In the Eastern Region of Ghana, lies a town; Anum where no dogs are entertained. One can describe it as a taboo or a banned act but whichever way, you keep a dog in this town at your own risk.
Historians in the town indicate that it has been a custom that has been observed by residents and indigenes of the town for centuries.
Why? Because the town is believed to be spiritually guarded by a deity who owns a dog.
This deity according to the Asafoatse of the Nimfa Division of the Anum Traditional Area, does this at night and dislikes the barking that comes from other dogs when they sense him moving around.
According to Kofi Osae, the Asafoatse; this deity who led the people of Anum to the land where they settled likes to guard his town in silence and without any unnecessary attention.
For this reason, dogs are banned entirely from the township and any dog that is seen is killed and its owner punished both physically and divinely.
“The people of Anum settled on this land in the eighteenth century and they were led by a deity called OkweiKwao. When he is walking around, he walks with his dog and guards the town at all times, especially at night.
“When he does this, other dogs who see him bark at him which he dislikes since he likes to operate in silence without attracting any attention. That is why the community members have been instructed to keep dogs away from this town,’ Kofi Osae said while speaking in an interview with Joynews.
He further noted that though strangers passing through the town with dogs are allowed to go, they cannot stay in the town with their dogs under any circumstance.
“Everyone is expected to go by this directive in order not to incur the wrath of the gods. If you are a stranger in the town passing with your dogs, they will allow you to go, but to stay in this town with the dogs, the village folks will kill them. Dogs from nearby villages are not even allowed here,’ he noted.
Meanwhile, some residents who spoke to Joynews about the custom said they have had to live with it and respect the directive because it is something their leaders have prescribed and that is how they came to meet things.
“I really like dogs because they can be used for our security and hunting but because our elders are insisting we go by the instructions of the dogs and we cannot do anything about it,” Kofi, a resident said.
“In the past, when our ancestors settled on this land, they were led by a deity and that is what it dislikes. So we have no option but to go by its instructions,” Agya Yaw, another resident told Joynews.
Kwabena, a third resident added;
“We came to meet the history from our forefathers and are obeying as directed. We cannot do anything about it than abide by it”.