The Legendary Kweku


This is the second of the series — THE LEGEND­ARY KWEKU ANANSE STORIES. Most of these stories are very old and every tribe in Ghana has their version. Kweku Ananse, his wife and children have different names with every tribe. For the sake of uniformity, I prefer to adopt the Akan version of their names. The first book has a mixture of both the Akan and Ga names. I wish to depart from this style.

These stories are intended to serve as supplemen­tary readers for pupils, students and also to instil the habit of reading in the newly literate adults. It is my hope that the illustrations will interest the youhg readers and inspire them to read more.

I hope the moral lessons taught through Kweku Ananse will help the children to behave well.

Many Thanks to Ethel, who helped in the prepara­tion of the manuscript.

This book is dedicated to all children.

Greg Clifford



Once upon a time in the little village of Kweku Ananse, there was famine. Ananse went to the forest everyday to get food for his family. One day, when he went to the forest as usual, he saw a beautiful pot and said, “Pot you are beautiful”.

The pot replied, “I am called Letit-be-full-and-eat”.

Ananse shouted, “Letitbe-full-and-eat”. The pot immediately became full with groundnut soup, big meat and ‘fufuo’. Ananse ate the food very fast because for a long time he had not eaten any good food. He called the name again. He ate quickly and asked the pot, “What do you hate?”

The pot replied, “Gunpowder and calabash”.

Ananse took the pot home and hid it in the ceiling of his room.

He continued to go to the forest to collect food for his family. Whenever his wife called him to join the family to eat he would refuse. He would later climb up to the ceiling, say the magic words and eat to his satisfaction.

Ananse went to the ceiling everyday. His eldest son Ntikuma suspected him of doing something there. One day, he followed him and saw everything that happened but his father never saw him.

The following day, when Ananse went to the forest Ntikuma called his mother, Aso and brothers,

Tikonokono (big-head) Afudotwedotwe (big-belly) Nyiwankonfwea (thin-legs).

They went to the ceiling and Ntikuma said the magic words, “Let-it-be-full-and-eat”.

The pot became full with groundnut soup, big meat and ‘fufuo’. They ate and he repeated the words many times and each time, the pot became full. After they had satisfied themselves, Ntikuma asked the pot, “What do you hate?”

The pot replied,”Gunpowder and the calabash”. Ntikuma then sent Tikonokono to bring some of these things. He touched the pot with the gunpowder and the calabash.

Not quite long, Ananse returned trom the torest and climbed up to the ceiling to eat. He said the magic words. “Let-it-be-full-and-eat”. There was no answer.

“Is it because I have not bathed?” he said angrily. He went downstairs and bathed. He put on his nice ‘Ashanti Kente’ and black sandals. He climbed up again and repeated the magic words several times but nothing came. He looked around and saw the gunpowder and calabash. He took the pot, threw it away and broke it.

He came down and went to the forest to find something to eat. On the way, he found a whip. He said, “You are a beautiful whip”.

The whip replied,”My name is Whip-a-little”.

Ananse then said, “Whip-a-little”.

The whip whipped Ananse very well until a green bird flying over said, “Say cool down”.

The whip cooled down and Ananse took it home. He hid it in the ceiling. His wife gave him food but again he refused to eat. He went to the ceiling and spent sometime there. He came down and went to the backyard to hide.

Ntikuma called his mother and brothers and they went up to the ceiling. He saw the whip and said, “Whip, you are beautiful”.

The whip replied, “My name is Whip-a-little”. They all shouted,”Whip-a-little”.

Ttae whip went into action and whipped them severely. Ananse from his hiding place shouted, “Beat them well, especially Ntikuma!”

When the whip had whipped them for some hours, Ananse said to the whip, “Cool down”. The whip cooled down and he took it and broke it into pieces.

This is how whip or cane came to be used on children who do not respect their elders.

If my story is interesting, take it.

If it is not, take it.

Someone else should come and tell his story.



Once upon a time, Kweku Ananse decided to be a teacher to teach the children of the animals in a certain village far from his own. Ananse had his reason. Some of the animals whose children came to the school included Osebo — the leopard, Onini — the python, Dzata — the lion, Osono — the elephant. These are all wild animals.

Ananse built two strong rooms. One room was for classes and the other one for his private use. The doors and windows were made of iron. The walls were bricks that nobody could break through.

When classes started, Ananse told the children that he would teach them how to cook — modern home science. He, therefore, asked them to bring oil, tomatoes, onions, pepper, yams and otherthings needed in cooking.

Everyday Ananse called one child to his private room and killed it. He prepared fine stew out of the meat and ate with yam. This went on until all the baby animals were killed.

Ananse gathered their bones in the classroom. Flies started to fly and hum over them. Ananse went to the parents of the baby animals and told them, “I want to travel to my village for a short visit”.

One of the parents asked him, “Have you finished teaching our children?”

Ananse answered, “Your children are now speaking foreign language”.

He went on, “Put your ears beside the iron doors and windows”.

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