman Aso”(Ears of the Ashanti nation).  Ever since that time till the present all the towns in the Amansie west, including Kumpese,have ever remained under the jurisdiction of the Paramount Chief. Nana Obiri Kusi AppiahII is the current Paramount Chief of the area.

 The Chief of Kumpese Nana Ofori Amanfor II, passed away in 2020 and is yet to be buried. Opanini Kwaku Manuh of Kumpese, son of Obaapanini Yaa Adwedee is the acting chief of the e town.

Chiefs and Queen mothers of Kumpese are appointed by the Paramount chief of Mansoh –Nkwanta who in turn swears the oath of allegiance to the Otumfuor.

Conclusion:

Nana YaaAgyeiwaa (see fig) is the current queen – mother ofKumpese.

By Khalid Kofi Ahmad

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