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Entertainment Sun, 18 May 2008

Authentic African Culture on display as Asantehene celebrates Akwasidae

Kumasi, May 18, GNA - Authentic African culture was showcased at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi on Sunday when rulers of three once powerful kingdoms of Africa met to celebrate Akwasidae, a cleansing festival of the Ashantis.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene celebrated the Akwasidae in honour of His Majesty Ssabasajja Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, Kabaka of Buganda in Uganda amid pomp and pageantry. Also present was His Majesty Sir Chief Dr Gabriel Osawuru Igbibinedion Esama of Benin, Nigeria.

The festival, which was the fourth Akwasidae in 2008, commemorated the 58th birthday of Otumfuo Osei Tutu and the ninth anniversary of his enstoolment on the Golden Stool. Thousands of people from all walks of life converged at Manhyia to pay homage to the Asantehene, who sat in sate after noon, having devoted the morning to perform the rituals involved in the celebration of the festival.

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The Asantehemaa Nana Afua Kobi Serwaah Ampem, Queen of Asante; Paramount and Divisional Chiefs of Asanteman and other ethnic groups in Ghana; Members of the Diplomatic Corps; Chief Executives of various companies and Ministers of State graced the occasion. Also present were Dr Edward Mahama, Flag Bearer of People's National Convention (PNC); Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Flag Bearer of New Patriotic Party (NPP) and representatives of the Judiciary. The festival reached a crescendo when Otumfuo Osei Tutu, adorned in resplendent traditional cloth, arrived at the durbar ground riding in a palanquin amidst the throbbing of Fontomfrom and Kete drums, blowing of ntahra and atenteben (horns and flutes) and the singing of nwomkro in praise of a Kingdom that has survived the vicissitude of modernity. The Asantehene went round to greet the people before he sat down to receive homage.

Traditional Priests including Nana Kwabena Abebreseh also known as Nana Abass of the Black and White Shrine at Medumah, near Kumasi and Nana Adumata Sampene alias Kwaku Bonsam of Akomadan Afrancho thrilled the gathering with spiritual displays.

Source: GNA
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