Ohene Asaa begged his daughter to at least take one guard with her and settled on the guard being female and not showing in any way that she was a guard. Ama Adjeibea Okore was the perfect female guard for the mission and Ohene Asaa made sure he put her under more training for a month before the real journey began. Ama had wielded a sword almost all her life. Her inspiration was her father who was the best warrior a decade past before the war with Anyaakrom took his life. He was leading his people home after they defeated their opponents only for a trap of fire to fall on him, killing his horse and himself before his followers were able to quench it. Ama was just six years old. Her elder brother continued teaching her until she was sent to the palace to serve as one of Nyamakye’s attendants. Females were not allowed to be warriors in Apemso and her worried mother who had the favour of the queen was allowed to bring her daughter into the palace to ward off rumours of her witchcraft. Ama was just few months older than Nyamekye.
Nyamekye supervised their shopping for the journey. She bought clothes meant for the average person in society and bought everything in pairs to put Ama on the same scale as her. She was not to fight until she ordered and was supposed to act as her sister and nothing else. Although Ohene Asaa felt unsettled, he and his queen saw them off after promising his daughter not to send spies to follow her. Things of the spirit have all seeing eyes and the custodian of the land knew going against her was as bad as she being harmed in a far off land. No one, besides the head of warriors, the king and queen, Ama and her mother, knew about this journey. So the royal head prayed for the safety of his only child.
The first village they passed through was Mina. It was a beautiful village with a fertile land. Rice, maize, groundnuts, cassava, plantain and many other needed vegetables flourished there. They went around the market and Ama could not help but notice how well Nyamekye blended in. She spoke to the market women as if she had known them all her life. She helped them call for customers, helped them sweep around and did everything they asked for. By evening, they had someone offer to house them in her home. Ama got very comfortable and happy she had such a great personality to travel with.
The house they got to was a beautiful mud house with well thatched roof. There was a fence around the house with six mud houses. The man of the house was a short and plump bald man with a cruel look but a very great personality. He welcomed them into his home and made sure they had all they needed. The next day was a Wednesday, and the household needed to go to the farm. Tuesdays were resting days instructed by the gods. Many stories were told about deities who showed themselves to deviants who ventured to cross River Asona to farm on Tuesdays. Some collapsed, others were maimed and in extreme cases, killed. So all others who wanted to work, worked on their gardens right around their houses.
Nyamekye and Ama went to the Okroso farm with the Kesse family. They experienced the sting of many insects, notable among them was a fly that was known to suck blood through a painful sting. The people called it “abenim”. Other ants and thorns did not spare them. Still, Nyamekye was enthusiastic and happy working like the rest. She weeded, helped dig out cocoyams and ate just like all the others. Even Ama felt exhausted but Nyamekye cheered her on. When they got back, Ama used hot water and Shea butter to massage her princess’ legs and feet. She was shocked that she also returned the favour. That night, Nyamekye told Ama about how blessed she was to be a part of the lives of the people. Seeing how they suffered to farm, she was appreciative of every food anyone could give and promised to cherish all meals. The next day, they left for Apremire. The Kesse family wanted them to stay for a while but Nyamekye thanked them and promised to visit some time in the future.
They walked for the whole day until sundown but saw no sign of a settlement. Having rained through the night, the frogs came out for a fearsome choral and crickets provided instrumentation that made scary images tip toe even in the sway of leaves. They held each other’s hand and quickened their steps but somehow felt they were being chased. The feet were many and heavy. They sounded like feet of men, strong men, men who were on a dangerous mission and they kept getting closer and closer.
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © July 2018
Photo Credit: Google Pics