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Lagos town, Raaco down life

Accra Lagos 90s File photo

Sat, 11 Apr 2020 Source: Dziko-Kwame Akumah

Arriving in Accra in late June 1976 from Tamale Technical I lodged in Lagostown (Accra Newtown) with FoVincent Kojo Akumah. FoKojohad worked at 1st Signal Officers’ Mess in Burma Camp and later, veered into his carpentry. Also with him then, on/off were: “Inspector” Tooklo (Isaac Kabo, later Agordzo), Edith Fiagbor, Leonard Koku Prempe, Henry Copper Akumah and Samuel Yao Akumah.

EfoAbr?degu Emma owned an aluminium pottery but was said to have relocated within the while with his wife Daavi Erica Akoto. He, Fo Emma had TanyigbeCastersFoLetsu Emma and FoGabriel AmoaYaoAkoto we were told.

EfoPrempe Leo was also mouldingalum pots at PigFram with FoAnkude Komla.

In our dwelling’s main compound was Papa Vincent Komi Hiapreviously of-Micheletti Polla. We called him “B-tor/Motorway”.

He had FoLetsuHappywith him and when B-tor moved to FURNAT Ghana Ltd., he broughtTanyigbe school leavers as apprentices to train yearly: Tsekpo Ankoe and Daniel KujoDabi; Teacher-Kofi Hia and KujoNaleeAnyormi; Yorgbe Wise and Godzo Sam, etc in his carpentry trade. Still nearby in South AryeeDiki Electoral Area was Mr.

Klomega with whom was Daniel Tenu and Victor Adjavon. Efo Omega worked at AutoParts and FoColloBoyAnyormi and FoAkpa-John Prempe were the team. Efo Victor was working in Ghana’s Judicial Secretary Jonathan A. Wutoh’s Office. As we were told, because of DaaviComfort Sunu ‘Bra and Mr. PDK Abiwu, there were dozens of Tanyigbe School Leavers who were absorbed into Judicial Service.

At the end of the month, we newcomers joined our Efos to go to “Tanyigbe Meeting”. This was such a great opportunity to meet our other colleagues every now and then.

It was reminiscent of how in my early days in Tamale, Mr. Dan Vadis Gbortsu of Tamale Technical, located at Bagabaga (Education Ridge) took me toTanyigbe Meeting in main Tamale, where I met Tanyigbe Citizens namely: Mr. GT Klu, Augustus Krakani, GalenkuYaoAkposoe, Gabriel Kwami all of Atidze; Tamasco Driver Mr.Akpatsa of Atsyiafe; Aboaka of Anyigbe; TogbeKozoeNaniDanku, Kayatse, EnosAnyidoho (Kamina Barracks) of Etoe and Mighty Williamson Kwame (police Barracks) of Dzafe. Oh, yes, the “welcome bashing” I got on first day from the elder I got later to know as GT Kluwould forever remain a lesson to me.

Here in Accra, Etoe Youths often met at Agbaadzena at FoAmevoeke (Andreas Kpatsa’s place) and colleagues from Dzafe also were saidto be meeting at FoKpoProsper’s end; Anyigbe at AyigbeTown or elsewhere.Efo Willie Hiadzi of Bank of Ghana was the TanyigbeChairman with Major Anyidoho, we were told. It so happened that the Leaders often miscalled me “Enos” (name of my late cousin, died 1976), hence at Tanyigbe gatherings I requested to be simply called DZIKO-KWAME.

Mid 1977:

Soon, word went round that one of Tanyigbe’s most prominent citizens Captain Simon Kpe wanted to meet ALL Tanyigbe Citizens. At the very packed hall in Aayalolo School, Captain Kpe spoke to us. He was so passionate about “Tanyigbe that I come from”. To lift up our hometown so that we need not say “I am from Ho area” anymore. His half-hour speech touched so many of us teenagers.

Captain Kpe vowed that Tanyigbe must build a Clinic since none was in the locality. He appealed so soberly to every Tanyigbe Citizen to give; or to pledge between fifty pesewas to one cedi for this call. There was a thunderous ovation when the Chairman announced that Captain Kpe had dropped 250 Cedis into the bowl, for a start. Oh yes, the roof nearly came down.

Indeed Dziko-Kwame Akumah was so touched by this message and deed of Captain Kpe. 250 was my five months’ salary at Tema Steelworks. I meekly walked forward and could not tell how I gave out 5 cedis, where I received so much applause and Efo Victor Adjavon and EfoLetsu Happy and others carried me high. I felt too shy!!.

As a result, when news went round for the next month’s meeting, attendance was again very heavy. At that meeting, Mr. William Battah,Hardware Dealer/Businessman was elected as the Chairman to shore up this “new re-birth”. Oh, behind this man were very beautiful daughters, they attended Technical and sixth form schools and one can imagine the luring pose from us naughty teenage boys.

1977

A wealthy Tanyigbe man named Amoator was said to have put up a massive building at Madina Social Welfare. For the inauguration of the house, our Leaders extended invitation toTanyigbe Citizens in and around Accra to come and feast. Choral Groups attended all the way from Tanyigbe. The joy of the day resulted in three of our‘happy’ compatriots being arrested on board an OSA Bus at the area now called Okpongloand detained overnight at Legon Police Station for “making noise and disturbing the public”.

We the majority jumped into the bush and escaped. SMC Government was not having things easy with NUGS and we were suspected as being a rowdy Student group.

When my cousin Edotom Kofi Dabi (Akpabi) completed HEPSS and arrived in Accra, his mates/pals AgbenorviAdiko and John Prempe joined him too. Do not ask where we were sleeping. That would only be a problem when it rained. Neither should one think about the bathroom nor toilet. 36 tenants and in our room alone, more than ten inmates! Toilet? Get early dawn to Alajo in the bush or by the Odaw Stream and you are fine. Just pray that the Ganja boys there would not be earlier than you, else they demanded tips or would even heckle you. Ghetto life indeed.

We were assigned by the TAYA Leaders to serve as “Outreaches”. Stephen Drah (Man-Die, the most popular AGASCO Product of our time) and FoXevi could face-off we the numerous Etoe boys in the evenings after the day’s hustle when we sat down to debate on frivolous Tanyigbe topics (Gbordede).Efo Man Diesel (KoepaYao) was our SAVIOUR on our empty-pocket days, when you would get to him at Papa Dosu’scompound at dawn to beg “if he had any vacancy for ‘by-day’ "labourer job”!

Well, during 1978 or thereabout we the Youth were being regularly invited to Kotoka Airport to see off “Efo So and So” as they flew out to overseas. Efo Prue Kormi;EfoKakpadre ‘Ta; EfoAgbotoeMose were some. These moments motivated our efforts to persevere in one’s engagements.

1979:

We were very excited and rallied support during our Solom-Base gatherings when EfoKpodo Ben led the Legon Students’ Branch of Col Frank Bernasko’s “Action Congress Party”.

Later, as started with ‘Azeem’ (FoAsaKormi) in Kpakpadre’s compound, the Ageege Exodus did not spare TAYA, but the Returnees’ episode of 1983 (myself included) brought more strength to TAYA.

1985:

TAYA General Secretary Mighty Williamson Kwame (EfoLilyYao)’s death at KorleBu Medical 4 shook the Association to its heels. At the same time it stirred up belongingness. Named “PraiseTheLord” he would ride devotedly to every corner of Accra to get the Youth along, to meetings.

1986:

It was such a pleasure to see one of our own; a son of Dr.Akposoe by name Koku Richard of Kokomlemle(very thick then in the Revolution with Commodore Steve Obimpeh in the National Mobilization) also rallied a call to stuff the Tanyigbe Clinic. EfoKorku arranged a truck-load of items and we the youth joined him to deliver Tanyigbe Clinic’s part from NMP at TanyigbeKpodzi.

1988:

The TAYA General Secretary Brian Kwasi Wuttor announced at “an emergency general meeting” at Kinbu JSS, that Citizens/Members should contribute urgently to help the Leaders go and free our Tanyigbe Chiefs who were rounded up by the Police as a result of the murder of Efo Debra Korsi. Secretary Wuttor said that “luckily the Chiefs were bailed last night as they were able to arrest some youth. Further details of the death were narrated by the Association Executive and contributions began. Dissenting, Dziko-Kwame Akumah stood up on Point of Order and rather called for boycott.

Said Dziko-Kwame:

? “Efo Debra Korsi usually tapped palm-wine nearby Etoe and we normally went there to drink.

? He was our good friend. At no time did any youth or group of youths do him any harm.

?Tanyigbe maintains a custom regarding people perceived to have used ‘juju’ in killing.

?In line with the said custom, the Chiefs of Tanyigbe causedVukpo (Kantamanto) to be beaten.

?By this Vukpoall Tanyigbewas to proceed to the Atieklenyi Centrum.

?At this Atieklenyi Centrumthe Chiefs invoked their powers and banishedGborkanakain.

?To be banished by the Chiefsmeantthe Chiefs’ Guards Asongfowo /Crowds forcing victim to exit.

?Gborkanakain was being forced to exitTanyigbe as well.

?On reaching their own Family land just after Etoe, he Gborkanakain refused to move on.

?The rowdy crowd following him with hooting, etc mobbed him which we are told, caused his death.

So the Police were right in rounding up our Chiefs and no ‘rowdy youth’ of Etoe, should be held responsible for any murder. Any contribution should rather be made towards freeing the arrested youth. Dziko-Kwame vowed to lead Tanyigbe Youth in freeing the suspects.

He asked for support from the Executive, explaining that responsibility for the murder should be laid on the Chiefs”. Kwame was carried shoulder high, led by EfoAgbotoeMose. Hell broke loose at the meeting. Tempers flared. There was near pandemonium but Chairman PDK Abiwutactfully managed to close the meeting.

At the following month’s meeting, there was call for elections and the charged Youth nominated Dziko-Kwame Akumah with his Boss Emmanuel KormiWutorfor Chairman.

Kwame declined with reasonable excuses and his Highways Boss was elected. MosesDansu (Agbotoe) was elected Vice-Chairman, the General Secretary position was, however, pinned onDziko-Kwame. Simon Sunu as Assistant Secretary, Tom Kette as Financial Secretary and Rose Kafui Debra was the Treasurer.

Dziko-Kwame led the TAYA Delegation immediately to the Attorney-General’s Dept at Ho where he knew Lawyer Senyoworking there; and the rest is history. The delegation included Mr. Seth Akafia, Mr. PDK Abiwu, Mr. AtakumaAmexo of Board of Public Tribunals (he provided transport) and Tom Kette of National Security (Financial Secretary). Having picked Fo Victor Tenu at Ho, our return trip till Mr. Abiwu’sLabadi base, then to “Next Door” was all frolic with learning/singing Batube songs!

Direct CID Enlistment: Oh yes, how a great day it was we toasted, - sponsored by Cpl. Emmanuel Yaw Abiwu of Accra Central CID and FoKefaAkoto of Makola, when The Depot Commandant AlhajiNuhuBillah confirmed our PK Gbagbo selected among the first batch nationwide for the newly-introduced ‘Direct CID Enlistment’.

1991/1992 'Togbe Kwasi Adiko V’s 40th Anniversary'

Whilst on the way between Etoe and Anyigbe where Dziko-Kwame’s dependants were, Kwame branched at Dzafe to visit his In-Law EfoAttorMawulom who was quite unwell. There Kwame found very old Newspapers from 1950s with EfoMawulom who said they belonged to his father. A random glance landed Kwame on one Daily Graphic copy of 1956, where he found Her Majesty’s Government info to Togbe Kwasi Adiko V as UN Envoy.

Pleading with EfoMawulom to lend him that very copy, Kwame ran to TogbeAdiko’s house to show him this discovery. It was a very solemn moment. Kwame covenanted withTogbega, assuring that being the General Secretary of Tanyigbe Youth (Accra), he Kwame would “bring heavens down so as to honour him Togbe”, referring to the Daily Graphic 1956 contents. Togbe, elated, called for FoAyi to come and “put their five into five” where they poured a libation to bless Kwame.

General Secretary Dziko-Kwame sold the idea to the Executives and considering the radicalism of the current Executive, the idea had no objection. Kwame returned to Tanyigbe to sit with the Kodivi.

Elders: Ametsitsiewo Joe GogotseAkpaklui, Ketetsyie Komla, and Adiko Kofi and all approved. Yes!

In Accra, the deal kick-started and Dziko-Kwame ensured every activity he wanted was unopposed and Fo Pius would always cheer Kwame saying, “Mielor la”. Here is how things should go:

• All Tanyigbe Divisions to form carnivals from Kpodziwith all types of gifts and present to Togbe.

• The Association itself to honourTogbe with Kente type called “Adw?neansa”& Royal Umbrella.

• The address Kwame wrote ought to stand, and not what EfoEnosAdiko sent from Ho.

• Mr. PDK Abiwu to own and read the address.

• Togbe was only to read a small Happy Anniversary message.

• Togbe was to be carried in Palanquin.

• He Kwame would respond to any Palanquin technicalities.

• TogbeAdjaTekpor, President of National House of Chiefs to Chair the event.

• Treasurer Kafui Debra’s daughter to present the boutique.

• Doris Aglobitse (in Dzodze) to introduce the Chairman.

• Victor Amenuvorto handles PA/Video coverage.

The Executives gave the MC for the Day to Ho TAYA, and Mr. CP Debra took it.

Considering the virtual absence from TAYA activities by Efo Henry (Col.Anyidoho), Secretary Dziko-Kwame devised a way to include Efo Henry in the program “by all means”. Kwame coined a position “Head of Protocol” for this prominent citizen Efo Henry. The entire Executive agreed with Kwame to let all visit Efo Henry in Burma Camp “so as to brief him”.

There, Efo Henry explained circumstances which did not enable him to be regular lately at TAYA; and accepted his “Head of Protocol” role. He attended Anniversary Planning concluding meetings.

Back at Ho, EfoKofi Bimah, the Ho TAYA President provided transport when the Dziko-Kwame delegation (including Mr. CP Debrah) went to Avatime to invite TogbeAdjaTekpor. Oh, it was a great day there in Avatime.

The historic event indeed came to pass. Recognizing Dziko-Kwame’s covenant with Togbega did come true, (to make this Honouringreally possible), the animal that was slaughtered by KodiviClan for the occasion, the Kodivi Elders traditionally presented a symbolic part of the meat to Dziko Kwame. In the same vein Togbe Kwasi AdikoV himself, in recognition, did sign a piece which he gifted to Kwame.

1990/1991

Tanyigbe Senior Secondary School: The PNDC Government was placing schools at vantage locations in deserving communities. Tanyigbe and Tokokoe had one Assemblyman. Information relayed to us Executives that one Senior Secondary School was approved for Tokokoe. We brought in the Assemblyman, Efo Emmanuel Tide to Accra. Plans were made. We delegated him to the Ho District Secretary Mr. Frank Gyamwodie.

We then arranged next GENERAL MONTHLY MEETING, inviting Ho District Secretary Frank Gyamwodie to the VAG Hall. Also invited was the Greater Accra Security Services CDR Regional Secretary Mr. Confidence Hiagbe. 100 bags Cement cash money was handed over to Assemblyman, in presence of District Secretary.

Emphasis was made, that Tanyigbe wanted the Secondary School. Next week, Dziko Kwame crafted a private letter for the Press, seeking to muddy the waters as to why TANYIGBE and NOT Tokokoe should host the Senior Secondary, namely:

Only merit about Tokokoe, was its central location where all neighbouringcommunities’ schools came together for exams, games etc.

Tanyigbeboasts of a vibrant Youth Association that can support the project in our own way.

We have demonstrated that with 100 bags cement as advanced.

Tanyigbe has 3 JSSs, 2 at Kpodzi and 1 at Atidze, whereas Tokokoe has only 1

Catholic Church placed a Vocational College in Tokokoe; it would be unfair to Tanyigbe if denied the SSS.

TanyigbeKpodzi was bigger, compared to Tokokoe

Tanyigbe has no Chieftaincy dispute, unlike Tokokoe; where one Division applied to Tanyigbe to secede from Tokokoe and be added to Tanyigbe.

Finance Secretary Tom Ketteattended my workplace and with his ID Card, we easily entered New Times Corporation. At the Editor’s desk, Confidence Hiagbemessaged the Editor and the WEEKLY SPECTATOR then published Dziko-Kwame’s article on why TANYIGBE, but not Tokokoe should be given the SSS.

The Executives picked intelligence from Ho that Education Officials went to inspect Tokokoe or so. We called Executive Meeting late hour and wrote a strongly-worded PETITION with all attachments including above.

Meeting ended at 8:00pm. That night, Mr. Brian Kwasi Wuttor offered to “fly” to Ho with his GVC 191(?) Toyota Land Cruiser where he presented our Petition copies. Unquestionable patriotism at its best!! The Accra Regional Security Services CDR Secretary assured Kwame of giving copy to PNDC Education Secretary also.

Finally, we won the SSS allocation!! Sure, TAYA spearheaded the building of the first-ever Classroom LongBlock at the SSS campus (ahead of “Netball Court” project which was handled by Contractor Duncan Tsrakasu of Ho).

1991

The US was celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the establishment of the US Peace Corps. Doris Aglobitse had met a Volunteer at her Dzodze base so she quickly passed info to her uncle in Accra.

Dziko-Kwame took it up and kept frequenting the US Peace Corps Labone Offices, at times meeting Mr Steve McFarland – Associate Director and on his final meeting with the Director himself, Miss Nancy Hearnes’details were passed to Kwame for Kwame to pick her at their In-Country Training Base; taking Nancy to Tanyigbe.

Mr Justice Wutoh had availed his home at Anyigbe for the use of the Peace Corp. Our arrival, oh, how TogbeAdiko made it a specially-great day for Tanyigbe, that really a YEVU had come to live with the locals. The Chiefs had assigned Madam Akyem-KormiNor to decorate us with special beads around our necks and wrists, then we were paraded through the main Anyigbe streets. I just can’t forget these!!

Tanyigbe became the first Community in Ho District to receive a US Peace Corp. During her service in Tanyigbe, Nancy so localized that her name became “Adiko-Kuwa”.

Nancy formalized the KVIP System in Tanyigbe homes with USPC paying part of households’ constructed KVIP. Kwame later tookTogbeAdiko himself and Tanyigbe Elders to the Peace Corps Offices and Mr. McFarland attended the Tanyigbe Youth meetings. The Peace Corps bond with Tanyigbeperhaps faded out when Mr. McFarland was transferred and Kwame left Ghana same year.

Kwame and his Executives also brought the Chief Director of Ministry of Health, Mr. AKM Djentuh to TAYA VAG Hall Meetings where suupport for Tanyigbe Clinic equipment were successfully garnered.

1991

Agbelengor (Samuel YaoFiah) intimated to Mr. Benony Kofi Baniof National Security (who adopted Adeblevi as his second home) for any links to the Radios. Fo Kofi Baniconnected us to his Kpesco-mate Godwin Banini of GBC who truly programmed things for us.

We conveyed the call to TanyigbeEtoe Groups Ayeeaye, Gabada, Bunzu and Batub?. The Groups trained and prepared so well.

We moved GBC-TV Mobile Studio from Accra but on reaching Etoe, Batub? group couldn’t make it, yet the ecstasy was overly high. All three Groups were recorded live at GBC Grounds in Ho and for the first time in Tanyigbe history, our folks started appearing, performing live on GBC-TV.

Early Nineties Obituaries

Our Executive and TAYA wereinvolved and present as required, including the following:

Financial Secretary Tom Kette’s sister “B” at Atidze

Handling the mysterious death of Mr. Sam Doku of Ghana Telecom, Circle

The former Secretary Wuttor’s father (Papa Tekpor alias Labourer, formerly of Kokomlemle)

Former Chairman PDK Abiwu’s dadTogbeAbiwu of Dzafe.

Col.Anyidoho’s wife (procession from Morgue in Accra to GIHOC,Nsawam Rd., thenShiashie) before further toAnyako.Sister Peace Georgina Asem (FoAsemKofi’s daughter) provided additional luxurious coachfree, to convey TAYA for this Anyako trip.

Chairman E.K.Wutor’sfather-in-law Mr.Amenuvorat Tegbi

General Secretary Dziko-Kwame’s dad DzikoAbro at TanyigbeEtoe.

1994 saw Brigadier Anyidoho and Mr. Sam Kabo both losing their dads and TAYA fully participated at TanyigbeEtoe, moreso when Brigadier Anyidoho had to attend from UN Assignment in Rwanda.

In the same way, we were fully involved with funeralof EfoPilot KodzoAmevor’sshocking death.

Rural Electrification

The new NDC Government widened the rural electrification project and TAYA took up this challenge. Tanyigbe Community Clan-wise were levied for poles via Assemblyman Mr. Tide yet several prominent citizens freely donated as many as they could, and records are there for extra-generosity regarding donation of poles.TAYA was privileged with specific highly-placed Citizens’ links hence Telecom’s involvement in the procurement of poles was very visible.

The 2nd US Peace Corps also helped with several poles but the lighting in Tanyigbe got delayed till 31st December 1995.

Note: The titles and positions in officialdom or traditional system of persons listed in this article were considered as consistent in the given periods. Any miss-out is deeply regretted.

Dziko-Kwame Akumah (Nov 2018))

Columnist: Dziko-Kwame Akumah