Yes, it’s a tree but a human-tree. 300 years old, and yet still has its roots intact and its leaves as fresh as ever. This demi-god is situated in the heart of Akropong and is very significant to the people of Akuapem.
Covered at its lower side with a white cloth, Mpeni Kofi, as it is called, has guarded and protected the people of Akuapem for centuries.
Acting Krontihene of Akuapem, Nana Addo Kwataa and Sub-chief, Ahenenanhene Osae Adade, explained to GhanaWeb’s People & Places team that, the tree has a human side.
Taking the team through the history of the Akuapem ethnic group, they noted that the tree was found at its current place by their ancestors after it guided them home from war.
“Mpeni Kofi, that is the name. He is clothed, in a white cloth. We don’t see that one as a tree but we see that one as a special entity that holds us up and leads us. It is a signal to us. When we went to war, we could trace it and know that we are heading home. 300 years ago when our forefathers came, they saw it and it was of importance to them and it is a generational worshipping. We keep on worshipping it up till today,” Nana Addo Kwataa said.
On his part, Ahenenanhene Osae Adade explained, that the tree has over time, served as a watchman, for the Akuapems, especially those in the Akropong township.
“It is believed to be a security man also. Whenever we are asleep, it goes round the town. A very tall man, protecting us,” he said.
To add to that, the Acting Krontihene noted that the tree has a special connection to the palace of the Okuapehene and serves as a unifier for the houses surrounding it.
“It is a special link from the Okuapehene to the other houses. All the four houses surrounding it, the roots of the tree are beneath it. Those houses are watering it and have special things to do with it. There’s another house behind it. They are feeding the Okuapehene,” he said.
Watch the full interview below: