In the wake of his rather ungodly preaching of pejorative ethnic stereotypes in his church, recently, during which the founder and leader of the Glorious Wave Church International disparaged Fante women as having a unique propensity towards “stupidity,” he did not explain precisely what made the Fante Woman uniquely “stupid,” and the Asante Woman “pathologically greedy,” that is, incurably greedy, Mr. Badu Kobi has come under heavy criticism. But even as I noted in the initial installment of this series, and Mr. Mensah Thompson, Executive-Director of, presumably, a nongovernmental civil society establishment by the name of ASEPA, pointedly observed, “Prophet” Badu Kobi said absolutely nothing new. Indeed, about the only citizen or resident of Ghana who is not aware of the long-established stereotyping of the average Asante Woman as a single-minded gold-digger whose romantic and/or matrimonial loyalties cannot be trusted or, at best, may only be trusted at the pernicious peril of the man or potential suitor so misguided, may have been born abroad and only made an acquaintance with the country not more than 24 hours ago.
The abject material-mindedness of the proverbial average Asante Woman – and, of course, the keyword here is “average” – has always been recognized and publicly, routinely and extensively remarked upon, ever since yours truly came of age. What is, however, not often equally publicly acknowledged and/or underscored, although equally publicly recognized, is the seemingly perennial and problematic trait of the Asante Woman is her putative two-timing promiscuity. Interestingly, the latter socially negative behavioral trait has long been ceded to the Krobo Woman and, to be certain, the Ga-Dangbe Woman in general, which would include practically all cultural and historical indigenes of the present-day Greater-Accra Region and the Krobo and Ada areas of the present-day Eastern Region.
The stereotypical Krobo Woman has been equally recognized to be vaingloriously fashion-befuddled, fashionable or fashion-oriented. She has also been recognized by members of nearly every cultural or sub-ethnic and sub-cultural group in the country as a very pretty and well-mannered woman, even if her morals are deemed to be highly questionable. Thus, for example, the Krobo Woman is said or alleged to spend a considerable portion of whatever monetary profits she may earn from her much maligned and disdained transactional and routine commercial sexual dealings in gussying up herself or aggressively promoting her sexual cynosure or physical attractiveness. The Krobo Woman is also known to be very economically independent and hardworking. She may also be objectively described as a workaholic, in American labor parlance, or a veritable work-machine.
Indeed, years ago, when he sang about the most stereotypically notable trait of the Asante Woman, the renowned Ghanaian composer, guitarist and lead-singer of the legendary Sweet Talks dance band and later the Super-Sweet Talks Band, which he personally led, Mr. AB Crentsil, highlighted the suave and splendorous promiscuity of the Asante Woman. Mr. Crentsil’s song was titled “Yewo Ade a Oye,” loosely translated into English as, “We Have Something Good [to boast of or be proud of here in Ghana].” On that long-playing vinyl phonograph record or album, quite contrary to what “Prophet” Badu Kobi lets on in the YouTube videoclip of that portion of his liturgical tirade about the Fante Woman, Mr. Crentsil, who is himself of Fante descent or Akan sub-ethnicity, described the average Fante Woman as a pneumatically big-breasted woman, “Bobby Stand,” and one may also aptly add for good measure, “Big-Butted” as well. The Fante Woman was not in any way portrayed by Mr. Crentsil to be anywhere nearly as fatheaded or clinically stupid in the vacuous or gratuitous manner that Mr. Badu Kobi was seen and heard claiming on the YouTube videoclip that went viral in the wake of this mendacious political forecaster’s controversial remarks.
Rather, Mr. Crentsil portrayed the stereotypical Fante Woman as a very romantic modern-type woman who knew the ways of her man and was smartly eager to employ her genius and inimitable culinary skills to please, win and keep the heart and/or affections of her man. But, according to Mr. Crentsil, the average Fante Woman was not necessarily a picture-perfect woman; she was also a bit profligate, mostly with her culinary skills, and, in fact, so inordinately profligate with the latter skill that she seemed to have little room to think about the fundamental necessities of the near future, such as helping her man or husband save enough to enable the pair build their retirement home, once Uncle Fiifi, hypothetically speaking, became superannuated or too old, tired or weak to work as vigorously and diligently as he used to be able to do in his youth.
Maybe this is what Mr. Badu Kobi facilely deems to be the soft-headed nature or personality of the stereotypical Fante Woman. Still, the fact of whether being an ethnic Asante authorizes Mr. Badu Kobi to disdainfully, imperiously and unreservedly characterize the Asante Woman as being pathologically greedy needs to be further probed. More so, since, according to Mr. Badu Kobi, himself an Asante man, the Asante woman is incurably materialistic and grubby. One wonders why “Prophet” Badu Kobi, who was also given birth to and raised by such an irreparably disdained female species of humanity could so cavalierly presume himself to be any better in caliber or morals than the very woman who gave the disdainer his very life and upbringing. The musician Mr. Crentsil, on the other hand, envisages the Asante Woman as a two-timing shameless scam-artist who has absolutely no scruples or qualms about literally robbing Peter to pay Paul. “Braa, Braa, Mereko Me Braa Ho. Braa Wo Mmesen Nkogya Me Juaso/Dwaso Nkwanta Ma Me Nkosra Me Braa Bi. Na Oredaa Daa Wo” To wit, “Brother, kindly accompany me to the village of Juaso-Junction to visit my brother. Don’t mind her, she is tricking/playing you. The brother that the Asante Woman is talking about is actually another one of her legion boyfriends.”
Indeed, some twenty-and-odd years ago, a very distinguished and erudite Ghanaian legal light who was a former Dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Ghana and a Kumasi-born native of the old slave-trading township of Elmina, confided to yours truly that while growing up in the Asante regional capital and the cultural heartbeat of the Asante Kingdom, as soon he and his siblings were about to enter into their teens, their parents had to send them back to Elmina because the parents of this former Temple University, Philadelphia, Law School Professor could not abide the very idea of having their children uncritically pick up the notorious wayward habits of the average Asante denizen or citizen. The former Legon Law Faculty Dean, who had also sat on the commission that investigated the globally infamous abduction and brutal assassination of the Accra High Court Judges by some operatives of the Rawlings-led junta of the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC), would also apprise yours truly of what he deemed to be the core philosophy that Asante parents, especially Asante mothers, taught their nubile daughters as follows: “Akua, hear me out loud and clear – ‘You date the man whom you dearly love. But, by all means, marry only the man who is capable of taking care of your every need.”
In my 35-year stay here in the United States, I have witnessed, first-hand, at least one relative on whom what may be aptly described as “The Gyandorian Theory of Asante Conjugal Philosophy,” or The Crentsian and Kobian theory, was effectively played out on. But, of course, whether these stereotypical theories are fundamentally or essentially peculiar to Asante ethnicity or moral and cultural values and philosophy is decidedly moot, since any number of similar examples or cases in point could be cited among members of virtually ethnic, cultural and racial group around the world. My paternal cousin, who is the subject of the following section of our narrative, and who shall remain nameless, at least for the nonce, was the keyboard player of a Ghanaian dance band that was very popular in the early 1970s called The Adams Apple.
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