Two weeks ago was the 10th anniversary of our king, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II. A king?, you may ask. Yes, even though our country has a president, and we hold elections every four years, we still have a king! This isn't a king like England has a queen, though. Our king is the ruler of the Akan people. Kumasi is his capital city, and the Ashanti Region (state) is his domain.
Before Ghana existed, many tribes and their chiefs lived in this land. Over time, the Ashanti became a fierce and strong tribal warrior nation. Their king or chief continued to gain more and more power as they conquered more and more smaller tribes. These conquests continued until the British colonizers attacked Kumasi and took their king into exile. Even though the king was taken, the kingdom did not fall apart. The Ashanti believed the power to hold their nation together was in the Golden Stool (the king's throne). The British demanded it when they captured the king, but the keepers of the stool had hidden it away and gave the British a fake.
Even though they did not have a king for some time, as soon as they were allowed, the Ashanti reinstated a king.
Our current king has now been in power for ten years. He is seen as a "keeper of the culture" and therefore, his powers don't conflict with that of our federal government. About 3 1/2 million people live in the Ashanti Region, and about 5 million people claim him as their leader.
In the pictures of his anniversary celebration, you will see many umbrellas. Each umbrella is for a chief - the bigger the umbrella, the more important the chief!
The president, former heads-of-state, and many ambassadors and diplomats from all over Africa came to the durbar.
This is a picture of the king. He is very difficult to see, because the picture was zoomed from verrrrrrrrry far away.