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Okyehene Gets Seventy-Two Lizards of Galamsey

Tue, 6 Dec 2011 Source: Mensema, Akadu N.

*By Akadu Ntiriwa Mensema, Ph. D.




“The Okyehene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panyin II has broken his silence over


allegations linking him to galamsey operations in his area. A member of the Asona


royal family of Kyebi, Odehye Nana Adjei Boateng who claimed the Okyehene backed the


illegal mining he publicly denounced has a fine hanging around his neck. The Okyeman


Council had imposed a fine of 72 sheep and 36 crates of schnapps on Odehye Kwame


Boateng… But the Okyehene has only been having a laugh at the development.


‘Recently in the news, you’ve heard my name all over the place that the Okyehene is


involved in galamsey, and I laugh...I think if I want to do mining, anybody can’t


stop me…why will I go and hide to steal my own property?’” (Ghanaweb Dec 1, 2011)





Our eternal chiefs/Kings


The Nanas of oppression


Hostages of the past


Swaggering on myths


Seductive past narratives


Of evocative declarations


Of power-driven trips


Of psychic allies of the gods


The deadwoods of culture


Pompous troubadours


Of erstwhile, static culture


Of power-drunk decisions


Of sterile birthrights

Of anathema to progress





Ah! Odehye Boateng said it


Ah! Asona Prince of Kyebi


Has said it all and for all


Galamsey is a bane


Galamsey is destroying all


Destroying farmlands


Destroying riverbeds


Destroying watersheds


Destroying burial sites


Destroying forests


Yet Okyehene is silent





Ah! Seventy-two lizards


Adorned in galamsey


Galamsey’s colors of gold


Fit for the Okyehene


For tolerating galamsey


Galamsey is a bane to all


A bane to Great Okyeman


Yes, Okyehene ISN’T involved


Okyehene’s hand is not in it


His royal hand is not in it

But Okyehene is the culprit


Okyehene is the royal cause


The cause of galamsey


Okyehene must not sit by


Sit by &laugh at galamsey


Okyehene must not sit by


His silence is galamsey


His passivity is galamsey


His laughter is galamsey


His inaction is galamsey


His apathy is galamsey


His lethargy is galamsey


His docility is galamsey





Let us all pay the fines


Pay on behalf of Boateng


Yes, for Odehye Boateng


Poise the fines like petals


Ah! Seventy-two lizards


Dancing in the Akyem forest


Ah! Thirty-six crates of water


Fetched from the Birim River


Poisonous Birim Schnapps


Let us pay the fines

To the Great Okyehene


Pay it on behalf of all


To the besieged Birim


To the badgered forest


To the battered farmlands


To the beleaguered burial sites





The Okyehene laughs


Nana likes to laugh


Laughs at galamsey


Laughs with Galamseys


His potion of solution


Solution to galamsey


Solution to illegal mining


Okyehene is laughing


Laughing at it all


At the Birim River


Besieged Birim


Badgered forest


Battered farmlands


Beleaguered burial sites





The Okyehene


Mighty Okyehene

Custodian of the Birim


Drinks from the Birim


But Okyehene is laughing


Our eternal chiefs/Kings


The Nanas of oppression


Hostages of the past


Swaggering on myths


Seductive past narratives


Of evocative declarations


Of power-driven trips


Of psychic allies of the gods


The deadwoods of culture


Pompous troubadours


Of erstwhile, static culture


Of power-drunk decisions


Of sterile birthrights


Of anathema to progress





*Akadu N. Mensema, Ph. D., is a nationalist Denkyira beauty. She is a trained oral


historian cum sociologist and Professor in the USA. She lives in Pennsylvania with


her great mentor and teaches Africa-area studies at a college in Maryland. In her


pastime, she writes what critics have called “populist hyperbolic, satirical”


poetry. She can be reached at akadumensema@yahoo.com

Columnist: Mensema, Akadu N.