Friday, 27 January 2012


This is the first in a series of articles on Christianity and its beginnings in AFRICA.
Welcome to the Lane................
from the bosom of the achievist.......

The headquarters of the Kumasi Diocese of the Methodist Church Ghana has been named after Nana Kwaku Duah I. Why so? And who is this Nana Kwaku Duah I?
Nana Kwaku Duah I is the 10th Asantehene who succeeded Nana Osei Yaw Akoto as Kinntefene who g and reigned from August 25th 1834 to 1867. He was born in 1798 to Nana Boakye Yam Kuma and Nana Ama Serwaa. His wives included Nana Sompremo Konadu and Nana Takyiaw.
He is particularly noted for his bravery and valor exhibited in the Gyaman war of 1818 and the battle of Katamanso of 1826 in which he commanded a division.    
Quite apart from these distinguishable achievements, to the “Methodists”, he is also credited with his immense support and contribution towards the introduction of Christianity as a whole and in particular Methodism to Ashanti right from the onset. Rev. T. B. Freeman described him in his journal as the “nursing-father to the heralds of salvation in Ashanti
Nana Kwaku Duah I is described rightly so because, without his support, the missionary enterprise of Rev. Thomas Birch Freeman to Ashanti would have been quite impossible. He warmly welcomed Rev. Thomas Birch Freeman, the missionary who is known to have introduced Methodism into Ashanti, and frequently showered him and his attendants with various gifts during his stay in Ashanti ranging from gold to food supplies.
In response to Rev. Freeman’s request for permission to build a mission house in Kumasi, Nana Kwaku Duah promised protection and the supply of land for the project. True to his word he provided the land in a very healthy and airy part of town now K.O. He even allotted a large native-house for the residence of the missionaries until the new building be completed. This land now houses several properties of the Methodist Church Ghana, including the NANA KWAKU DUAH I METHODIST HOUSE, also the Diocesan Headquarters and the K.O. Methodist Schools, the first school in Kumasi.
The Rev. Freeman summed up the contributions of Nana Kwaku Duah I to the founding of Methodism in Ashanti in the following words: “our important negotiations with the King have been brought to so comfortable a close that, he has taken Mr. Brooking under his protection as  a resident Christian Missionary in Kumasi; given us land in a very healthy and airy part of town on which to build a Mission- house; allows the people to attend divine service without restraint, and treats us with uniform kindness and attention.

Nana Kwaku Duah I died on 27th April 1867 and was succeeded by Nana Kofi Karikari in May 1867.

This guest post is by Sarah N. Nkansah
An archivist at the Methodist Diocesan office Kumasi.
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