Mankessim is the traditional headquarters of the Fantse communities in Ghana.There are about two accounts about its migrational
history. One account links Mankessim's history to the Ashanti kingdom and the other is about its independence and southwards
migration to the present location.
In the first account,Oral tradition has it that the Fantse were originally part of the great Ashanti kingdom when it extended
as far as to Bono- Manso in the present Brong ahafo region. The people seceded from the union and moved further south
from (Bono- Manso-present day Techiman in Brong Ahafo region) in search of fertile land for its growing population, good drinking
water and to live in peace. "FANTSE" comes from two akan words "FA and ATSEW" meaning the half that seceded.
It is said that the Fantse undertook great migration downsouth under three powerful leaders namely OBRUMANKOMA, ODAPAGYAN
AND OSONO. Those three leaders were very strong and spiritually fortified. It is said that their names, signifies their might
in the air, by land and under the sea. Proverbially and culturally, these leaders were seen as symbol of invincibility by
the early Fantse communities.
The other gives account of the Fantse leaders
leading their people to their present abode and helping to organize the community into a very strong one till the coming
of the colonial powers and christian missionaries who manipulated and indoctrinated some of the chiefs and local leaders leading
to the total collapse of the great Fantse Confederacy in 1885.
Today, Mankessim has monuments that are a living testimony
to their rich history. The Obromu asafo company has the most centrally located and the main shrine that
commemorates the history of Mankessim.
Geographically,there are five suburbs in Mankessim made of original OMAM MU states namely TWAFO (Akapon), OBROM
( Kuyinpa) and ANAFO and two adjacent suburbs ie NKUSUKUM (ebir) and EDUMADZE(Borbor Kunkunfi).
ASAFO COMPANIES AS SECURITY AGENTS:
Each of these suburbs has with its Asafo Company, a form of militia units that
served as security organisations during the times of frequent warfare. These companies exist today as emergency groups
and provide music and dance for festivals and other occasions: They also act as check and balances on the role of the chief
in the community.
MUSIC MAKING ROLE OF THE ASAFO COMPANY:
Asafo music and dancing is performed during the passing away of a member,when a
new chief is outdoored,when there is an emergency and during festival times known as AKWAMBO and AYERYE.
COURTESY OF SPACE FM SOUNDS, MANKESSIM.