StarPedia - Ghana
Toku Akra Mona
Nana toku, one of the Master Kente Weavers of Bonwire decided to weave one kente cloth that will be considered as a masterpiece, never been done in the history of kente weaving by the Bonwire township. He set out to etch his name in the weaving hall of fame.
In the course of weaving, the then Chief Priest of the Asante Kingdom decided to pass by Bonwire and greet the people of that township. Upon arrival, he came into contact with Nana Toku, the master weaver, he was really touched with how he was able to bring threads to life and was amazed by the beautiful work being done by the man.
But suddenly something struck the priest and he started prophesying saying;
“Toku, the work you are doing is wonderful but i am with bad news, the very day u finish weaving this cloth u consider a masterpiece, you will DIE!!!”
Nana Toku upon hearing this was shocked to bone and stopped weaving the cloth at once.
He did what every man would have done…
“If my destiny is to die after completing this cloth, then the cloth will never be completed.” He said.
Hours became days, days became months and months turned to years.
Toku is over 100 years growing very weak in health and strength.
He wants to die but death is not calling.
He remembered what the priest Okomfo Anokye told him about his faith.
He went back to the loom to complete the cloth he was told will be his end after completion.
Little by little, Nana Toku completed the cloth and died the very day he finished.
The cloth was named “Toku Akra Toma” meaning “Toku’s Farewell Cloth”
Footnote: Kente is a cloth handwoven using a wooden loom. Popular among the people of Bonwire and Adankwame in the Asante Kingdom.
People who started weaving the cloth got the inspiration from a spider weaving its web.
Kente is from the word KENTEN meaning (BASKET)
The British called it “Can’t Tear” cos no matter what you do to it, it will never tear.
Dr Thomas Mensah
“THE MAN WHO HELPED REVOLUTIONIZE THE INTERNET”
Thomas. O. Mensah is a Ghanaian who was born in Ashanti Region, Kumasi to be precise.
He is chemical engineer who has contributed immensely to the field of fibre optics and nanotechnology.
He has 14 patent to his name and inducted into the US National Academy of Inventors, went to Adisadel College in Ghana and after that, furthered to study of chemical engineering at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
He won an award to continue his studies at Montpellier University in France.
What makes Thomas O. Mensah special?
In 1983, Mr.Mensah was offered a job at Corning Glass where it was his duty to ensure the production of fibre optic cables from 2 meters per seconds to something higher.
A research project that could not be solved by various scientist for 10 good years.
It was tough at the beginning but in his two years at Corning Glass he was able to achieve a massive breakthrough where he was able to significantly increase the length from 2 meter per second to 20 meters per second.
He was finally able to move it again from 20 meters per second to 50 meters per second.
Something that could not be done for 10 years have been solved in just 2 years.
Now fibre optic cable were ready to be move from laboratory production to mass production so it can compete with copper cable.
How did he do it?
In an exclusive interview with Mr. Thomas Mensah on one of the Ghanaian Radio stations he explained that he was able to achieve this height from how a local toffee was made in Ghana. The toffee is called “Anlo toffee” or “Bele kuku”
He said u can only stretch that toffee to the desire height when it purely hot and in its almost melting stage, it is at that point, u can mold the toffee, stretch it and coat it with oil before you live it to dry, because after it dries up there is no way it can be stretch. Such a Genius.
Took what no one regarded as really important and made it into something magnificent. Never knew our sisters who produced those toffees were paving a way for something revolutionary.
With this idea in mind he was able to stretch a brittle glass from 2 meters per second to 50 meters per second.
At Bell Technologies, he was a leader of a program to develop the first laser guided weapons for the US Department of Defense. This program helped to develop weapons that travel with at the speed of sound.
He is president and CEO of Georgia Aerospace Systems, which manufactures nano composite structures used in missiles and aircraft for the US Department of Defense.
He is currently developing a bullet train for the people of Ghana which will convey more that a million people yearly.
His inventions are what the internet runs on now.
So the next time you are enjoying high speed internet and also feel your country is a super power because it has laser guided weapons and weapons that can travel at the speed of sound, remember it was an African that made it possible.
Long Live Dr. Thomas O. Mensah.
A true Legend and a pure Star of Africa.
This story was originally brought by Adomako-Frimpong Festus. Click the logo for the Twitter profile
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