Historical Review of Okomfo Anokye: Controversies About His Town and Tribe of Origin.

Historical Review of Okomfo Anokye


History is our transit to a better future. Same way history education us on the great things our predecessors were capable of doing. This help us to strive to do greater things to preserve and defend what our predecessors did. How can we be great and do greater thing if the history that will serve as our guide does nothing but to confuse us? It is clear that most youths of Africa are not doing great because what they know of themselves do not help them to think and do greater things.

Historical Review of Okomfo Anokye’s Town and Tribe of Origin

According Ghanaian oral tradition, Okomfo Anokye is one of the great priest ever to be born in Ghana. He is known for number of miracles and wonders, one can talk of the Okomfo Anokye sword in Kumasi, the capital of the Asante Region of Ghana. This sword is planted into the ground and no human can remove it. He also made a golden stool which is the symbol of unity of the Asante’s   descend from the sky. One can talk of numerous wonder he performed in Akwapim, in the kingdom of Akwamu (now in the Eastern Region of Ghana).

As it stands no one can pinpoint the birth place of Okomfo Anokye, his town and tribe of origin. There are number of tribes in Ghana given historical evidence which are trying to prove that Okomfo Anokye was a true son and important figure of their noble tribes.

Claim of Okomfo Anokye being an Asante

Asante historians have claimed that Anokye’s mother was an Asante and his father was an Adansi. Some scholars claim that he was related to Osei Tutu, the military leader with whom he would later establish the Asante empire. (Molefi Kete Asante).

Claim of Okomfo Anokye being an Akuapem

According to Akuapem tradition, Okomfo Anokye was born in Ghana around 1655. He was son of Ano and Yaa Anubea, both from Awukugua in the Nifa Division of the Okere state.

During his birth in Awukugua, it is said he brought with him gifts from the gods; totem poles which were firmly clinched to his palms that no one could open it; and in the other hand already was a short, white tail of a cow (Podua).

Claim of Okomfo Anokye being an Ewe

Tsali and Tsala (alias Okomfo Kye) were twin brothers. Their father was Togbui Akplormada. These brothers were mysteriously endowed with potent spiritual powers.

Tsala, who later became known as Okomfo Anokye, left Notsie on is sojourn at a youthful age, and finally settled at Awukugua in present day Eastern Region. Because of his spiritual power, he became known as Okomfo Notsie (in Ewe language, Notsie Hunor) or Notsie priest.

Claim of Okomfo Anokye being an Nzema

The Nzemas are also of the point that Okomfo Anokye (active late 17th century) was an Nzema fetish priest, statesman, and lawgiver. Okomfo Anokye was born in Benyin, in West Nzema-Ghana West Africa, now called Jomoro, in the late 1600s. His father was from Benyin and his mother was from Anosuazo, Eastern Nzema. His father was called Kaku Ackah and His Mother Was Called Maame Nkobɛ’. Anokye was named after his paternal Uncle Egya-Ano who was a fetish priest. The Nzema called him Ano kye which means Ano Junior.

The Ashanti and Denkyira, who were unable to pronounce his name, called him Anokye. He lived in Anosuazo near Atuabo East Nzema, where he began his priesthood. Anosuazo later became known as Anokye because of the priest’s frequent visitors. Okomfo Anokye later helped King Amakye, Kaku Ackah’s Uncle, to defeat the first Europeans who came to the coast of Nzemaland.


From the history reviewed, it is obvious that historian are yet to discover Okomfo Anokye’s true birth place and tribe of origin. Could it be that Okomfo Anokye is just a mythical figure as Kweku Ananse popularly known in Akan folklores or his greatness is making most tribe portray him as their true son and a hero? We hope someday history will clear the wave abut who Okomfo Anokye really was and from which soil he germinated.

References (further readings).

Asante, M. Kete (2016, May 20). Okomfo Anokye. Encyclopedia Britannica.

Anti (1971). Akwamu, Denkyira, Akuapem, and Ashanti in the Lives of Osei Tutu and Okomfo Anokye. Ghana Publishing Corporation. pp. 8–10.

Okomfo Anokye was an Ewe Togbi and the twin of Togbi Tsali

Profile Of Our Hero Nzema Chief Priest Okomfo Anokye



Kobina Essoun

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