Regional News of 2014-05-12

Kumasi goes gay for Otumfuo

The beauty of African culture, royalty, pomp and pageantry were on full display at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi yesterday, as thousands of people joined a durbar of chiefs to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu’s coronation.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the 16th occupant of the Golden Stool, led chiefs and people of Asanteman to climax activities marking his ascension to the throne at the event that was attended by many international dignitaries including former President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’adu Abubakar and Governor Eze Chukwu.

Also in attendance were former Presidents John Agyekum Kufuor and Jerry John Rawlings and their wives, 2012 NPP Vice presidential candidate Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, NPP National Chairman Paul Afoko and wife of Nana Addo, Rebecca Akufo-Addo.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II succeeded his uncle, Otumfuo Opoku Ware II, who died on February 25, 1999, and was made to hold the state sword known as “Mponponsuo” in his right hand, before espousing the greatness, achievements and conquests of his ancestors while pledging to follow in their footsteps.

As at 7:00am yesterday, paramount chiefs, divisional chiefs, linguists, traditional priests and other people who were resplendent in their beautiful and rich kente cloths, started arriving in droves at the venue for the celebration.

Otumfuo rode to the durbar grounds in a palanquin under the canopy of large umbrellas amidst dancing to the throbbing sounds from the ‘fontonfrom’ drums and clacking of executioners’ swords in a long retinue of courtiers and some chiefs.

He was dressed in a rich kente cloth and decorated with gold bracelets and necklaces to mark the coronation anniversary that was staged alongside the ‘Adae Kese’ festival of the Ashantis.

The crowd went into ecstasy and danced their hearts out to traditional songs played by various cultural troupes at the durbar when the Asantehene began to show his dancing prowess to the gathering that included tourists.

Former President Kufuor and his predecessor John Rawlings as well as Dr. Bawumia added colour to the durbar when their arrivals were greeted with deafening cheering sounds from the enthusiastic crowd.

These personalities as well as President John Dramani Mahama later exchanged pleasantries with the Asantehene and his sub-chiefs who had taken their seats right in front the king.

The coronation anniversary was broadcast on TV and more than 10 million people in Ghana and other parts of the world are believed to have watched it live, while several million others monitored proceedings on radio.

Recounting the events of Otumfuo’s coronation, one of the paramount chiefs told DAILY GUIDE it was an “unforgettable day.”

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II spoke about how Asanteman came into being, asserting that the kingdom was conceived, nurtured and maintained in battles.

According to him, the Ashanti people were noted for enterprising work, innovation and creative thinking in the years gone by, but today that entrepreneurship spirit seemed to have deserted them.

The Asantehene attributed the development to partisan politics and polarization, pointing out that the consequences of it was the pessimism and despondency being experienced by the people.

He urged the people of Asanteman and Ghana as a whole to rekindle the innovation and entrepreneurship spirit, as no nation could make any meaningful strides if the people became dormant to creativity

“There is no pasture greener than the greens at home. We can make it if we try, however hard it is. This is how China did it. We can’t run away from the work we must do,” he submitted.

Otumfuo encouraged the people to continue to fight against poverty, while pledging his commitment to education, noting that education was his first battleground.

He called on the government to give the Ashanti Region its due of the national cake, no matter the people’s political persuasion, reminding government that Ashantis were noted for building for themselves if they found it to be necessary.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II thanked his Israeli partners for recognising the potential of traditional leadership and culture by helping him in his efforts towards the socio-economic development of the country.

Source: Daily Guide
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