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  • Antoinette Herrmann-Condobrey

Gbi-Bla Enthrones Gabusu's Right Wing: Asempah is Togbe Buami IX

After twelve long years, the people of Gbi-Bla have enstooled Buami IX, fulfilling one of their most daunting tasks ever. The second-most-powerful stool in the Gbi Traditional Area is no longer vacant. Anthony Asempah is Togbe Buami IX. The 47-year-old earned the title, following the completion of enstoolment rites. He took his oath of office on Thursday, November 10, 2022, in a ceremony full of symbolism. All things equal, Asempah will be gazetted as the ninth occupant of the Buami stool of Gbi-Bla and one of nine divisional chiefs of Gbi Traditional Area. Buami is the right wing of Paramount Chief Gabusu; the one to whom Gabusu swears his oath of office.

Thursday’s event officially began with Asempah emerging in a palanquin; a sign that he has passed the test and earned the right to lead his people. He danced his way to the durbar ground in a warrior’s smock—rain showers notwithstanding—doing it seamlessly and nothing like a first timer. His predecessor’s funeral is done and the scarlets in previous ceremonies gave way to symbolisms of triumph and stability. The new chief changed into a kente cloth before taking his oath of office, which he swore to Togbe Vule V of the Bla-Dzigbe division of the town.

This was a second try for Bla, following the abdication of a previous candidate, Daniel Soglo, after he had been out-doored as the incoming ninth occupant of the Buami stool in 2017. Since that abdication occurred before the completion of the enstoolment rites, the IX position, in accordance with tradition and the law, remained unused as far as succession to the stool is concerned.

History also has it—as Asempah revealed at his out-dooring—that his father became the preferred candidate for the Buami stool in the 1950s at the young age of 12, following his grandfather’s passing. Those were the days when the norm, rather than exception, was to run. As a single parent, Asempah’s grandmother, who was not enthused about the idea, kept her son away from Bla until the “threat” was gone - disrupting his middle school education for a couple of years. Apparently, Asempah himself had issues initially. His biggest concern, as those close to him knew, was his strong Christian faith clashing with core traditional practices. But the leadership vacuum in Bla was unmistakable and the call to serve could no longer be ignored. His work is cut out and he passionately appeals to all to take on the challenge of an attitude change - as Bla, in his own words, “traverses the path of transformation.”

Born in Bla, the married father of two hails from the Tsrivi division of his town, from both sides of his family; both parents belonging to the Royal Buami clan. It is, however, from the line of the father, Aloysius Kwame Asempah, that the son ascends the throne. Asempah's father has lived to witness his son's enstoolment. His mother, Innocentia Abra Soglo, whose “faith in Christ” he describes as colossal and the one he credits for instilling the fear of God in him, is of blessed memory. The third of five children, baptized with the middle name, Snider, Togbe Buami IX is a Mensah and Kwami - a third consecutive boy child, born on a Saturday.

Bla’s new chief is a senior assistant registrar at the University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho. A product of Gbi Central R. C. Boys, Bla; and St. Mary’s Seminary Secondary School, Lolobi, he graduated with honors from University of Cape Coast, Ghana, where he obtained his bachelor’s. Gbi Traditional Area’s second-in-command holds a postgraduate diploma in law from Keele University, UK, and a Master of law (LLM) from Staffordshire University, UK.

People who know Asempah closely call him a person of integrity and are hopeful about his leadership. He describes himself as one who upholds the truth and believes fervently that all human actions must be guided by good conscience. As a child, Asempah was assertive and always insisted on his rights. This, according to him, often put him at loggerheads with older people; his seniors and teachers especially. If his first two public addresses are anything to go by, the prediction would be that Asempah has not changed very much in attitude and would lead fearlessly.

As to what gives him joy the most, Togbe Buami IX says, “seeing people around me improve their lot.” His vision for his town is to obtain a corporate identity, underpinned by leadership accountability, social discipline and individual and social development. “Gbi-Bla cannot continue to do the same things and expect different results,” he admonishes.

COPYRIGHT © 2022. Gbi Viwo. All rights reserved.

COPYRIGHT © 2022. Gbi Viwo. All rights reserved.


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