Dressing up the feet is not just to cover it but it speaks a lot about your personality, mood, sometimes your financial status and most importantly, your culture.
In Ghana, most people identify a person’s root according to how they dress for traditional functions such as weddings, engagement, naming ceremony among others.
Whenever you see a person who has flattered his or her feet with “ahenema”, it tells you that such a person is from the Akan, Ewe or Ga roots.
“Ahenema” is the local name for the royal traditional footwear for most Ghanaian chiefs and Queen mothers; this sandal still stands out because Ghanaians respect its value and purpose.
In the past, the “ahenema” was associated with only people with a royal descent and nobody dared wore the same ahenema as the royals. It was specially made with wood and rope; however modernity has set in and now materials used include a special leather.
Interestingly, the sandal has another popular name known as “kyawkyaw”; a name adopted because of the “chauchauchau” sound it makes as one walks in it.
The ahenema comes in varieties with interesting names connoting specific messages. Among such names are “sika futuo” (gold dust) meaning financially comfortable, “Obama”, a name adopted after the design was made for US President Barak Obama when he visited Ghana.
How can I forget the beautiful traditional symbol “Gye Nyame” which means except for God, “s3 me k3t3 pa” literally meaning lay me a good bed and finally “Adepa na nwii w) so” which also mean it is good stuffs that have hairs on them among others.
Despite the rich culture display of “ahenema”, it is uncommon to see young ladies and gentlemen pampering their feet in the royal sandals.
Another advantage of the ahenema is that one can pair it with African print shorts, trousers, straight dress, “kaba and slit”, kente and the mens’ cloth wrapped around their waist to the neck.
You can do away with the long heels, ballerina shoes, the chukkas, loafers, among others and opt to make your feet look gorgeous with the local handmade “ahenema” by pairing it with a bead to show the royalty in us.