THE KING OF ASHANTI KINGDOM: THE ASANTEHENE
Posted on 19th June 2022 at 19:33
After the celebration of the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, we want to introduce our West African royalties and their households to you.
The first country we are taking you to meet a king is Ghana. Ghana is a presidential democratic republic with a government headed by a president.
Ghana, like all African countries is formed by regions or ethnic groups that in the past were all governed by kings or traditional chiefs. In these modern times, the kings of all the ethnic groups are still important in the day to day lives of their regions. The most famous and most powerful of these kings is the king of the Ashanti Kingdom, the Asantehene. While his role in modern Ghana is more ceremonial than political, he does have some political responsibilities, especially in the city of Kumasi and amongst people of Ashanti ethnicity.
The Manhyia Palace
The Asante Hene (Asante chief ) of Ashanti is Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the 16th Asantehene, ruler of Ashanti and Ashantiland and the Empire of Ashanti, absolute monarch and head of the Ashanti royal House of Oyoko, Emperor of Ashanti and the Ashanti people.
His majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II ascended the Ashanti Monarchy Golden Stool (throne) on 26 April 1999, the successor of Opoku Ware II. By name, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is in direct succession to the founder of the Empire of Ashanti, Otumfuo Osei Tutu I. His official residence is The Manhyia Palace, also known as Asantehene's (King) Palace. It is the seat of the King of Ashanti, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and members of the royal family where all the important ceremonies like the Akwasidae festival take place.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II
The Asantehene was born on 6 May 1950 and named Nana Barima Kwaku Duah, 3rd son of 5 siblings. When he was about five years old, King Otumfuo moved into the royal household of his uncle, Oheneba Mensah Bonsu, the Hiahene, enstooled in 1952, as early preparation for his future role. He is married to Queen consort Lady Julia Osei Tutu and they have 6 children.
The Asantehene was enstooled on the 26th April 1999 as the ruler Ashanti kingdom. Although he does not hold a political position, he is very powerful not only in Ashanti land but in Ghana. In 2019, Osei Tutu II put a curfew on the city of Kumasi for a few weeks when his mother passed away, anyone seen on the streets after 6pm could be killed (that's part of their culture).
Also, in an election year, presidential candidates also need to convince the Asantehene as well as other traditional kings as to why they are the best candidates because of the influence they have over their people.
He holds an office where he meets all dignitaries from all over the world.
The Asantehene positional is cultural with the main role to protect the Ashanti Golden Stool, believed to hold the spirit of the Ashanti nation and is the Ashanti's people most prized possession. This is why, he takes central part in the Akwasidae celebration.
The Akwasidae celebration is part of the Adae festival, celebrated on a Sunday of every 6 weeks in Kumasi by the Ashanti people. It is very important to the Ashanti people because it commemorates the date that the Ashanti Golden Stool was magically brought down from heaven.
The Asantehene is very much loved and revered in the Ashanti kingdom and is respected by all the Ghaneens and by the political and financial institutions in Ghana. He is the first Ghanaian and African traditional leader to gain the support and funding of the World Bank to do community projects, the peace and progress he has brought not only to his people of the Asante Region but to Ghana as a whole, which all combined makes him an exceptional Asantehene.
The Asantehene also works through The Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Foundation.
The foundation seeks to improve the lives of Ghanaians by implementing the ideals, values and visions of its patron, the Asantehene and the Asante Kingdom, using this medium to accelerate the transformation of Africa.
If you are interested in a short stay in Kumasi, please contact us for more details and make your dream holiday come true.
Pictures: Manhyia Palace
Tagged as: Akwasidae festival, Ashanti kingdom, Festivals in Africa, Festivals in Ghana, Ghana, Kumasi, Manhyia palace, Osei Tutu II, Otumfuo
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