Kumasi / June 2, 2019
The Akwasidae Festival is an important day for the Ashanti people. Celebrated on a Sunday every six weeks, Chiefdoms from across the Ashanti Region travel to Manhyia Palace. This is the day that the current ruler of the Ashanti Kington, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, sits on the throne in the courtyard of the palace to meet the thousands who have travelled from across the country and the world, to pay homage to him. At this festival, the king holds his durbar and it’s only during this festival when so many people are given permission to shake hands with him.
This festival coincided with Kofi Kingston’s visit to Kumasi, his place of birth. The WWE Champion had not travelled back to Ghana since 1993 when he was in the seventh grade. He said that this was the perfect time to come to Ghana during the “Year of Return” when he could connect with his roots and also encourage others in the diaspora to do the same.
The festival was a magnificent display of music, traditional dance and singing. Kingston was led to Manhyia Palace by the chief of his maternal hometown, Atwima Techiman. Atwimahene Nana Antwi Agyei Brembong II, introduced the WWE Champion to Asantehene and the durbar to the resounding sounds of cheers from the chiefs and the crowd.
What an honour it was for him to meet the current ruler of the Kingdom of Ashanti. It’s a privilege many Ghanaians have yet to experience. Kingston showed his respect for the 16th Asantehene, by presenting him with a gift. It was a replica of his championship WWE Belt, which Otumfuo graciously accepted. His attendance at the festival wraps up his 4-day visit to Ghana. After all his experiences, it’s likely he won’t wait another 26 years to visit Ghana.
Written by Ivy Prosper