Manhyia Palace

Akwasidae Marks Climax of Otumfuo’s Enstoolment Anniversary Today

The air in Kumasi, Ghana’s cultural capital, is thick with anticipation and reverence today as the city not only celebrates the revered Akwasidae festival but also marks the grand culmination of the 25th enstoolment anniversary of His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene.

Combining centuries-old traditions with modern-day pomp and ceremony, Manhyia Palace is alive with the sounds of drumming, singing, and jubilation as thousands gather to pay homage to their beloved monarch.

Dressed in their finest traditional attire and anniversary cloth, the people of Asanteman and visitors from far and wide converge on the Royal Palace grounds to witness history unfold.

At the heart of the festivities stands Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who, though, yet to arrive will be resplendent in his regal attire.

The Anniversary Planning Committee has announced that the procession accompanying Otumfuo’s arrival at the Manhyia Palace, where the grand durbar is ongoing, will be of monumental scale.

Spanning from the Manhyia Palace to the Airport, the procession will feature some of the Kingdom’s most cherished treasures, including the Golden Stool. The Golden Stool is kept in a sacred place and is only brought out on special occasions.

“The procession with which Otumfuo will come to the Manhyia Palace where the grand durbar will take place will be a huge one. Its length would span from the Manhyia Palace to the Airport. The procession will cart some of the treasures of the Kingdom out to show the world. Among them would be the Golden Stool. The Golden Stool will not always be kept out of the public view and so we will bring it out for the world to catch a glimpse.”

Foreign dignitaries expected at the event include the Prime Minister for Trinidad and Tobago, Dr the Hon, Keith Rowley,  Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, Nasser Bourita, who will represent the King, Mohammed VI,  and a representative of the President of Ivory Coast, H.E Alassane Ouattara.

The Ghanaian dignitaries include President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo, Second Lady Samira Bawumia, Chief Justice Gertrude Araba Esaaba Sackey, the Chief of Staff at the Presidency, Akosua Frema Osei Opare and a representative of Speaker Alban Bagbin.

Highlights of Events Leading to Climax 

The anniversary celebration was set rolling following the successful commemoration of the 150th Sagrenti War anniversary on February 6, 2024.

It began with a  clean-up exercise across Asanteman on March 30 and the commissioning of a multi-purpose auditorium constructed by the King at the Manhyia Palace on April 15.

Otumfuo hosted two separate durbars, the first on April 21 with fetish priests and priestesses and the second on April 24 with ethnic groups domiciled in Asanteman.

Ahead of that was the launch of a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) competition dubbed Otumfuo STEM Festival on April 15, 2024.

Next were firework activities at designated venues including Manhyia and Prempeh Assembly Hall on the eve of April 26, which marked exactly 25 years since Otumfuo ascended the Golden Stool.

On April 26, a non-denominational thanksgiving service took place at the Dwabrem grounds at the Manhyia Palace and there was an anniversary dinner at the residence of the King in the evening.

There was also a storied photo and video exhibition showcasing the reign of the King at newly commissioned auditorium at the Manhyia Palace in April.

Another thanksgiving service, a dinner and a choral musical concert were held on May 6 to mark the 74th birthday of the King.

From May 7 to May 10, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) held a four-day programme in honour of their Chancellor.

Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II hosted a banquet for the diplomatic community and corporate sector players on the eve of his anniversary climax.

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