The Mysterious Leopard and the Birth of the King.

You may have visited the central area of Kumase and seen this monument/sculpture work of a man with a gong-gong standing on a leopard.

Now we have the story for you – captivating and refreshing.

In August 1892, the gong beaters announced to the residents of the traditional 77 wards of Kumase that a dangerous leopard had besieged Kumase.

Nana Kwaku Dua III is the Asantehene. The King summoned his warriors and skilled hunters and gives clear instructions: “Catch the leopard ALIVE”. A leopard is known in twi as ‘ɔsebɔ’ or ‘etwie’.

Now, while the search party in Kumase are combing everywhere for the leopard, a young royal named Nana Abakoma residing at Edweso Besease, about 19km away, is close to pregnancy delivery.

Nana Abakoma is the wife of Nana Kwaku Owusu. She is a princess and the granddaughter of Asantehemaa Nana Afua Kobi I.

The leopard was so dangerous it killed two persons and injured five others, before being captured ALIVE at Dominase (a ward in Kumase) on that memorable Saturday.

As fate would have it, just after the warriors announced to the Asantehene about the capture of the leopard, the mmagyegyefuo (royal nannies) also came to announce the delivery of a royal baby by Nana Abakoma at Edweso.

Nana Kwaku Dua III is overwhelmed with joy and proclaims that the baby is NAMED Barima Kwame KYERETWIE loosely meaning ‘catch the leopard’. A kente cloth was created and designed to immortalise this wonderful event.

Later, by divine arrangements, Barima Kwame Kyeretwie became the 14th Asantehene with the stool name Otumfuo Osei Tutu Agyeman Prempe II.


Credit: Yaw Afreh

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