Wednesday, May 16, 2007


John's first experience of Africa was as a teacher in Ghana during his gap year. In recognition of his contribution to the village in which he taught, John was 'enstooled' as Ngoryi-Fia (Chief of Development) and renamed Torgbui Mottey I, which translates as Chief Pioneering Pathfinder through the Forest. He later founded Madventurer an organisation that seeks to promote development initiatives in rural parts in Africa as well as travel and adventure in Africa. John is currently the Madventurer Chief as he pioneers new projects and adventures around the world.

How was he enstooled as a chief?

John & his wife Elaine a.k.a. Mama Amenyo Nyowu Sika(her name means 'people are more important than gold')Chief of the village of Shia

The question I am always asked but the most difficult to answer! There seemed to be 2 things said when I asked the elders of the village the same question - one was that they saw me continuing to visit the village and bring more help to assist their development after my initial visit, the second was that they could not believe someone on crutches and injured would even contemplate doing what I did during my time there. They inaugurated the position of 'Chief of Development' as they saw me an elder of the village, taking a genuine interest in its development, and wanted to know if I wanted the job for life! It took me two seconds to breathe before saying 'go on then!'

What did the ceremony involve?

It took 8 hours altogether, starting with a slow walk under a parasol with an escort of the 4 other village chiefs in full toga, to the durbar ground where 2000 villagers had gathered, along with my mum and two of my sisters. After several speeches I was given a stool I had to sit on, golden flip flops to wear, a crown, and my right arm was smeared in talcum powder to signify victory and honour. From there I had to make the oath of allegiance to Togbe Dadzawa III, the Paramount Chief of the area with the traditional sword. I was renamed Togbe (meaning chief / grandfather) Mottey (meaning Pioneering Pathfinder of the Forest) I (the First, as the role can get passed on if I ever bear fruit!)

Contact the Chief -

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting story!

Keep it up Liz.