The history of Dzogbefeme is intricately interwoven with that of Avatime ethnic group. The people of the present day Dzogbefeme (known earlier as T4`uianaa) were part of Avatime Group that migrated from Ahanta in search of a well-secured place for settlement.

Having migrated around the 17th century, the Avatime Group is believed to have settled around Accra in the south.

The Group continued to the East and settled briefly in the uplands around Matse in the Ho Municipality. They had to leave Matse after a confrontation with the natives over water. The Avatimeans moved Northwards in the direction of Akwapim-Togo Mountain range. While in the mountains they had to battle Baya and Bagb4 (Tafi) in order to possess the land. The Bagb4 were pushed southwards into the plains as the Bayas were conquered and the rest held captive.


The Avatimeans first settled on the foot of Oxu Hill. The Oxu Hill lies south-west of Biakpa.


"Avatiameawo" was a descriptive label received from the Ewe neighbours at Matse. The name means those who are pursued by war. The people themselves adopted the name Kedeme, meaning the land of the latecomers.


The people of Avatime have three main divisions. Namely, Olepe, Baya3a and Onipe. The Olepe division consists of Dzogbefeme and Vane (Tsadome and $s45ome) The Olepe division contains the paramount Chief (Osie) and the Frontline Chief (Adontehene). The above titles belong to $s45ome and Dzogbefeme respectively.


The Right Wing Division is Onipe. It houses the Senior Divisional chief. It is made up of Amedz45e and Gbadzeme


The Left Wing Division is called Baya3a. It contains three communities. These are Biakpa (Head of division) Fume and Dz4kpe (Old and New).


The Avatimeans engaged in warfare several times in their quest for statehood since they migrated from the western corner of the Gold Coast. The most important of these wars was the Ashanti War. This war started when the expansionist forces of the Ashanti Empire attacked the Avatime state from the South along an early German survey route extending from Anyirawase through Saviefe across the undulating slopes linking Dzogbefeme to the southern plains. According to oral records a hunter from Kesatsali called $b4 first sighted the Ashanti invaders. He intermittently, shot his gun to obstruct their advancement directly into Dzogbefeme Township.


Meanwhile, he sent a young man called Z4m4 to rash to town and raise the alarm. The latter hesitated which enabled the invaders to advance very close to the township. The offensive was however, halted when $b4 personally entered the town to raise the alarm.


The offensive deflected to the east near Asante-Limu, where it is believed heavy casualties were inflicted on the attackers. True to their motto 'Wo kum apim, apim beba' The Asahnti forces multiplied in no time and overwhelmed the host. Soon, Dzogbefeme, Vane and Biakpa were over-run pushing the Avatimeans against the scarp slopes of mount Gemi (Amedzofe). With a good strategy and sheer determination the enemy was defeated at this place. The Dzapraka sacred oath was born out of the Ashanti War.


Another important landmark was the war of conquest of the tribes that inhabited the land prior to their arrival at the present location. The Avatimeans engaged in running battles against Baya (Some people believe that they were the mythical Bamakli; war-like bushmen as strong as guerillas).
Dzogbefeme was one of the unified communities since the establishment of the Avatime state around 1690.


The people were always enthusiastic with the culture and were co-operative with their leaders.


Many landmarks were attained under the able leadership of Okusie Adja- Bansah Dzapraka VIII (1904-1936). He was in charge and ensured that Dzogbefeme contributed five (5) men who fought on the side of Germany in the Cameroon (Kamaloo) war in 1914. (The World War I)


Warriors of Cameroon War

Name Clan Represented
AbotsiDzapraka/Likusikp4
AppiahAsante-Anku Besoebi
Kagbetei KekpobiOdudodome
DzatoBaya
Odago Hulla-Hulla SepeniAyegafome

The Painful Past of Dzogbefeme


Even though many of the torch-bearers of Dzogbefeme were famous for their hard work and wealth, there is little or nothing to show for the tonnes of cocoa that was carted away year in year out. Apart from the massive harvests realized at home which necessitated the raising of the cocoa shed at Vane, many more farmers produced large quantities of cocoa at Ahamansu, Buem in the Jasikan District of the Volta Region. Some of the farmers had plans to build plush houses as was the case in other communities. They had plans of sending their children to reputable schools. They also thought of living comfortably as any reasonable wealthy man or women would do. Whether it came to pass by dint of destiny or error of judgment on their part, majority of these farmers died in poverty. They languished in extreme poverty and the legacy left behind for future generations is object poverty.


Firstly, Dzogbefeme became one of the main centers where money was raised very often under duress to pay the Bagb4 (Tafi) war reparations. Clerks from Vane (Sometimes authorized by the paramount chief) appear constantly in the community very early in the morning standing behind a deep basin. They pronounced the Adza-Tekp4's oath to compel the citizens to come and damp their monies into the basin. It is alleged that sometimes the money collected by those clerks was diverted into their own pockets. For fear of the consequences of the great oath some citizens damp all their monies into these collection basins. This acts continued in the 1930's and 1940's.


As if that was not enough, Dzogbefeme was plunged into a terrible conflict which finally brought the entire community onto her knees. The Ahuatte Land Dispute (TALD) sparked in 1951 when Asare Kofi and Okusie Dzapraka IX engaged in a protracted tussle over the ownership of a vast stretch of habitable land, parts on which the community is situated. It is almost the entire land area which is demarcated by the hills that surround the town. Soon, the town became divided between two factions. Those who supported the chief mainly came from the lower half (Kalé) of the town even though the elders of Ayegafome sided with the chief. Those who supported Asare Kofi, the claimant were from the upper (Ka3a) section of the community. The dispute degenerated into a political one in the mid-1950s in the heat of deciding the fate of the Trans-Volta Togoland. Ka3a generally stood as supporters of self-determination, or independent Trans-Volta Togoland. They belonged to Togoland Congress (or Abl4de). Okusie Dzapraka and his supporters fiercely opposed the Abl4de party with the strategies of the Convention Peoples Party led by Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah of the Gold Coast.


Although Antor's Togoland Congress (Abl42e) failed to win the 1956 plebiscite, the people of Dzogbefeme quickly returned to their land litigation until 27thh July 1970 when the Ho High Court gave a final judgment. See the judgment below. According to some elders TALD was not only a matter of legal battle but a spiritual and wealth contest. In the attempt of each side trying to undo the other, various occultist powers were smuggled into the town. Many citizens lost their lives through spiritual attacks and replies. Education of many talented children was terminated; marriages across the divide were strained. Sadly, a lot of building plans of notable cocoa farmers became raw material for mice. Ekom Ben Nyarku one of the prominent elders even suggested that the Ahuatte land case should be the sacred oath of Dzogbefeme.


The Ahuatte Land Dispute (TALD) Suit No.L.9/65

PLAINTIFFS
  1. Kofi Asare @ Justin K. Asare
  2. Kwesi Aganu
  3. Gabriel Nyarku
  4. Enos Afi ( Anibrika)

DEFENDANTS
  1. Okusie Dzapraka IX
  2. Mankrado Kofi Ekor
  3. Tsiami Anku Aboagye
  4. Komla Kekpobi
  5. Lawrence Asigbe
  6. Robert Klu
  7. Adzanku Apedu

Final Judgment: Counsel agrees

  • That the area edged violet in the exhibit A is the Plaintiffs land known as Ahuatte;
  • That the defendants should build houses thereon freely in terms of the judgment of the Dzolokpuita Court A of 2nd May 1960.
  • Defendants have agreed to arrange with plaintiffs for tenancy agreement in respect of foodstuffs and economic farms existing on the land and future ones to be cultivated. In respect of the food farms the rent is agreed at £1 per rope. In respect of economic farms (cocoa, coffee, palm etc.) Tenancy is Abusa system.

Mr. Kwenin, Counsel for Plaintiffs. Judge: G. R. Movane Francois.

Mr. Kwaku, Counsel for Defendants