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This is a riveting triple murder story shrouded in mystery, suspense and traditional intrigue. 


The hero, Ohemeng, was a catechist of the Methodist Church and the headteacher of the local school at Nkwantapon, a town in the Ashanti Region of Ghana.  He was married to the queenmother of the town.  His bid to develop the town and reform the custom and practices was vehemently opposed by the elders and the fetish priest.  The bitter power struggle that ensued culminated in his murder and that of his daughter.  The sole witness to Ohemeng’s murder was also killed.


The story is woven around a labyrinth of cultural practices that are unique to the famous Asante tribe.  It probes deeper into the conflict between Christianity and traditional African religion.  It reaches its climax with the eventual triumph of Good over Evil.


“Nana, look! The river-god has caused the water to be still”, Mensa boasted, beaming with smiles.


“I’m sure your libation did the trick”, the queenmother complimented.


Ohemeng kept quiet and listened as their voices floated to him in a lazy breeze.


He squirmed a little as Nana Akyaa asked, “Why did the river-god allow the bridge to collapse?”


Mensa coughed out a lump in his throat and began, “Nana, the river-god has not taken kindly to the bridge since it was constructed.  Lorries and cars disturb her children when they sunbathe in the road.  She has kept quiet because of the big sacrifices the chief made to her……..”


He paused before continuing, “………..but now she’s fed up”.


“Why?” Nana Akyaa asked, looking very anxious.


“Because of the sins of the people”, Mensa answered without hesitation.


“How come?” Nana Akyaa persisted.


Mensa began slowly, “People indulge in all the prohibitions imposed by the river-god.  They bring bundles of firewood to town, they carry pineapples with the tops attached to them, and more seriously, albinos, people with hunchbacks, and even women in their menstrual period bathe in the river…………………..”


“Oh I see……………….” Nana Akyaa conceded.


“The river-god hate all these”, Mensa continued, “The destruction of the bridge is her way of getting back to us”.


Ohemeng had now almost come to the end of his tether.  He felt he had to set the records straight.  He looked at Mensa but the latter seemed to be too busy with the rowing.  He turned to the queenmother.  He knew he had in her a willing listener.


“Nana”, Ohemeng began, “It beats my imagination to see people worshipping this river”.


Nana Akyaa quickly replied, “Teacher, don’t say that.  The river-god has been our help from time immemorial”


“It’s an ordinary collection of water.  There’s nothing mysterious about it”.


“Teacher, don’t blaspheme”, she warned in her familiar friendly voice.


This time the magic in her voice was gone and her warning had no effect on Ohemeng who was determined to challenge the ‘powers that be’.


“All your gods have no power.  They are lifeless and useless”, he asserted.


Ohemeng’s tirade had now attracted Mensa’s attention.

The author is the son of a traditional ruler in the Ashanti region of Ghana.  He possesses in-depth knowledge of chieftaincy matters, cultural practices and the palace procedures of the Asante tribe. 


The author is also a legal practioner.  He is therefore able to give clarity to all legal issues involved in the story.



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