There was an unusual quietness in the Kumasi Metropolis. Few vehicles, including even the commuters (trotro)plied the roads. The Asafo and Kejetia markets had few traders doing business, with some stores in Adum, the hub of business, closed, on Wednesday.
Reason? The majority of the people had thronged the Manhyia Palace to join Asanteman to mark the fifth anniversary of the enstoolment of the Asantehemaa, Nana AmaKonaduYiadom III.
The occasion, which coincided with the Awukudae, an important festival on the Asante traditional calendar, celebrated on Wednesdays nine times in a year in 42-day intervals, also marked the commemoration of the fifth anniversary of the passing on of the immediate past Asantehemaa, Nana AfiaKobiSerwaaAmpem II.
It was celebrated under the theme, “The Role of the contemporary Queenmother.”
Present to grace the occasion included the Vice President, DrMahamuduBawumia,his wife Samira,and a host of government ministers and members of parliament.
Others included the former first lady, Nana KonaduAgyemang-Rawlings, the First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, as well as the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei Opare.
The Colombian, French and AngolaAmbasssdors to Ghana, High Commissioner of Canada, among others were also present.
There was a delegation of the former President, John Dramani Mahama, led by a former Ashanti Regional Minister, Dr Samuel Sarpong.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene, entered the Dwabrem, where a grand durbar was held for the celebration at 12:40p.m.
And, at exactly 1:30p.m. Nana KonaduYiadom, the only person carried in a palanquin, also entered the grand durbar to traditional treats of firing of musketry.
The queen-mother known in private life as Nana AmaKonadu,also known as Nana Panin or NaaPanin,was born in 1927, at Benyaade Shrine at Merdan,in Kwadaso in Kumasi, in the day of the restoration of Ashanti Confederacy.
Her father was Opanin Kofi Fofie, also known as Keewuo, a carpenter from Besease, near Atimatim in Kumasi, with the mother being the late Asantehemaa, who died in 2016, after reigning for 39 years.
In 1959, she was Christianised and baptised into the Saviour Church of Ghana with the Christian name, Ruth.
The church has named a school at Bonwire, after her(Nana KonaduSaviourSchool).
She is also of the Anglican faith, because by convention every Asantehene and Asantehemaais of the Anglican faith.
Nana KonaduAgyemang-Rawlings praised the queen mother saying since her enstoolment she had held court and conducted the affairs of the court to the admiration and satisfaction of all.
She called on all and sundry to learn the calmness of the queenmother who she said had been advising her even prior to her enstoolment “that has made me what I am today.”
On her part, Mrs Akufo-Addo, described the queenmother as astute, wise and an embodiment of women, and praised her for her leadership.
Mrs Frema Opare, also praised the queenmother for being kind and giving good counsels.
DrBawumiaurged queenmothers to be agents to tackle hunger, promote good health, especially among girls and women.
He said queenmothers should have roles to play in promoting tourism and girl child education.
Dr Bawumia added his voice to the showering of praises of good leadership of Nana KonaduYiadom, touching on her calmness and kindness.
The Presidency donated GH¢100,000 and other items toward the celebration.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu thanked all and sundry who made the celebration a success.
He observed that women had a role in building Asanteman and the nation, and such a role would always be upheld, as he called on women in Asante to be courageous just as the late YaaAsantewaa was.
OtumfuoOsei Tutu commended the queenmothers for the great show of love, unity and harmony for making the anniversary a big success.
He mentioned that the queenmother’s stool was offered to Nana KonaduYiadom “not because she is my elder sister, but that she was due for it.”
FROM KINGSLEY E.HOPE, KUMASI