As children, we have always played around with the Krobo legend that their ladies were cursed by Okomfo Anokye for deceiving him.
Well Kweku Darko Ankrah has given us an insight into the legend and you need to enjoy the read.
WERE KROBO WOMEN CURSED BY ƆKƆMFO ANOKYE TO BE PROMISCUOUS?
Musician Sarkodie (Michael Owusu Addo) is a man after my own heart. I love his music and we are Tema residents too. But his innocuous attempt to use infamous defamatory propaganda against Krobo women, in his song, Jennifer Lomotey, has caused him problem with Ga-Dangme people of Ghana.
Currently, uncle Dr Kwadwo Appiagyei-Atua from Farouk Seidu and Associates (Ibada Chambers) had sued Kurl Songs in Tema, the producers of Sarkodie`s defamatory track against the good women of Kroboland, on behalf of Kloma Hengme Association, a Krobo Heritage and Advocacy group whose mission is to project Krobo values as the basis to promote the development of the Krobo people. The Krobo people are asking that the class, gender and ethnic defamatory content in Sarkodie`s song, “Jennifer Lomotey” which insulted Krobo women “Krobo ni baa papa a ahweneɛ da ne sisi. Ɔkɔmfo Anɔkye de adwaman no abɔ no dua!”, which literally translates as “A noble Krobo lady with beads around her waist. The one who has been cursed by Ɔkɔmfo Anokye with promiscuity!”
Krobo people who were slurred by the content of the song have asked for the airing and distribution of the song to be stopped, offering of unreserved apology to Krobo women and compensation of GHC2 Million to the Krobo people.
I feel sad for Sarkodie! I feel he may have rapped that content because he was ignorant of the fact that Ɔkɔmfo Anokye never cursed Krobo people anywhere in history. He was just an ignorant fellow like some of the people who are defending him that what he said was true! That is the problem of our oral tradition which some unscrupulous and ethnocentric people push to defame other ethnic groups to boost their egos.
Two years ago, I clashed with a history professor over this same Ɔkɔmfo Anokye`s cursing of Krobo women which has made them promiscuous. He asserted that from Awukugua, Ɔkɔmfo Anokye travelled to many places, including Akwapim (Akan) Kroboland (Dangme), Denkyira (Akan) and finally, Asante (Akan). He contended that in Kroboland, it was alleged that whilst Ɔkɔmfo Anokye was bathing, some Krobo women saw his nakedness in the bathroom and he cursed their women that they shall be promiscuous. The professor did not tell us, which people hold the oral tradition in which Krobo women were cursed by Ɔkɔmfo Anokye!
So at the end of the professor`s presentation I asked him for the empirical evidence of the place in Kroboland where Ɔkɔmfo Anokye cursed Krobo women, who recorded that facts and the holders of that oral tradition? The professor was seriously embarrassed, he did not know the holders of the oral tradition. He could not give an answer to any of my questions. A senior professor at the presentation agreed with my queries, and asked his colleague to retract the myths which he had attempted peddle as provable historical fact. Realizing that he has erred, the professor (who presented the paper) accepted his mistake, and called me after the presentation to offer me a handshake! I referred the professor to Prof Emmanuel Kwaku Akyeampong`s 1997 publication, ” “Sexuality and Prostitution among the Akan of the Gold Coast c. 1650-1950” to show him that promiscuity was/ and still not peculiar trait of Krobo women. Akyeampong gave an overview of prostitution among the coastal Fantes and interior Asantes as well as the Krobos in the Gold Coast. Other writers have works on prostitution in Gold Coast which show that promiscuity can occur everywhere.
This is why I do not want to criticize Sarkodie, even a professor had it wrong with his firm belief in the myth that Ɔkɔmfo Anokye cursed Krobo women! But Sarkodie also exposed his major weakness as a musician who does not sample his songs/lyrics to his attorney`s before he produce them. He is like most Ghanaians they do not care about defamatory jokes they peddle against their friends. They do not care about the authenticity of ethnic defamatory banters and the pain it causes others.
I am livid with Sarkodie because he also objectified women in general. He rapped lusciously about their sexuality and in subtle attempt at praising the feminine virtues of the woman ended up insulting her as a prostitute. How on earth can one claim to adore a woman with a colorful beads around the contours of her waist, and at the same time claim she is promiscuous because she is cursed? It is quite contradictory! It looks like Sarkodie was confused or in his opinion, a woman who wears beads and probably skillful in bed, is a promiscuous vessel!
We may joke with some of these ethnic defamatory jibes in our everyday banters as friends from different ethnic groups, but writing books and singing songs to institutionalize such blatant historical lies to give it a semblance of historical truth and accuracy must not be tolerated at all. I pray that other musicians, politicians and Ghanaians, in general, will learn from this Sarkodie issue.