As for their L and R dieer, we know our Kumasi pipos have been struggling for long. But when a name with silent Rs like Sir Garnet causes pronunciation problems, that one, we have to ask questions or?
I’m talking about the Sagrenti War fought between the British and the Ashanti in 1874, which got its name from the inability of the people of Gold Coast to properly pronounce the name ‘Sir Garnet’ – the British commander leading the operation against the Ashanti.
If you’re from Kumasi, then forgive; because when I close my eyes, my mind tells me that it’s Yaanom who struggled to pronounce Sir Garnet. if they had called him Sir Granet or even Sir Groundnut, that would have been a bit more pardonable.
So who was the man Garnet? According to historians, he was an officer best known for being efficient and delivering victory for Great Britain, with various medals from successful operations around the world attesting to his military prowess. They say that at a point, some of the British started saying “everything is all Garnet” which was another way for saying “everything is alright.” No wonder he humbled the Ashanti people small in 1874.
As we know from history, the Ashanti were the last stand against the British in the Gold Coast and they put up a strong resistance as the British were expanding their control over the coastal regions.
In 1873, Ashanti troops crossed the Pra River to attack the coastal areas controlled by the British, and suffered a defeat at Elmina. The next year, Sir Garnet took his turn and also sent an army across the Pra River into the Asante Kingdom. He scored a victory and got the Ashantis to sign the Treaty of Fomena, which demanded 50,000 ounces of gold from the Ashanti, among other conditions. According to historians, this defeat weakened the Ashanti Empire further because some northern kingdoms like the Gonja and Dagomba which had become part of the Ashanti Empire, took advantage to demand their independence.
But enough of the boring history. I’m asking again, even though it’s not written on stone that Ashantis are responsible for it. How did the name Sir Garnet become Sagrenti?
As a Ga, I struggle with my H once in a while but I can’t allow Ghanaians to laugh at only us which is why I’m asking. My name is Nii Lantei and my nickname is Laryen. I live near Palm Wine Junction, Labadi. Come and beat me.