Ghana's political system is a unique blend of modern democratic and traditional African values. Its constitution guarantees the institution of chieftancy and the traditional councils established centuries ago. Typically the chief or acting chief adjudicates civil matters in the village, with keen oversight from the council of elders.
Dagbamete's council of elders is led by Chief Torgbui Klu Agudzeamegah II. The elders of the current council include local farmers and traders as well as managers, educators, and public bureaucrats. New elders are appointed by consensus of the council, taking into account such qualities as leadership, good judgment, caring attitude, and deep understanding of the culture and traditions of the village.
A separate council of elders, known in Ewe as the hunuawo, administers the Apetorku shrine. Most of the members of the shrine council serve on the village council also.
Torgbui Klu Agudzeamegah II was installed as chief in 1988, more than a century after the death of the first chief, Kwasi Klu, in the 1800s. Before 1988 no chief succeeded Kwasi Klu and the village was instead led collectively by the village elders. In the 1980s, after a rash of unexpected deaths in the village from road accidents and illness, the council of elders decided to consult the oracle for advice. The oracle said that the spirit of the village's first chief, Kwasi Klu, was angry no chief had succeeded him. The elders then chose a young man, Kwame Victor Davor, to become only the second chief of the village, and gave him the title Torgbui Klu Agudzeamegah II. Because he is living in Londoni, and plans to live there for some years more before returning to the village, Torgbui's brother, Kofi Moses Davor, is serving as acting chief.
In the chief's absence, the acting chief performs most of chief's duties, such as mediating civil disputes among villagers and representing the village at district, regional and national meetings. The trust and respect that villagers have for the institution of the chieftaincy is what makes the traditional system work so well. Matters that would otherwise be forced to go through the courts are resolved amicably and fairly with the caring, compassionate and selfless work of the chiefs.
In October 2013, Mama Adzorhlor III was installed as Queen Mother of the village two years after the death of Mama Adzorhlor II who served as Queen Mother for over 50 years. The Queen Mother is head of the women in the community. Among her many responsibilities, she mediates disputes among women, promotes education among girls, opposes discrimination against women, and ensures women's voices are heard in village affairs. She is also responsible for coordinating the communal hospitality, hygiene and environmental work in the village. In her absence the Shrine Monther, Agbadada Akuvi Davor, serves as the Acting Queen Mother of the village.
|Torgbui Klu Agudzeamegah II
Chief of Dagbamete
|Mama Adzorhlor III
Queen Mother of Dagbamete
|Ngorgbea Kofi Moses Davor
Acting Chief of Dagbamete
|Agbadada Akuvi Davor
Acting Queen Mother of Dagbamete
The council of village elders consists of the chief and more than a dozen leading men and women of the village. The village elders provide advice and direction to the chiefs and thus have a profound influence on the affairs of the village. They are keenly interested in the development and wellbeing of the village. They recognize the importance of helping the youth through education, as well as promoting the time-tested traditional values that bring peace, harmony and prosperity to the village. The village elders were solidly behind the electrification, sanitation, and water projects completed in the past two decades.
Retired farmer and carpenter
Retired revenue inspector and songwriter
Head of security, Ghana Ports Authority, Tema
Professor, York University and University of Toronto, Toronto
|Adzoyi Kwasi Dunyo
|Egle Kwaku Agbodeka
District Community Water, Akatsi
|Kordzo Nero Davor
Deputy Commissioner, National Insurance Commission, Accra
|Mana Adzogble Davor
|Amavi Dunyo Dzeamesi
Honorary elder (Canada)
The spiritual heart of Dagbamete is the Apetorku shrine. Thousands of people visit the shrine each year, especially during the Easter and Mid-Year festivals. The council of shrine elders gives direction to the shrine priests and ensures that the shrine is maintained and run effectively in accordance with the traditions. In 2010 work was begun to expand and modernize the shrine to accommodate the ever growing congregation. Now completed, the new shrine stands as a beacon of spirituality for the many members of the shrine.
|The Elders (Hunuawo) of Apetorku Shrine in front of the partially completed temple (2011).