Nyansakrom: Chapter 2

by safohen
It came as a great surprise among the six villages when Nyansakrom, the village with the highest number of mbrewanananom (sages) faced its second civil war. In the first civil war, the mbrewanananom led by Serwaa's own abrewanana had shocked the community by involving themselves in the war.

The mbrewanananomkofo) (fighting sages) helped to defeeat the tyrant king Agor at the expense of their pacifist vows. Dufie, warqueen of Nyansakrom had ordered that the sages serve as jailers for the prisoners of war. Now as she faced a similar situation, she fully regretted this decision even as she trained Asafoakyere Dede in her royal compound.

She swung her afena twice at Dede, slashing through her akofena and completing her wardance. Abrewanana Serwaa watched them quietly. Dede rolled to her right, drew out her machetes and blocked Dufie's subsequent attacks. Dufie sheathed her akodze (weapon) signalling the end of the match and turned her attention to the hillside view of the village.

It had been divided into two sides, her territory, marked with red flags and white flags, symbolising victory dotted the territory of her niece. Serwaa joined her and remarked, 'My queen, we've captured prisoners of war in the eight battles fought so far and you have led the asafo in battle, using your blade- breaking style to prevent casualties on both sides'

'However, if the war continues, both sides will completely lose their regard for life, which is precious, and in time, even your hands will be stained with blood'.

'So what do you suggest we do?' Dede asked.

'I propose that both sides send their asafoakyere (female asafo captains) to battle each other in a one on one duel. The winner's side takes control of the village' Serwaa answered. 'Dufie, you are the most powerful fighter in the village but if you died in battle, it would affect the leadership structure adversely, leaving us vulnerable and insecure.'

'Secondly, it will prevent both sides from losing several asafo in open combat'.

'Mo (excellent) , I'll send the messengers and prepare myself for the duel' said Dede quietly before leaving.

'Serwaa, noted Dufie, 'if my niece's asafo attempt to kill Dede with an arrow or spear during her fight, we should be ready with our own concealed asafo to intercept their attacks.'If Dede has her way, this will not be a fight to the death'.

The heat of the afternoon sun, on a normal day, would have made the assembling of both forces nearly impossible. However this was no ordinary day as the groups formed a circle, leaving both Asafoakyere in the middle. Dede eyed her opponent, a woman wielding two large ekumapraban (long handled axe).

With a loud warcry, she charged towards Dede even as she calmly removed the scabbard slung across her left shoulder. Dede sidestepped the attack by moving to the left and struck the asafoakyere across the head, felling her. As Dede carried the unconscious asafo back to her subordinates, they realised that the duel was over and that Dufie would keep ruling the village of Nyansakrom.

That night, as both sides discussed the terms of surrender and reunification, Serwaa spoke to Dufie, 'I must leave the village for one year to gather wisdom from across the earth'. 'In the meantime, I will leave my asuafo (apprentices) Ama, Adisa and Adwoa in the care of Abrewanana Akyeampomaa.'

As the sun began to rise the next day, several people clothed in blue and white slowly gathered in Agor's old forest reserve. The light fell on Ama, Adisa and Adwoa, the sekanbontrofi (weapons maker), some of the asafo, a vice asafoakyere in charge of Obo) prison and several okofo). 'A new day has dawned, Tumi (power)' Ama declared.

'With Serwaa gone, we can now operate freely an prevent another civil war due to the incompetence of the royals. 'The only way to ensure that Nyansakrom truly becomes a village of wisdom and has true peace is to take control of the village by killing anyone connected to the old system of rule'.
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