Asanteman Australia inaugurates new King

Sat, 10 Jun 2006 Source: Martin Kwakwa, Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia -- Benevolent and cultural organisation Asanteman Australia has inaugurated a new Asantefuohene of Australia at a colourful ceremony in Sydney. The new 'king' is Nana Safre Adu Owusu Amankwatiah, known in private life as Mr Dobby Dobson. He swore the Oath of Allegiance to his Abusuapanin and Asanteman Australia on Saturday, June 3. He succeeds Nana Kofi Addo Osiakwan I whose three-year term ended last year.

Earlier, Nana Akwasi Boateng had sworn a similar oath before he assumed the title of Krontihene of Asanteman Australia.

Also presented to the assembled guests and the general public was the Asantefuohemaa, Nana Awo Biama Atwima, known privately as Mrs Awo Kwakwa. Other Asante royalty at the function was Nana Fropia Barima Amankwatiah. The ceremony, attended by hundreds of people, was a showcase of the rich Asante culture, giving the invited guests a taste of how Asante kings, chiefs and other royal office holders are installed and inaugurated.

Asante Abusuapanin of Australia, Odeefuo Kwadwo Baryeh, introduced the new king, the Krontihene and the queen as well as the women ' s leader, Obaapanin Abena Adowaa (Mrs Comfort Osei-Kumah) to the guests.

Shortly before the swearing-in of the new king, the Abusuapanin advised Nana Amankwatiah to uphold the good name of Asante, Ghana and Africa in Australia.

" We may be far away from home, but we all have a duty to let our children and our children ' s children know and appreciate our heritage as Asantes, Ghanaians and Africans " , he said.

Odeefuo Baryeh also urged the incoming king to work to promote brotherliness among all Ghanaians and Africans in all Australian states and cities.

Earlier, the president of Asanteman Australia, Nana Kwasi Bogor (Thomas Brefo) told the gathering that his organisation had instituted a scholarship scheme to boost the morale of Ghanaian children - not just Asantes - who excel in sports and academia in Australian schools.

He also emphasized the need to preserve Ghanaian and African culture in a land so far away from home.

" We all know that our brothers and sisters who were carted to the New World as slaves centuries ago lost one vital aspect of their identity. That was their African culture.

" We don ' t want to be in a similar situation. It is therefore very important that despite the long distance between Australia and Ghana, we owe it to ourselves and to our children to portray our culture here now and in the future " , Nana Bogor said.

A senior official of Australia ' s Defence Department, Mr Agyemang-Manu, chaired the function. He entreated all Ghanaians to ensure that their children take advantage of the excellent and almost free education facilities in the country and get the best possible benefit from it. He said that while the attention of all Ghanaians was focused on Ghanaian on Asante culture on the night, he urged all to put the education of their children on the top priority list.

" It ' s a highly competitive world, but taking advantage of the world-class facilities that are available in Australian schools and universities, everything is possible " , he advised.

Also present at the function were officials of the Ghana High Commission who made the 300-kilometre trip from the national capital Canberra to Sydney. Entertainment was provided by the Ghana Cultural Troupe, Asante Kotoko Ladies Club, Afro Moses, Kojo Ashakan and Noah (of Koo Nimo ' s Adadam Group fame) and his Melbourne Group.

Source: Martin Kwakwa, Sydney, Australia