Oheemaa Darkoah, the queen mother of Akwamu whose reign was in the 16th Century is one that cannot be erased from the history of the past. Akwamu in the mid-16th Century became powerful whose rule stretched from the Central region of Ghana to Wyadah in the present-day Republic of Benin.
[ads1]The history of her eloping from her royal home to Winneba, is over 400-year history. The circumstances that saw Ohemaa Darkoah elope, according to history has it that, her brother the king at the time, Otumfour Darko was ruthlessly killing any man who expressed interest in marrying his sister.
The brother, did all he could to prevent the men who expressed interest in his sister by killing them. The purpose of killing these men according to history was to get a suitable heir and because of hereditary, he did not just want any ordinary person to be an heir to the throne.
It was also a matrilineal system of rulership at the time hence the decision by his brother to slain persons he felt were not suitors to the sister. But while the killing was going on, a man from Winneba who was a businessman and a contractor, and was working in the palace, fell in love with the Queen mother.
However, rumours had it that he was going to be killed and so he fled the town. Ohemaa Darkoah was besotted to the man so she decided to go and look for him at Winneba. Ohemaa Darkoah successfully convinced his brother that she was going to Accra to shop.
The royal guards were asked to accompany her but she later eloped to Winneba where she stayed. It is believed that Ohemaa Darkoah, confided in the guards who accompanied her to the place, and told them she came to look for the man she was besotted to, but could not find him and in order to hide her shame, she married another man.
After successfully moving to Winneba, the late queen mother who was on the throne between 1610-1625, was cursed so that, she will go broke so she will be forced to return. However, the queen mother never returned to her royal home. Ohemaa Darkoah met and married and had children and one of the children, Kate Vardon met and married a Lartey who was at the time, an agent for the Basel Mission.
He was a wealthy and famous man who owned vast of lands in his era and had a lot of children including Mr. Kwao Lartey who had affluence and through hard work, diligence maintained the lands left by his father.
However, he got involved in a chieftaincy dispute in Winneba which made him flee the town in the bid to save his life and in the process, he lost the vast lands from the centre of Winneba to the Winneba roundabout.
Ohemaa Dakoah died and her death reached his people in Akwamu. The Akwamus as part of rituals performed for royals traveled to Winneba with all the regalia for their departed queen mother, performed the funeral ceremony to give her a final rest. The over 400 years history was passed over to me by my late grandfather; Mr. Kwao Lartey.
I visited Akwamu about six years ago, to introduce myself and was duly recognized because my family in Winneba had already been there and accepted. I participated in the 2017 Akwamu Homecoming (Nyiamukese) in the bid to go back to my roots.
The opportunity to participate in the annual festival always passed me by because I was abroad but because I was in town this year, and my younger brother was also around, we decided to go and join the homecoming festival. We were welcomed and as custom demands, customary rites were performed and our cheeks were marked in black and brown paints as a sign of royalty.
We were later asked to join the Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III, Akwamuhene to go through the principal streets of Akwamu to greet subjects and prominent homes as well as guests who thronged in for the annual homecoming which was under the theme, ‘’Our History, Unity & Development.’’
Guests at the event, including former President John Dramani Mahama were present at the ceremony and I had the opportunity to interact with him and later introduced my brother to him.
I also gave a brief history of my late mother, Mrs. Sarah Rosetta M. Lartey aka Nee Malm, who was also from a royal family from the Dowuona Family, Osu Kinka We Paramouncy.
My late grandfather did not allow Nee Malm to accept to be queen mother when it was her turn because he felt the rituals performed was their Christian faith. A lady who was also chosen and allowed to sit on the laps of late Malm died later and could not ascend to the throne.
The late Sarah Nee Malm died some two years ago and an unveiling of the tombstone in her name and that of the late Dan Lartey’s honour has been slated for February 10, 2018 by the Lartey Family.
PRIVATE LIFE OF DR HENRY LARTEY
Dr. Henry Lartey is the Chief Executive Officer at Lartey Associates Ghana Ltd, which are the largest exporter and producer of certified organic papaya in the world. Under Henry’s leadership, Lartey Associates has received innumerable awards of recognition and has helped place Ghana as a top provider of fruits to Europe.
He assists farmers to have access to their own homes, vehicles and other machinery for their work. Some of the earned awards include: GOLDEN AWARD FOR QUALITY AND BUSINESS PRESTIGE (GENEVE 2007), International Golden Trophy for Quality New Millennium Award (Paris 2006), WQC International Star Awards in the Gold Category (Paris 2005), Golden Award for Quality and Business Prestige (Beirut 2002), Ghana Export Promotion Council Award (1999, 2000, and 2002).
In 2017, he won the Majestic Falcon Award for Quality and Excellence and also the International Food and Beverages Quality Award from the Global Trade Leaders’ Club. Dr, Lartey quailed for the (1 Million Dollar Roundtable) which is the Pursuit of Excellence for the Top 1 percent of Life Underwriters’ and also holds a Credit Brokers License in the UK. His brother Mr. Dan Lartey Jnr is a Private Banker at Temple Bar International/Managing Director (Projects) British Eco Power.
His Sister, Rebecca Lartey is an experienced insurance claims analyst. As an insurance claims analyst, she reviews claims filed by policyholders for completeness and accuracy, as well as to verify that the damages are covered by their policies Comfort Lartey is an educationalist who operates a school in Minnesota in the United States. She is also the President of GHACOE Women Ministry.
The other brother, Mr. Peter Kwao Lartey is a Reverend Minister with the Assemblies of God Church, Ghana Kate Vardon, another sister of the Lartey family, works with the Accountant General’s Department.
Dr Henry Lartey