Tribute to the King*
Ga Mantsɛ Abiasuma King Taki Tawia III
1. Kwɛ bɔ ni maŋ ni kulɛ emli bii fa babaoo lɛ ta shi ekome too! Kwɛ bɔ ni etsɔ tamo okulafo; lɛ maŋ ni kulɛ eje agbo yɛ majimaji ateŋ lɛ. lɛ ni kulɛ lumɔ ji lɛ yɛ maji ateŋ lɛ, ŋmɛnɛ etsɔ mɔ ni atsuɔ lɛ onia.
2….” She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks: among all her lovers she hath none to comfort her: all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her enemies.”
(Lamentations 1:1-2 KJV)
I pay this tribute to the late Ga Mantsɛ Abiasuma King Taki Tawia III, a great king, of the Ga State, who has gone on to the village to be with the ancestors and who will forever remain a link between his people and their God. Though a private person, he was born royal, nurtured as a royal and he served his people well as a king. If anyone brought respectability and dignity to the Ga throne in this past century, it was him, as he followed in the footsteps of his great grandfather King Takyi Tawia I whose title was aptly bestowed on him.
If I a republican Ga, a commoner (from lowly Lagos Town) is paying tribute to the late Ga Mantsɛ it is not because I have warmed up to the concept of monarchies, it is more because the person who occupied the office was cultured and dignified and lent reputability to the institution.
King Taki Tawiah III was always serene and calm; he was patient when answering my endless questions about the critical conflicts between the Ga view of things and the general world order of modernity. He explained to me, on numerous occasions, before and after he was king, how my perceived paradoxes could be integrated into the reality of the urbanisation of the Ga State within a republican Ghana.
When my quest, as an ardent lifelong student of Ga culture, history and customary practices, had been about an arcane issue of dualism of our Ga persona, his focus was always on the strategy for restoring the influence and authority of the institution of chieftaincy and the mechanisms for engendering development and progress in the Ga state in particular and our country Ghana.