Ansa…The End

23 Feb

Chapter 10

A full three years had passed since Ansa’s miraculous rescue from the Door of No Return and reunion with Mose. The Dutch abolition of slavery was now very effective and he was no longer a slave. He worked as Ivan Stacky’s clerk and had Mose by his side.

Mosa’s story had been pitiable in its own way. She had only spent one day within the walls of the dungeons and had been let out together with other slave girls for the Governor’s routine picking of concubines.

She had been washed before the very eyes of the other slaves by the well by a male and sent up to the Governor’s quarters. He had found her ‘unsatisfactorily skinny’ and had taken a pick of another female. But then he had also declared her a no-go zone, for she had become his personal maid.

 

Ansa was housed outside of Elmina in a house in town within the fort. Though a freeman, Ansa still considered himself Ivan’s slave for the man had saved him from a certain death. Mose was Ivan’s cleaning lady, having been granted freedom by the Governor.

At the end of the third year, Ivan indicated interest in returning to his home country, The Netherlands. He had spent a good part of ten years in Africa and missed his home country.

Before his departure, he relieved Ansa of his duties and issued him a duly signed document that allowed him to leave the fort should he want to return to Denkera.

 

Ansa had developed a great fondness for his master and was sad to see him go. But with Ivan’s departure he knew that his longing to see his mother again was going to see the light of day.

The first Anglo/Ashanti war was raging to free the Fante territory when Ansa decided to make the trip back to Denkera. He had to be careful for the Danes were yet to finalise their abolition of trade in human cargo.

He set of with Mose and two of his most prized possessions: a new Dane gun and a dagger—gifts from his master. He had recovered most of his old charms, he had healed, but it was not still the same.

On his back he still bore the initials ‘KO’, proof of his journey to another life, another world. He also had the last two toes on his left foot chopped off. This had to be done when the sore he got from vermin in the dungeons of Elmina turned gangrenous and he had to save his foot.

 

He and Mose were able to get rides in the cargo compartment of a train taking supplies to the warring soldiers.

He went as far as Akropong at the Prah and proceeded from there to Denkera.

 

*                                      *                                   *

They arrived Denkera at noon. Many gazed upon him as they would a total stranger who looked vaguely familiar. Ansa had no intention of explaining himself to anyone.

He walked with sure feet until he got to his father’s compound.

There was a marriage ceremony going on. His eyes filled with tears of joy as he realized his family had waited this long for him to arrive before giving his sister away. For him, it was a joyous occasion. He was after all, not going to miss his younger sister’s marriage ceremony.

“My sister is getting married” he said to Mosa, who smiled back at him.

Nyame has always been with you” she said to him.

Someone amongst the guests recognised him and whispered excitedly to another. It was inevitable. Some of the guests rose on their feet to behold Ansa walk back into his father’s compound. From a corner of his eyes he saw his sister get up excitedly. She was very pregnant.

It took a while for that to register.

The guests now formed a circle around him and created an opening for him as he walked toward the front to see who was getting married since it obviously was not his sister.

His beloved mother rose from her kneeling position in front of their elders to gaze at her son, her long lost son.

They stood transfixed eyes locked. She had really changed in his three years of absence. He knew he had changed too and he could not help the tears.

“My son, my life” his mother whispered as she walked slowly to meet him.

They held each other in a tight embrace as the mother noticed the young lady that had returned with her son.

In the midst of the euphoria, Ansa’s eyes caught a movement. It was the man to whom his mother was getting married. As the man turned to face him, time stood still.

It was Osei.

Epilogue

The Ashanti Empire is famed one of the greatest Empires in Sub-Saharan Africa. It was located in what is now known as modern day Ghana. Also noted for its early contact with the European traders, the trade in human cargo flourished in this empire as well as other coastal countries. The slave trade lasted some 350 years and was finally abolished in the mid nineteenth century. Monuments such as the Elmina castle and the Cape Coast castle are living attestations as to the historicity of the slave trade era. Ansa’s story, though imaginary, contains historic facts about the treatment meted out to those who were unfortunate enough to be caught by the slave catchers.

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