Ghana: Golden Kingdom

  The Ashanti Kingdom, from the 16th to the 19th century was one of Africa’s most powerful polities. The Ashantis fought three wars with the British before they were finally subdued in 1900 and integrated to the Gold Coast colony. The source of Ashanti power was always gold. The gold which first brought the Portuguese(…)

Ghana: The end of the saga of the Royal Guinea Fowl

  Having taken our leave from the Paramount Chief and gotten back into our cars, the matter of what to do with the two guinea fowl became a pressing one. The birds were in a panic in the boot of the 4×4, banging their heads and wings against the back seats, desperately trying to jump(…)

Ghana: An audience with the King of Kings

  We cross the border from Togo to Ghana through a dusty isolated crossing. The border post is so under-resourced that the immigration officers need to borrow our pens to “stamp” our passports. In Tamale, a vibrant Muslim city in Northern Ghana, we manage to visit the (normally not public) palace of the Gulpke Naa,(…)

West African magic

  Magic is central to West African society. Every phenomenon, event or process is explained and enhanced by magic. This is a deeply animistic society where the traditional monotheistic religions play second fiddle to ancient animist beliefs. The Kabye blacksmiths, outstanding craftsmen famous throughout the region for forging metal with a 15 pound stone rather(…)