It was a veritable show of culture, power and royalty at Manhyia, Sunday, when the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall visited the Ashanti Kingdom to pay their respects to the Ashanti king.
For a relationship built on sweat and blood, sealed by mutual respect and solidarity, nothing was more admirable than the sight of two monarchs-House of Windsor and Golden Stool- share the glow of their Majesties in yet another Royal Visit to Ghana.
For Prince Charles it was his second coming not just to Ghana but to Manhyia; for the Duchess it was her first taste of the rich Ghanaian culture part of which is steeped in beliefs, values and power of the Ashanti kingdom.
The drums were beaten with love and fury, with well dressed women in Kente and bare-chested men gesturing, dancing and communicating at the same time eulogizing the power of the rich Ashanti kingdom.
The royal couple took turns to share pleasantries with the Asantehene who welcomed his guests with splendor and majesty.
War of Poverty
It was not only about culture. It was also about war- illiteracy, disease and poverty.
The Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II courted the support of Britain in the fight against poverty and illiteracy in Ghana.
According to him, the European country cannot “walk away from the challenges of economic development in Ghana.”
He said Ghana is at war with illiteracy, poverty, disease and needs an ally in the UK to win that war.
“…I am sure you have seen the tremendous opportunities for collaboration in the development of the country
I dare say that Britain can no longer walk away from the challenge of economic development of Ghana. To make sense of our history and the bonds that tie us together you must have the courage to invest in the growth of country even more so now when you have Brexit dangling in front of us,” he said.
“…Behind all the drumming and dancing this nation is at war with our brains. It is a war against poverty, illiteracy and disease. It is a war we must win and we want you and our friends to be on our side through your investment,” he said.
The Ashanti King described the Commonwealth, whose next head will be the Prince of Wales, as the “finest creation of modern history.”
He touted the credentials of Queen Elizabeth as one with the “moral authority” her “unfailing dignity” and with “motherly wisdom” values which have seen the Commonwealth grow from strength to strength.
“The thought of Commonwealth without her guiding hands feels some with gloom,” he said but was quick to add that in Prince Charles, who takes over from his mother as head of the Commonwealth, is “an assurance of safety and continuity.”
He said with the Prince of Wales the “Commonwealth will emerge stronger.”
The Otumfuo did not fail to underline the great bond between British Monarch and the Golden Stool which he said was established with blood and has since
“Akwasidae is our traditional day of joy and contemplation but today we are not only celebrating Akwasidae, but we are also celebrating the march of history and the enduring values of friendship and mutual respect,” he stated.
Prince Charles shared his fondest memories some 40 years ago when he first came to Ghana and Manhyia and paid glowing tributes to the relationship between the two royalties.
“…It was so important to my wife and to myself that we should come to Kumasi to pay our respects to your majesty and to honour the traditions and values of your kingdom which continue to play such an important role in Ghana’s vibrant democracy.
“We are tremendously touched by the warmth of the welcome we have received here today,” he said