There are numerous stories about the lives and activities of the Germans in the Trans-Volta Togoland (now known as the Volta Region) but the one surrounding Mount GEMI is rather short but interesting.
The Germans came to Amedzofe in 1842. As travelers in a hostile tropical land, they sought areas that had the semblance of comfort in terms of climate hence the ideal choice were the hilly Akuapim-Togo ranges of which Mount GEMI is one of its highest habitable areas.
The Germans settled at various places in the Trans Volta Togoland, with Keta, Kpandu and Amedzofe being of few of such notable places. However, Amedzofe was considered to be the headquarters of the Germans and there is probably a good reason for that. With the town being 650 metres above sea level, it could be said to be one of the few towns in the then Gold Coast that the Germans could consider as “home away from home” because of the cool climate. What’s more? Mount GEMI just fell short of being the highest mountain (885 metres) in Ghana by just 85 metres as it stands at 800 metres above sea level. This accounts for the rather cool and often hazy atmosphere around the mountain, an ideal place to escape from the rather high temperatures of mainland Gold Coast. So ideal was the place that the potato variety that was grown in Germany was also grown at Amedzofe.
Tales have it that it took the Germans about 40 years to really settle in at Amedzofe. Most of their houses were completed in 1888, along with the missionary School that they built. The school which was only known then as Missionary School or German Missions School is what has metamorphosed into the current Amedzofe E.P. Training College, known for training teachers for Ghanaian schools.
After 50 long years of settlement at Amedzofe and engaging in other activities such as establishment of schools, Church (Evangelical Presbyterian Church), the Germans decided to commemorate that event in 1939 by mounting a cross on the hill locally known as “Gayito”. The German life and activities in the area were championed by German Evangelical Missions Institute (GEMI). The abbreviation GEMI was inscribed on the base of the cross and over time, people came to refer to the mountain as GEMI. The Indigents however called the mountain by the traditional name “Gayito”. Gayito means “God of defends”. The name Gayito was given to the mountain by the indigents during their war with the Ashantis because they believed that the god of defends which resides on the mountain helped them to defeat their enemies.
It is said that there is also a waterfall at Amedzofe known as “Ote”. From the narratives I have, it is a rather small falls that gets to show its full beauty in the raining season where there is abundance of rain but still a sight to behold. Unfortunately, I couldn’t pay a visit to the Ote falls during my short visit to Amedzofe but I hope to get you some stories and pictures of it soon.
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