Fort Apollonia is a fort in Benyin, Ghana built in the year 1768. The name Apollonia was given to the area by a Portuguese explorer who sighted the place on the feast of Apollonia. It was part of the British Gold Coast during colonialism which served as a trading post in the year 1768 and became a fort in 1770.
After it was bombed in 1873 by the British on the attack of Beyin on account of its collusion with the Ashantis it was rehabilitated in 1962 and completed in 1968 by the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board. FORT APOLLONIA, THE BEAUTIFUL MUSEUM OF THE NZEMA PEOPLE, AND HISTORY
Colonialism may be abolished but Ghana has still 47 forts to remind us of our gloomy past of slavery including FORT APOLLONIA. Upon arrival, the fort was under lock and key which came as a surprise to us. A resident then prompted us to call the number on the wood which we did and, in a few minutes, an old man came to open the door. He turned out to be a tour guide but shabbily dressed.
Initially, the guide tried ripping us off by charging us double the amount. Being conversant in prices at castles and forts I called him out and paid the right amount. 5 cedis per head. FORT APOLLONIA, THE BEAUTIFUL MUSEUM OF THE NZEMA PEOPLE, AND HISTORY
With that out the way, the tour began in the courtyard and made our way upstairs. He was not audible so I heard little and rather paid attention to the images and artefacts on display. It included tools used by our ancestors to practice their beliefs and culture. The tour guide had no charisma which made us not enjoy the tour. we excused ourselves to take pictures of fort Apollonia. The pictures came out very nice but as the fort is not big, we were limited on where to take different pictures but it was all right.
The Nzema tribes are mostly into fishing and trading. Although I was not paying attention to the tour, I did notice that the building was not in a good condition. There were leakages which are destroying most of the artefacts. It is fairly small as compared to Fort Metal Cross. I heard very little during the tour. I would suggest you go there to not only listen to their migration story but to also appreciate the artefacts and relics they have.
In one of the rooms, we toured we saw a big painting depicting their journey and the various vocations they were involved in. We then moved to the room that used to be their entertainment and ambush planning room. In the room on one side was a make shift shrine which was set up after the experts left and on another side was a pool looking table where the colonial masters must have used when planning how to conquer towns. I felt cold at the spot, just imagining the consequences of such meeting. FORT APOLLONIA, THE BEAUTIFUL MUSEUM OF THE NZEMA PEOPLE, AND HISTORY
Again, I had the same challenge with food, like all forts and castles I have visited there is no food or snack vendor.
- To sum it up, I recommend a working staff be employed and kept on-site to prevent visitors from turning back when they arrive.
- Official receipts should be printed so to make staff accountable.
- Food vendors and souvenir stalls can be allowed to display their food in front or around the fort. The place looked plain and without colour.
It serves as a compliment to Nzulezu, as many visitors tour the fort after visiting the Stilt village.
The place has nice views to it and beautiful history paintings depicting the migration of the Nzema. When renovated, it will attract more people to travel long distances to visit.