Nana Osompa Nyamekye; Being left-handed has not stopped development
In many Ghanaian societies are myths and beliefs about left-handed people.
This includes their inability to greet a chief or even become traditional rulers.
According to one of such myths, when a chief is left-handed, there is the high tendency he will address his people with his left hand, a practice that is frowned upon.
However, with development and the various transformation that the chieftaincy institution has undergone over the years, some of those beliefs and myths are no longer held as sacred.
He is currently the Assistant Social Development Officer at the Ajumako/Enyan/Essiam District Assembly in the Central Region
Today, if one is from a royal family and possesses a good character, being left-handed does not matter any longer, provided the townsfolks are prepared to accept the individual as their leader.
That is the story of Nana Osompa Nyamekye II, the Chief of Gomoa Otaprow, near Agona Swedru in the Central Region.
Eleven years after he ascended the Black Stool, Nana Nyamekye has brought a lot of development with much focus on education to his people.
Today, he is the talk of the town as he has endeared himself to many and earned a lot of respect from his community and colleague chiefs due to the way he is steering the affairs of the town.
Nana Nyamekye with his wife, Beatrice and two children, Oheneba Kwesi Mbir Nyamekye and Mena Adjoa Essoun Nyamekye
He shared his life story with The Mirror in an interview about the circumstances that surrounded his selection to the Nana Osompa Stool.
Through his efforts and partnerships, Nana Nyamekye has achieved certain things for his people.
He has helped construct a community centre to serve the people and surrounding communities.
He has used his influence to lobby for the construction of a two-unit kindergarten (KG) block with ancillaries for the town.
Nana Nyamekye said he had refurbished the old palace to befit the status of the town and by dint of hard work, the stool har been elevated to divisional status.
He has helped construct a community centre to serve the people and surrounding communities
“When I was nominated, I was interviewed and during the process, I promised to construct a Pusuban, and have done so to the delight of my people.
“Perhaps, one of my greatest achievements is the searches I have made from the Public Records and Archives Administration Department to get the Cadastral map covering the entire Otaprow township and its lands, and we are in the process of retrieving all lands that have gone into wrong hands for many years,” he added.
He said he was currently working on establishing the Nana Osompa Nyamekye Foundation to cater for the educational needs of his people and children in nearby communities.
Nana Nyamekye is determined to change the attitude of his townsfolks
Nana Nyamekye noted that he also had partnerships with some foreigners who had expressed willingness to assist in the educational needs of his people through the construction of schools and libraries.
“As a sportsman, I have plans to construct a turf in the community to hone the talents in the area,” he added.
Nana Nyamekye ascended the Black Stool in 2009 after the death of his predecessor, Nana Osompa XII.
He was selected from the Nana Nyamekye House, one of the four royal gates at Gomoa Otaprow.
This was after the stool had rotated among the three other families — Nana Kobina Egyin House, Nana Abekah Yeboah House, and Nana Kojo Aber House.
Nana Nyamekye ascended the Black Stool in 2009 after the death of his predecessor, Nana Osompa XII
His selection was intriguing because three of his uncles from the Nana Nyamekye House had been put forward earlier.
But after a thorough process was undertaken, including background checks by the kingmakers, none was fit for the position.
When the news got to him that he stood the chance of being nominated since he was a royal, Nana Osompa Nyamekye told The Mirror that he had to go into a hideout in Accra for some weeks.
Little did he know that the kingmakers were anxiously waiting for him.
He has refurbished the palace to befit the status of the town
“At the time, I was 22 years old and had just completed senior high school (SHS) and was not prepared for anything that had to do with chieftaincy because I wanted to pursue my dream of becoming a banker, the reason I read Business at school.
“My parents had to call me on phone a number of times trying to convince me to accept the offer since that could go to another house and that would mean my family may not stand the chance of getting it anytime soon,” he said.
He doubles as the Divisional Chief and Nsafowahene of the Gomoa Akyempim Traditional Area/Council.
After a lot of pressure mounted on him for a while, he said he finally had to accept to serve his people, even though he was not prepared for the position.
“But it was on condition that I would be assisted by the elders since I was young and did not know the customs or anything that had to do with the chieftaincy institution.
The two-unit KG at Gomoa Otaprow
“My people knew I was left-handed but that was not a major concern. They were convinced about my character, lifestyle, my ambitions, convictions and educational prospects,” he said.
“When I started with my reign, there were many times I would be tempted to address my people with my left hand, but knowing that challenge, the head of the family would usually sit by me and prompt me. With time, I started adjusting and changing and now things are far better than before,” he added.
According to the traditional ruler, his vision was to change the image of the town, especially in the area of education.
He explained that he felt he could only do that by educating himself adequately to serve as a role model to them, noting that when education was paramount in a community, it could end poverty and teenage pregnancy.
He said his major challenge had been how to handle the attitude of his people — their worldview was quite different, and he said he believed education could help.
“I want to change their attitude towards things to be able to help with the development of the community and the nation at large.
“As a chief, you are also tempted in many ways, including money and women, but God has seen me through it all,” he admitted.
He also acknowledged that balancing his position as a chief with his social work and Christianity had not been easy.
Nana Nyamekye has also built a “Pusuban” a place that serves as spiritual protection for his community
He further dismissed claims that chieftaincy was a devilish institution, emphasising that he was a strong Christian and did not take his Christian values lightly.
Known in private life as Mr George Essuman, the traditional ruler has been the chief of the town for 11 years.
He began his primary education at Good News Preparatory School at Agona Swedru.
He proceeded to the Swedru School of Business and later for his degree at the University of Ghana, Legon where he studied Social Work with Sociology, due to the position he occupies.
Nana Nyamekye after he graduated from the University of Ghana, Legon
He is currently the Assistant Social Development Officer at the Ajumako/Enyan/Essiam District Assembly in the Central Region and also pursuing his Master’s in Public Administration at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Accra campus.
Nana Nyamekye is married to Beatrice and has two children.