It was June 29th, 2017, a day after my son’s first birthday. It was one very hot afternoon. I set off to see Nana Kweku Bonsam, a renowned fetish priest in Ghana. His name “Bonsam” simply means the devil. I’ve encountered him before, twice I think. The first time was at Kumasi Jubilee Park where he called a pastor out for a spiritual contest. I was one of the spectators that day who waited anxiously to see who would win the contest.
Kweku came to the park sitting on his horse and dressed in his favorite smock and powdered from hair to toe. Everyone was geared up to see who was going to win—the pastor who claims to be the ambassador of Christ or the man who claims to be the representative of the devil. Kweku Bonsam came to the park dressed for war. We were only waiting for the arrival of the pastor so the contest could begin. We waited. Waited and waited but the pastor didn’t show up. That was my first encounter with him.
The second encounter was at his shrine in Akomadaa Afrancho. I’d gone to Akomadaa on a political campaign but somehow we ended up close to the shrine of Kweku Bonsam. I was awed by what I saw that day. Kweku was dressed in his traditional smock and was dancing to the drumbeat and claps from the people present. He held a sharp machete which he occasionally used to cut through his own skin but however hard he tried, the machete couldn’t cut through the skin. I was enchanted and wished I could watch him till the whole thing was over. But I had to leave to accomplish the mission that took me there in the first place.
Both of these encounters with Kweku Bonsam left a huge impression on my mind so I decided to capture him in my upcoming book. I spoke to him severally on phone and finally scheduled to meet him. June 29th, 2017 was the day we decided to meet.
I got to Afrancho, a suburb in Kumasi where he usually resides when he is in Kumasi. I followed the direction he gave me but it wasn’t easy getting there. I asked for direction from people who lived around there. Most of them confessed they know he lives around but they didn’t know the particular house he resides. Finally, I met a girl. She showed me the road to take to get to the house. It was about 20 minutes walk. I followed the direction only to be told it was a wrong direction. Sometimes, people are like that. They don’t know where you are going but they’ll give you direction anyway.
Another lady took my hand and led me to the house of Kweku Bonsam. It was exactly 15:09 when I got to his house. He had a fitting shop close to the house where he was busily working on some vehicles. One of his boys led me to his residence. He said; “Kindly take off your shoes.” I did. He said; “Wait patiently for Nana, he’ll be here soon to attend to your problems.” I said; “I didn’t come with problems. I came to speak to Nana on some particular subject.” He beckoned me to wait and then turned away and left.
There was a boy already seated, waiting for Nana. We exchanged greetings and I sat next to him. I picked a book to read. One hour. Two hours. It started raining. We were seated in an open place so we had to take shelter. We picked our seats and went to sit on a veranda. That’s when the boy started talking to me. “Where did you come from to see Nana?” He asked. “Accra.” I answered. “Would you go back to Accra after seeing him.” He asked again. “Yeah, I will go back,” I answered. Then he said, “It’s already late and he’s not even here. It’s raining too, do you think you could go back?” I only nodded.
It was already 18:30 when Nana came in. He engaged with the boy for a while and asked him to sit outside the verandah and wait. And then he walked towards where I was seated and sat on the floor just in front of me. “Young man, welcome to my residence. Were you the one I’ve been speaking with on the phone?” He asked. “Yes,” I answered. “So tell me what the whole thing is about and what you want to hear from me.” He said.
I told him; “I’m writing a book and I believe you would be a perfect subject for the book so I’m here to talk to you on some selected topics that I believe would fit into the book.” We started talking and I couldn’t believe all the details he was ready to talk about. Our conversation swayed off the questionnaires and became more informal and friendly. For the next close to two hours, we spoke about everything and anything that came to mind. And then a call came through his phone. After the call, he said; “I have friends coming to see me. They are pastors from Zimbabwe. I have to be ready when they come. But don’t worry, I would be in Accra next week, just give me a call and we would arrange another meeting.”
Just when I was about to leave, he told the boy waiting for him outside to also go and come the next day. I left with the boy. On our way, the boy told me his story. He told me about his struggle in the night with the gods and how his life had been changed by an incident that happened in his dreams. He told me how he was ordered in his dream to come and see Kweku Bonsam and how Bonsam had been his amazing grace. He was a grateful boy and I was grateful for his story. I was grateful he told me. When I got home, his story was the first thing I wrote down. Today, his story sits at the center page of my upcoming book. I’m thankful to him.
One Thing I Have No Doubt God Will Love About Kweku Bonsam
“I am here so I could be a brother to another?
Kweku’s words were crisp and straight to the point during our conversation. He loved to talk about helping people either through Kofi ooo Kofi, his god or through providing resources for others to do well. He has established a school that children attend for free and he pays the teachers with his own money. He has provided accommodation to many without charging them any rent. He showed me a photo of a story building he’d recently built that he’s going to use as a hospital facility in his community at Akomadaa Afrancho. His joy is to help others. “I help cure their diseases and I help in any other way that I can,” he said.
His religion isn’t Christianity but I don’t believe God rejects kindness from people whose faith lies outside Christianity. His goal is to do what he can for others and he does it diligently. Only love can cause one to do this much for others without expecting anything back.
I can’t wait to share all the things I uncovered during my visit to Bonsam’s residence. Bonsam’s story is only one out of many stories in my book. The upcoming book tells stories of great men who walked through the sands of time and left footprints for future generations to follow. In the end, you’ll realize that you don’t have to do anything huge before the world can remember or celebrate you. It’s about the little things done well. Those are the things that cast your name in stone.
You don’t get what you don’t ask for so I’m asking you to take a second to share this post with your friends. They might enjoy it and say thanks to you.
Also, Once in a while, I send out a newsletter with my new articles and other exclusive contents to my subscribers who I consider as friends. You can also subscribe and be part of over thousand friends who receive articles like this and many other exclusive contents. Click here to signup and become a friend.