Under the able and inspirational leadership of Nana Fosu Gyeabour Akoto II, Omanhene of Bechem Traditional Area and President of the Bechem Traditional Council, Nananom introduced the ADEKYEM FESTIVAL to be celebrated by the Chiefs and people of Bechem Traditional Area, made up of the following towns and their villages: Bechem, Dwomo, Terchire and Tanoso. These towns together are known as “ATANOFO AKROTUONNAN”.
The Atanofo is a fetish unification of Tano Bekoe for Bechem; Dwomo kukuo for Dwomo; Boobae for Terchire and Bofoakwa Tano for Tanoso. All these fetishes were created by Okomfo Anokye to protect the Golden stool of Asante Kingdom in times of war, especially against attacks from the North. Bechemhene is the head and custodian of these fetishes. The celebration of the festival brings to memory the historic importance of Bechem during the Asante wars. Bechem was corrupted from “YEBEKYE MU WO HA”, a place where Asante’s war leaders met and shared their war booty. That is how Abekyease (former name of Bechem) became known as Bechem and has been called to this day. In introducing this Festival, Nananom intend to lead the people to rediscover their historical past and focus on sharing their talents, gifts, knowledge and skills for the development of Bechem traditional area. Bechem, in the words of Nana Fosu Gyeabour Akoto II, has a story to tell. Bechem has played a pioneering role in education and agriculture. Bechem has offered a lot to the development of our nation. These call for celebration! A good number of Basic schools, a Vocational training institute, a Business college, a School for the Deaf, a Senior High School, a Health Training institute, a college of education as well as a Bible school testify that Bechem has contributed to the development of education.
Adekyem is a home-coming festival: natives who have travelled outside the area for greener pastures are expected back home. Friends of Bechem and tourists are welcome to enjoy the hospitality of the Chiefs and people of Bechem.
The maiden ADEKYEM FESTIVAL schedule on 13th to 20th November, 2011 is focused on creating Education fund to support needy but brilliant students in the area, under the Distinguished Patronage of Otumfuor Osei Tutu II, Asantehene on Saturday, 19th November, 2011. (Grand Durbar).
The people of Bechem have a great history and a rich culture. Migrating from Asante Nsuta as a result of chieftaincy dispute, they moved to Ahafo Nsuta under the leadership of Obofuo Afoakwa (Bofoakwa) before settling at Abekyease which served as place of respite for the traveler who needed to wait for a companion to travel with, in those times of war. It is not surprising that in these modern times, Bechem remains hospitable to strangers and visitors and serves as a gateway to Brong Ahafo region of Ghana for travelers from the southern part of Ghana.
The area can also boast of investment opportunities in Tourism, Agriculture, Education, Manufacturing, Mining and Property Development. Bechem is capital of Tano South District, and is a perfect area for NGO’s, Tourists and Investors to operate.
In fact, the ASIWBOUR STOOL which is the embodiment of the soul of the chiefs and people of Bechem was created by the Asantehene a result of the courage of Nana Akwasi Apraku (Bechemhene, 1706-1709) to ask the Asantehene to stop human sacrifice at the Tano shrine and replace it with animal sacrifice. The Asantehene granted the request and gave him the title ASIWBOUR. Adekyem festival is a celebration of the historical relationship between the Chiefs and people of Bechem and Asanteman.
Highlights of the week-long Festival:
- Health Walk and Health Talks (Aug.-Nov.)
- Clean up Exercise (Nov. 11)
- Bechem for Christ Crusade (Nov.11-13)
- Chiefs sit in State to Receive Homage (Nov.15)
- Puberty Rites (Bragoro) (Nov.16)
- Soccer Gala and Traditional Games (Nov.17)
- Cultural Competition by Schools in the Traditional Area (Nov.18)
- GRAND DURBAR of Chiefs (Nov.19)
- Beauty Contest (Miss Adekyem) (Nov.19)
- Inter-denominational Thanksgiving Service (Nov. 20)
Click this link to read OTUMFUO ASANTEHENE'S Goodwill Message.