JOURNEY TO THE EAST – MY EXPERIENCE AT KOFIKWEI
by Ernest Armah
My alarm bell rung. It was 3.30 am. I opened my eyes and remained on my bed for a couple of minutes. My body was saying I need more sleep, whiles my itinerary was saying I have a place to go. I reluctantly got up. In a yoga posture, I prayed and thank God for sustaining me. In fifteen minutes, I’ve done my brushing, bathing and dressing. Afterwards, I embarked on a journey to a place I’ve never been before –Kofikwei. A relatively small rural community in the Eastern region.
Together with my cousin and church friends, we set off at 05.28 am. The road traffic was less…expect this on a Sunday
and special occasions like Easter. Around Kuntunsi, our car became thirsty and it took about eleven sachet water to quench it. On the way too were government road expansion projects. At Doboro, were huge billboards of spiritualists advertising their so-called competency to cure and solve all manner of dilemmas.
Bread here, bread there, bread everywhere. That was Nsawam. For a moment, it seemed like we were lost. So we enquired from the folks around and we were shown the route that leads to Kofikwei.
On both shoulders of the road were tall trees, coconut trees and shrubs. Vapour was coming out of the mountains. Even though the road wasn’t tarred, it was smooth and well-outlined.
We reached Kofikwei at 07.31 am. It was a convention expedition. And my church members who took off two-days before us welcome us with smiles and “Christ-like” warmth. The women were housed in the Junior High school for the community and the men, were lavishly residing in the chief’s palace. My Sunday school children were so glad to see me. And I really love it when they make me feel worthwhile in their lives. I asked them a few questions and their responses were satisfactorily enough to give me a fair understanding of the situation there (Kofikwei).
I was taken to a river. A water source they’ve resorted to as a result of water shortage in the area. It was meant to be
used only for bathing and cleaning cooking utensils. We were walking briskly to the river. Then suddenly, “Hey stop there…stop there….” A middle-aged woman shouted in a warning tone to us. Apparently, some women were bathing along the river, including my female church friends and elders. Honestly speaking, such situations are really tempting. So tempted was I to watch, but I didn’t.
Later in the day, one of my female cousins decided to do some cooking. Thus, she requested that I buy some eggs and spices for her. After buying these from a woman, who appears to be in her fifties, I decide to ask her some few questions. “Please, may I know the foodstuffs cultivated here?” She eagerly responded, “Well, we cultivate plantain, cassava, pineapple, pawpaw, mango…” And she was all smiles. This compelled me to generalize that the people of Kofikwei are hospitable. Apart from that, the environment is serene, marshy and forest-laden.
I’m not a glutton. And for that reason I ate only milky oat and bread upon arrival, banku and stew, yam and boiled cassava with kontomire stew, rice and stew and had as dessert sliced pineapples in the afternoon.
After satisfying the “gods in my stomach”, I engaged in a hearty banter with my fellow men. Peoples’ legs were pulled and inexpensive jokes were cracked.
Before leaving, I was privileged to see the chief of Kofikwei, Nii Kofi Kwei II. A well-built man who has given his heart wholeheartedly to God and ensuring that the word of God is preached in his jurisdiction.
It was 15.40 pm. Time to come back to Accra. Frankly speaking, it was difficult. As I entered the car, I can’t help relishing the few hours I’ve spent ministering the word of God to some children as well as my experiences. Yes, it was Easter and it has really paid to be in the East.