Kumasi Comes To A Dead Stop On Final Day Of Asantehemaa' Funeral
Kumasi, Jan 19, GNA - Ghana's second largest city of Kumasi on Thursday came to a dead stop as thousands of people turned up at the Manhyia Palace, where ceremonies for the funeral of the Asantehemaa, Nana Afua Kobi Serwaah Ampem II, were being held.
Basic schools were closed with shops and businesses including banks and insurance companies at Adum, Ash-Town, Krofrom, Bantama, Asafo, Suame, Amakom, Kejetia and Central Market and many other places shut.
The streets looked eerily quiet and the roads, usually clogged with bumper-to-bumper traffic empty.
Not even food vendors and sachet water sellers could be seen.
The deceased, the 13th Asante Queen, was the biological mother of the reigning Asante King, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
Installed in 1977, she died at the ripe age of 111, and her mortal remains would be laid to rest later deep in the night, at the Royal Mausoleum in Bremang.
That would be preceded by a burial service after which the coffin, containing her body, transported to a Mausoleum at Bantama and then to her final resting place.
Her four-day funeral was held amid tight security - strong presence of police and military officers, as the large crowd of mourners clad in black and red - signifying their somber mood, stood in long snaking queues to bid the Queen farewell.
The beauty, pomp and pageantry of Asante royal funeral, was at full blast - performances of intricate traditional drumming and dancing.
The Asantehene sat under the canopy of huge umbrellas to receive and exchange greetings with sympathizers as praise singers shouted appellations, extolling the past exploits of the Asante Kingdom.
The clattering of the executioners' swords and intermittent firing of musketry added to the attraction and the regality.
Teams of health professionals alongside the Red Cross Society and the Saint John's Ambulance and the Ghana National Fire Service were on hand throughout the period to respond to any emergency.
By Florence Afriyie Mensah/Rachel Fosuah Osei