Ghana was recently celebrated at the 44th Memphis in May festival, with eminent personalities going to this noteworthy ceremony in the U.S. The West African country, was the discussion of town, as noticeable characters crowded to the streets of Memphis to have a ‘chomp’ of the lovely durbar.
Among these noticeable characters was the Asante King Otumfour Osei Tutu II. The Asantehene was the main highlight of the 2022 Memphis Festival for Ghana, subsequently was recognized by a large number of people at the festival. The rich culture of Asante was in full presentation in Memphis, USA on Saturday, May 7, when a durbar of Asanteman was held to mark activities denoting the 44th Memphis in May International Festival.
The durbar highlighted the Asantehene, Otumfuor Osei Tutu II, who sat in state to receive tribute from Ghanaians including his subjects and other well wishers. A parade made up chiefs, Queens in their lovely kente outfits, and retainers began from 126 Beale Street finishing at the Handy Park, exactly 300 metres away where the Otumfuor Osei Tutu sat in state.
Otumfuor was embellished in gold and as he walked gloriously with the ‘Mponponsuohene’ ( Chief Sword Bearer of Asante) showing the Mponponsuo ( the blade which is used by a recently chosen Asantehene), hordes of other nationals applauded and took photographs of the beautiful scene.
Among the individuals who paid proper respect were Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States of America, Hajia Alima Mahama; Ghana’s Consul General in New York, Mr Atta Boafo; a previous U.S. Representative to Ghana, Stephanie Sanders Sullivan, and the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Memphis in May International Festival, James L. Holt.
Many Ghanaians who were generally Asantes came from all parts of the United States to take an interest in the durbar. Fontomfrom and kete gathering gave rich customary music to the durbar.
Flags of the Asante realm which includes a gold even strip representing the mineral riches of Asante, a green level strip representing the rich rainforests, two meager white flat strips and a black strip conquered by the Golden Stool, was disseminated to whites and blacks who lined the streets and as Otumfuor walked to the durbar grounds, they waved the flags in energy. In a concise discourse, James L Holt said Memphis was honoured with the illustrious presence of Otumfuor.
The Juabenhene, Nana Otuo Siriboe II who spoke on behalf of the Asantehene, said Asante and Ghana had a great deal to impart to Memphis and the United States. The durbar was a noteworthy one, as the Asantehene additionally celebrated his 72nd birthday at the festival, in United States.
A gathering was held at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, where in excess of 200 individuals assembled to wish him a blissful birthday.
Among the visitors were Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States, Hajia Alima Mahama; the immediate past United States Ambassador to Ghana, Stephanie S. Sullivan; business visionaries from Ghana and the United States, and several others from the Ghanaian community in the United States.
At the festival was many traditional chiefs from Asanteman, including the Juabenhene, Nana Otuo Siriboe II, and the Omanhene of Kenyasi Number One in the Ahafo Region, Nana Osei Kofi Abiri. The Asantehene’s entrance was met with a big applause from the crowd.
There was also an event named, ‘Black Star Black Tie Gala’, which included performance from the Ghana Dance Company, performer Okyeame Kwame, the Memphis African Jazz Ensemble, and American artist, Wendy Moten.
There were speeches from Ambassador Hajia Alima Mahama; the President and CEO of Memphis in May International Festival, James L. Holt, and the Chairman of the 2022 Memphis in May International Festival, Charles Ewing.
The durbar was crowned with an extraordinary show of the Otumfuo Commemorative Gold Coin to the city of Memphis.
The Juabenhene who is also the Chairman of the Council of State, presented the 24 carat gold coin to the Chairman of the 2022 Memphis in May International Festival, Charles Ewing.
Nana Otuo Siriboe was joined in the presentation by Alex Dadey, Executive Chairman of the KGL Group and Board Chairman of Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), and Richard Adjei Mensah Ofori Atta, the Executive Chairman of the E ON 3, an Accra-based business solutions provider which was given the authorisation by the Bank of Ghana to mint the Otumfuo Commemorative Gold Coin to celebrate the Asantehene for his outstanding contribution to peace and national development.