The story of Mpeni Kofi, a tree in Ghana is incredibly mythic but true. About 300 years old, Mpeni Kofi can be found in the heart of Akropong, a town in Ghana’s Eastern region.
The mythic tree, local media reports, turns human at night to serve as a protective shield to its people – the people of Akuapem.
The tree has a human side, acting Krontihene of Akuapem, Nana Addo Kwataa, and Sub-chief, Ahenenanhene Osae Adade, told Ghanaian online portal GhanaWeb.
The tree, which is covered in white at its base and for centuries fortified and protected the people of Akuapem, one of the main ethnic groups of the Akan people living in Ghana.
“Mpeni Kofi, that is the name. He is clothed, in white cloth. We don’t see that one as a tree but we see that one as a special entity that holds us up and leads us,” explained Nana Addo Kwataa.
“It is a signal to us. When we went to war, we could trace it and know that we are heading home. 300 years ago when our forefathers came, they saw it and it was of importance to them and it is a generational worshiping. We keep on worshiping it up till today,” he added.
Apart from providing a protective shield to the people, the mysterious tree serves another purpose. According to Ahenenanhene Osae Adade, it has a special bond to the palace of the Okuapehene and serves as a unifier for the houses surrounding it.
“All the four houses surrounding it, the roots of the tree are beneath it. Those houses are watering it and have special things to do with it. There’s another house behind it. They are feeding the Okuapehene,” said Ahenenanhene Osae Adade.
“It is believed to be a security man also. Whenever we are asleep, it goes round the town. A very tall man, protecting us,” he added.