Otumfuo Osei Tutu II (left), The late Asantehemaa Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem II (right)
SAD MOMENTS will certainly unfold at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi today where the late Asantehemaa, Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem II, will be laid in state for four days.
All roads in the Ashanti regional capital would definitely lead to the palace where the four-day Ashanti traditional burial rites had been planned, beginning today (Monday) to Thursday.
The highlight of today’s solemn event will have the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, filing past the body of the deceased Asante queen mother – his biological mother – to pay his last respects.
At a media briefing in Kumasi, the Akyeamehene of the Asantehene, Nana Nsuase Poku Agyemang III, said on Monday, January 16, 2017 that the body would be laid in state after some rituals had been performed at dawn for the members of the Asanteman Council, elders and royals to file past the body and wait for the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, to also do same.
From then, the Otumfuo will sit in state and receive dignitaries. Members of the public will also be allowed to pay their last respects to the late Asantehemaa.
On Tuesday, January 17, 2017, traditional rulers from other parts of the country, including members of the National House of Chiefs, various Regional Houses of Chiefs and heads of corporate institutions will take their turns to file past the Asantehemaa’s body and express their condolences to the Otumfuo.
Wednesday has been set aside for dignitaries, including the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; former presidents, Members of Parliament (MPs) and heads of state from Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Swaziland, Seychelles and members of the diplomatic corps.
Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem II joined her ancestors at an advanced age of 111 years at the Manhyia Palace a few months ago after a short illness, officials at the palace announced.
A one-week celebration of the queen mother’s passing was observed at the palace; and it attracted dignitaries, including the then President Mahama and Nana Akufo-Addo – who was then an opposition leader.
The late queen mother reigned as Asantehemaa for 39 years having ascended the great stool in 1977.
Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem II is credited for playing important and crucial roles which had contributed to the massive transformation of the Asante Kingdom in recent times.
She had been the pillar behind Otumfuo and also his number one advisor for the past 17 years that he has been occupying the Golden Stool.
Per the programme for the burial, a mega church service would be held for the late Asantehemaa on Thursday after which she would be taken to Bantama for wreath laying and other traditional rites.
Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem II’s mortal remains would finally be interred at the Royal Mausoleum at Breman on Thursday night; and the people of Kumasi had been advised to stay indoors during the performance of that traditional rite.
FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi