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Asantehene’s wife is worth more than the title ‘lady’: She is a queen

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene has by far proven to be an outstanding King. A biblical precept goes “to whom much is given, much will be required” (Luke 12:48). Indeed, this is a King to admire.

The Asante Kingdom predates colonial Africa and Ghana with culture and history so invaluable. The kingdom may have been documented to have been in existence from the 17th Century, however, other historians have extended and connected it to Mesopotamia which was located in Iraq, Syria, Kuwait, and parts of Turkey.

Mesopotamia, (Sumerian civilization) is the oldest civilization known to humans. Oral tradition may have also suggested that the Asantes came from a hole. This only goes to make the history intriguing and enhance how great and powerful this kingdom has always been.

The “eve” of Ghana’s independence, saw agitations and suggestions for federalism instead of having the kingdom become part of the New Republic of Ghana. That was only a phase. We have to traverse most differences and today, we have been knitted into one beautiful nation, the pride of Africa. The peace and love we share have reached heights that are worthy of emulation by the world and surpass that which may exist anywhere.

The Asantes have long been expansionists. This uniqueness perhaps may be accountable for their emergence, growth, and stableness as one the most visible on top of the social structure. Interventions like the Otumfuo Education Fund have been instrumental in shaping the new generation. More Asante youths are attaining higher academic laurels and this is so applaudable.

In 2014, Forbes rated Otumfuo Osei Tutu ll highly as one of the richest Kings with an estimated net worth of $10 million. His royal majesty has equally shown good leadership by empowering Ghanaians all over because his investment in education and more isn’t reserved for only Asantes.

This is a refined man who has proven to be a good statesman over the years. His objectivity on state issues, his proactivity, and his non-partisanship have made him an authority and one of the last resorts when the country is saddled with sensitive issues.

King Leopold’s II, letter to the missionaries in Congo, 1883, suggests one prominent thing, and this is relevant to the entire continent. It states clearly that our culture and traditions were to be purposely demonized. We were to be Europeanized in every way and form so we may give prominence to everything Western and demean our culture and heritage. A calculated attempt to rob us of our self-esteem, confidence, and dignity.

Indeed our selfless ancestors put up a resistance but their defences were broken and onboard slave ships like Desire, Amistad, Aurore, Duc du Maine were the best human capital, geniuses of all kinds, gold, silver, diamond, and more. The recent call for Slavery Reparations, as re-echoed by our President may not be out of place. Colonialism created a great void that we keep struggling to fill. Coupled with bad leadership and mismanagement, we have become slaves of our past. There is still hope and as Africans, we will find our way.

Ghana is relevant politically, economically, socially, and culturally to the African continent. Our culture and traditions are the pride for many and the “Asanteness” in there, is one of the many features that can’t be unnoticed. The Asantehene is also respected, globally and has a lot of influence. He is an important custodian of our culture, heritage and the world watches with delight and amazement as he flaunts his rich culture with pride and honour wherever he represents Ghana. He is a positive model for all.

You may have also heard the saying “life is like chess”, and you may have heard as much as I have. I have also gathered that, in the game of chess, in terms of raw power, the “Queen” happens to be the most powerful. In real life, even in our traditional African setting, the King may have the best of elders and advisors in his court to help, and guide him to be at his best, but, the wife of the King, behind the scene, plays an indispensable role in how great a king may be.

Ghana, just like several African states has a patriarchal society, and the role of women and the girl child is often downplayed. It is in good taste that not so long ago, the Asantehene reiterated that his wife is his source of inspiration and very pivotal.

May I take this moment to applaud this woman for being an extraordinary wife to an extraordinary King. However, I am making an appeal that she is called by a more befitting title (Otumfuo-Yere) or another matching Asante accolade instead of “lady”. She is not a lady at all. She is more than a lady. She is a Queen.

A lady is a wife of a Lord among the English. This great woman is married to a King, not a Lord. Kings are higher than Lords and any correction in this regard is welcomed if I am wrong.

In my opinion, the title ‘lady” only belittles her before Europeans and more. Her royalty and that of her husband are not the second tiers to the royalty of the Queen of England or any King or Queen anywhere on the map. The British Kingdom, in reality, survived on the riches of Ghanaians, West Africans, and more.

Even if the Queen bestowed the title “lady” on her, she is worth more than that. She is Otumfuo-Yere Julia Osei Tutu. She is not an European. She is a custodian of our culture. She represents so much and is a representation of our ancestry as great African people.

Please let us reconsider refraining from calling her by the title lady. Long live, Ghana. Long live Asantehene, Long live Otumfuo-Yere Julia Osei Tutu.

Columnist: Dumenu Charles Selorm

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