If there is one thing that towns or villages in Ghana have in common, it is the choice of weird and funny names.
Names give character, tell stories and depending on what kind of name, can give such good hearty laughs that send delightful shock-waves coursing through your body.
In Ghana names of towns and villages are normally given by the first family, person or group of people who settled in those communities at that time and some of the names of the names sound to the male and female genital organs.
Today, Pulse.com.gh takes a look at some of our favourites town names with their intriguing backgrounds.
‘Etw3 Nim Nyansa’ (Vagina is wise)
The name of this town came known when the Member of Parliament for Abirem constituency, John Osei Frimpong asked the Minister for Energy, whether the ministry has plans to provide off-grid electricity to communities in the constituency in the Eastern Region.
Many Ghanaians had not heard of the villages until they were mentioned in Parliament.
A grandson of one of the early settlers, Atta explaining the rationale behind the name said one of his grandmothers, Maame Akosua Ani who died in 2011, explained to him why their great-grandfathers chose the name for the villages.
He said the three brothers moved from ‘Mia w’ani’ – ‘Try harder’ to settle in the area courtesy of the Pankese chief who allowed them to settle and farm in the area.
The three brothers, namely – Kofi Sampson, Kwadwo Gyan, and Kofi Sane lived together but when Kwadwo Gyan married, he sacked his two brothers from his community because he was being controlled by his wife.
The wife later divorced and sacked Kwadwo Gyan from the house and took over all his properties.
Gyan turned to his two brothers whom he had earlier sacked from his house for help, and they explained to him how foolish he had behaved by choosing to live with a woman [vagina] instead of sticking to his brothers and now that the “wise vagina” had maltreated him, he was turning to them.
They, therefore, coined the phrase ‘?tw? nim nyansa’.
The chief of the area, Nana Dr. Boakye Darkwa III, said they are proud of the names since there is a rationale behind the name.
He said the names should rather attract well-wishers to come to the aid of the communities to help them develop.
‘Kote ye Aboa’ (Penis is a fool)
Also in the Abirem constituency is a town called ‘Kote ye Aboa’ which means the penis is a fool.
The background of the town has been narrated that a madman is always not able to find a wife or a woman to have sex with or give birth and because of his mental condition, no woman [vagina] would be readily willing to accept him.
But a mad woman [vagina] can find a man [penis] to have sex with and even gets pregnant since a man [penis[ careless about the mental state of the woman.
This was a testimony that gave birth to the name of the town called ‘Kote ye Aboa’ – ‘Penis is a fool’.
‘Shua ye Morbor’ – ‘Testicles are sad’
Maame Akosua Ani also gave the reason why the name ‘Shua ye Morbor’ – ‘Testicles are sad’ emerged.
She said when the penis and vagina meet, the testicles don’t benefit from the enjoyment but since the testicles are always attached to the penis, it always suffers the same fate as the penis but does not get to enjoy thereby making it sad.
The three brothers, therefore, chose the names for their villages and along the line, the chief who initially thought the names were indecent and wanted to abolish it, rather adopted it after it was explained to him and decreed that the names should be maintained.
Sowutuom (Hold your gun)
Sowutuom is a suburb in Accra located in the Ga municipal assembly.
The name literally means “hold your gun” and translated in the Twi dialect.
Paraphrasing information gathered, the name was a call to arms of sorts for local farmers.
It was a declaration for them to “hold their guns” in defence of their plantations against military incursions from the neighbouring Akyem, Akuapem, Krobo, Obutu and Fante.
These incursions were a result of Accra’s flourishing trade partnership with the Asante.
This resulted in a state of general insecurity during the 18th century as trade with Europeans flourished.
It is an ethnic group of Ghana, belonging to the Ewe people. The Agave people are one of the largest Ewe subgroups.
Originally, they were part of the Agasuvi dynasty of the Adza Kingdom. Agave led the breakaway faction through many places including Ngortsie, Tsevie, Gafe, Agavedzi, Tsiame, Klidziand, and finally Agave Fedome.
They brought the divine elephant Ivory Royal Stool from Adza to Agave which is the soul of the Agave people.