The appearance of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Monarch of the Asante Kingdom, took a different twist during the Kuntunkuni Durbar at the Manhyia Palace on Thursday, February 8, 2024.
Unlike other events when the King is bedecked in gold ornaments, yesterday’s appearance had a unique twist.
Though eye-catching and breathtaking, the entire garb with which Otumfuo attended the durbar was symbolic, conveying the mood of the King and Asanteman to the world.
On his head was the tiger-skin headgear, hinting at the fearsomeness of the Asante King to their foes and attackers.
Instead of the usual necklaces, wristbands and anklets, the King wore what is called “sumanmma” – worn only during battles by the Asantehene.
Meanwhile, his Kuntunkuni cloth, worn during moments of solemnity, called “nsɔ me nhwƐ” to wit “Do Not Provoke Me”, communicated the strength and might of the King.
The Durbar held at the Dwabrem grounds was used to commemorate the Sagrenti War, which saw the entire city of Kumasi left in ruins by the British soldiers led by Sir Garnet Wolseley, the then-governor of the Gold Coast in 1874.
Speaking at the event, Otumfuo said the Sagrenti War was an unprovoked attack on Asanteman.
“I welcome you all for coming here today. It is sad and at the same time a joyous day. The sad side is that the British invaded and attacked us without any provocation. We didn’t offend them in any way, we didn’t trespass on them, but just because we continued to thrive and enlarge and boycotted their rule over us, they attacked us.”
“Asante is alive. 150 years ago, the whites destroyed this city but the Golden Stool remained. All kinds of guns came here but the Golden Stool remained untouched. So far as the Golden Stool remains, no one can touch Asanteman. Nananom fought with their blood to save it.”
He used the occasion to issue a stern caution against politicians and anyone secretly fashioning foul plots against Asantes in Ghana and reiterated that Asanteman was an independent state before the formation of Ghana.
He also emphasized that Asanteman is indestructible, evidence of which resides in the story of the Sagrenti War of 1874.
“You will be overcome if you decide to take out Asante. All those who plot against the kingdom must stop. We live here in love…Politicians must know that power is transient. Use love to rule. If you rely on your power, remember that your time will end soon.”