Otumfuo's royal visit: Stunning chemistry of Ga-Ashanti cultures

  Tue, 11 Jun 2024
Social News Otumfuo's royal visit: Stunning chemistry of Ga-Ashanti cultures

Guests started arriving at the palace at about 11 am on Sunday. Planning committee members hurriedly put finishing touches to seating arrangements and other protocols at the forecourt.

Two royal guards were spotted around the seat to be occupied by the Ga Mantse, ostensibly to ensure nobody tampered with security in that area.

Talking drums were in tune for the occasion as the muscular men on duty made them produced heavy and pleasant rhythm, serenading dignitaries seated and adorned in radiant Kente and other traditional costumes.

King Tackie Teiko Tsuru II was receiving the overlord of the Ashanti Kingdom, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, and everything had to be in order. The Asantehene's visit to the Ga State happened some 78 years after his predecessors had done same.

Weeks before the royal visit, the Ga Mantse and his entourage had travelled to Manhyia Palace to present assorted items, including a ram, on the 25th leadership anniversary of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, and it was time for the custodian of the Ashanti land to reciprocate the gesture.

The grand durbar, which attracted hundreds of dignitaries and citizens from both regions, only solidified the cordial relationship between the two distinguished traditional rulers.

It also signified unity and collaboration between the people of both regions and beyond.

For about three hours, participants witnessed the chemistry of beautiful Ga and Ashanti cultures, depicted through drumming, music and dance.

Perhaps, the Asafo companies (traditional warriors) should have warned the invited guests to come with earmuff or headphones because they were going to be “bombarded” every minute with traditional gun salutes, delivered by muskets at the square.

As host, King Tackie Teiko Tsuru and his entourage paved the way to the forecourt and greeted observers from far and near, awaiting proceedings of the historic meeting.

The Ga Mantse's team included the Paramount Chief of Sempe, Nii Adote Otintor II, other Paramount Chiefs, Queens, and Priestesses of the Ga State. The Gbese Mantse and Adonten of the Ga State, Nii Ayi-Bonte II, also featured prominently.

An attractive all-white group of maidens carrying calabashes lined with white feathers led the procession of the Ga Royals, and clearly caught the gaze of persons experiencing that aspect of Ga tradition for the first time.

Mr Henry Quartey, Minister of the Interior together with some government officials and members of the Ga Traditional Council, subsequently took turns to pay homage to His Royal Majesty King Tackie Teiko Tsuru II.

At about 1 pm, the sirens and dispatch riders ushered in the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and his eminent team of traditional rulers, appearing in colorful Kente and radiant ornaments.

After all traditional permissions and clearance were granted, the royal guests from Ashanti took their seats on a special dais provided at the forecourt.

Traditional, Christian, and Muslim religious leaders blessed the durbar before Nii Ayi-Bonte proceeded to officially welcome Otumfuo Osei Tutu II. Several dignitaries later lined up to pay homage to the Asantehene.

Part of the customs at the gathering required Nii Kwashie Gborlor IV, Chief of Ngleshie Amanfro, to perform the “Obonu” dance, a special Ga traditional dance reserved for special occasions. The “Kple” ritual dance performed by Ga women also had its place during the celebration.

State security agencies on duty ensured the gathering was peaceful as history was re-enacted on Sunday, June 9, 2024.

All of that culminated in Otumfuo Osei Tutu's generous contribution of GH¢ 500,000 to an educational endowment fund in the Ga State to help cater for needs of children, who he described as “the future” of the region.

The Asantehene was instructive when he stated that chieftaincy was “no longer about war and conquering territories” but a push for progress and development of the nation.

Expressing readiness to offer support, he noted that the decade-long relationship between both regions would be sustained.

Otumfuo again sealed his pledge, donating assorted items and cash towards the 2024 Homowo celebrations.

King Tackie Teilko Tsuru was honoured by the respect shown to him and his people and thanked the Asantehene for the financial support and called for unity among the people of the Ga State.

For Mr Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus Glover, Greater Accra Regional Minister, said the Ga State was privileged to host the Ashanti King and would tap into his rich expertise.

He described the Asantehene's reign as “an epitome of peace and symbol of quality leadership,” saying the Ashanti King had made chieftaincy “beautiful”.

The beauty of the celebration goes beyond the Ga and Ashanti Kingdom. It was an occasion worth emulating by other traditional rulers as the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu and King Tackie Teiko Tsuru renewed a significant bond of friendship and brotherhood.