Asanteman celebrates 15yrs of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II

The traditional city of Kumasi would go agog on Sunday when the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, celebrates Akwasidae Kese to mark 15 years of his enthronement, with the mystical Golden stool in display.

The 41,000 capacity Baba Yara Stadium at Amakom, where the Asante King was consecrated on April 26, 1999 as the 16th occupant of the Golden Stool, is the venue for the grand durbar of chiefs and people and from all indications the stadium would be overflowed with dignitories, chiefs, subjects, as well as other well wishers from far and near.

Over the past two months, a number of activities have been held as part of the anniversary, but what all have been waiting for – Akwasidae Kese – is surely going to change the temperature of the bustling city.

Flags and buntings depicting the colours of Asanteman have been flying over Kumasi typifying the expectant mood of the people. The Golden Stool

History has it that the Golden Stool, covered with pure gold, was commanded from the skies by the legendary Okomfo Anokye.

It embodies the soul and power of Asante and comes into public view only when an Asantehene is being enthroned and during the celebration of important occasions like Akwasidae Kese. Brief biography

Born in 1950, Otumfuo Osei Tutu studied accounting at the Kilburn Polytechnic in North-West London, and Human Resource Development and Public Administration at the University of North London.

He worked in various institutions before he ascended the Golden Stool. The installation process

His installation process started in March 1999, when the Kumasi Traditional Council accepted the nomination of the then 49-year-old Barimah Kwaku Duah by his mother and Asantehemaa, Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem, to succeed the late Ot­­umfuo Opoku Ware II who died on February 25, 1999.

The Asanteman Council, which comprises of paramount chiefs that owe allegiance to the Golden Stool, also accepted the nomination allowing Barima Duah to go through various traditional and customary processes before the consecration was held.

On April 5, 1999, Barima Duah took the State Sword – mponponsuo – and with his cloth dropped to his waist, swore the customary oath to the chiefs of the Kumasi Traditional Council at “Dwabrem “of the Manhyia palace where he adopted the name Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.

The coronation proper took place at the Baba Yara stadium on April 26, 1999.

Later in the evening, the Asantehene for the first time set eyes on the Golden Stool and sat on it. Politics

The political dynamics of the day had not played into the domain of the Asantehene even as some made subtle attempts to drive him into the murky arena.

A notable feature of his reign has been that he has lived above party politics embracing all politicians.  Dagbon peace matters 

Otumfuo Osei Tutu’s role in the Dagbon peace process has been phenomenal. As the chairman of the Committee of Eminent Chiefs appointed by the government to mediate in the traditional aspect of the Dagbon dispute, Otumfuo Osei Tutu has demonstrated impartiality and exceptional qualities that has seen the process going, in spite of occasional hiccups.  Sour and sweet sides

The Asantehene’s reign had been characterised by sweet and sour developments, but for a King, so adept in handling potentially explosive developments, he took the bitter pill in his strides. 

One of the bitter moments was the stealing of his ancestral jewels at the Raddison Blu Plaza Hotel in Norway in September 2012. 

Some mischievous elements attempted to link him to the act, until the Norwegian authorities arrested the perpetrators of the act. Otumfuo Education Fund

Sunday’s ceremony may not be an occasion to tell it all but at least the Asantehene, as he is known of, would give some details about the Otumfuo Education Fund, which he established to support brilliant, needy persons to pursue their education.

The Otumfuo Education Fund, which has now been embodied into the wider Otumfuo Charity Foundation, is his flagship social intervention programme, and today thousands of people, not only from the Ashanti region, but also other parts of the country have benefitted from it.

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