A new dawn brought forth a new day at Anomabo. A day people hoped to fall in love. A day people hoped to progress in life. A day people hoped to achieve something great. The people of Anomabo were predominantly into fishing and farming.
This was because the people lived very close to the coast and they had fertile lands. The name ‘Anomabo’ is a Fante word which means ‘bird rock’ in English. In the past, there used to be a very big rock in the sea. The town coined its name from this big rock which used to be flocked with birds.
One day, a hunter on a voyage discovered this rock. The name of the town was initially called ‘Obonoma’, which meant ‘rock of birds’ in English. Almost everything about Anomabo was appreciated except for the slave trade that was going on over there.
In as much as many hated slavery, there were powerhouses in the form of the chiefs and sub chiefs who were at the helm of the slavery and since they had the powers, no one could stop them. From near and afar people brought in slaves to serve in their homes and others as herdsmen and laborers on farms.
The beautiful women among-st the slaves were sometimes taken as concubines by their masters. The lucky ones do get married to their masters. Some of the slaves were acquired through a barter trade whiles some families sold off their children as a result of poverty.
There were clauses which guided the slave trade, especially those who were bought. If a slave is able to work and pay off his price tag, he or she is freed. Many slave masters broke the rules from time to time because there weren’t proper measures put in place to see to the wellbeing of a slave. Who cares about a slave? No one I guess.
The paramount chief of Anomabo, Kantamanto Amonoo Tandoh, being one of the richest in the town aged seventy-five had over 500 slaves to himself. Some of the slaves were gifted to him as a form of loyalty from neighboring towns. He had ten wives and fifteen children which comprised of seven girls and eight boys.
He always ensured that all his children were given the best treatment of life he could afford. It came as no surprise when each of the children were served by two slaves. The youngest child of Kantamanto Amonoo Tandoh called Aggrey Amonoo aged ten didn’t seem to support slavery.
Under many circumstances has he disclosed his displeasure about slavery to his father but as always, he received the cold treatment. He was the only one amongst his father’s children who refused the two slaves that were asked to serve him.
“They are human beings just as we are. I can’t watch such an elderly person serve a small boy as I am. I won’t allow it.” Aggrey said.
“As for this boy I sometimes wonder if he truly is my son.” Kantamanto Amonoo Tandoh expressed his displeasure at Aggrey.
He wished Aggrey could at least behave as a royal but unfortunately he doesn’t. Its either you find him on the farm working with the slaves or eating in the same pot with the slaves. At one point, a slave was found to be eating with Aggrey.
The slave was made to go hungry for seven days. “If he goes hungry for seven days I will also go hungry for seven days.” Aggrey warned. His threat was taken very lightly until the chief was informed that Aggrey hasn’t eaten for four days.
For what seemed as a joke, he went through the seven days without eating. This was an expression of loyalty to his ‘friends’ as he called the slaves. His siblings on the other hand really made use of their position. They abused them physically and emotionally.
The men at the blind side of their father forced themselves onto the slaves thereby having sexual intercourse with them. The women acted no differently and just as Oliver Twist, they wanted more power to apply on the slaves.
Aggrey constantly tried to protect the slaves from the wickedness of his siblings but unfortunately he was the youngest therefore failed to do so. One evening when everyone was asleep, Aggrey went into the slave quarters and freed five slaves without his father’s consent.
The next morning, Nana Kantamanto Amonoo Tandoh and his entire family woke up to the news that five slaves had escaped. He became furious. He asked how it happened but none gave him an answer. The palace guards had already set out to search for the escaped slaves.
They returned with one of them. The punishment for escaping was death by hanging. Before he was hanged, he disclosed that Aggrey had helped them to escape after he was tortured almost to death. “Aggreeeeeeeeeyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy”. Nana Kantamanto Amonoo Tandoh called out angrily.
Wait! You. Yes you. What do you think will happen to Aggrey?
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