To those who have never set eyes on the famous Golden Stool, April 26, 2009, offers a unique opportunity for them to have a view of it.
The day, which marks exactly 10 years of the enthronement of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II as Asantehene, will be celebrated in grand style at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi and the Golden Stool will make its way to the durbar grounds.
According to the Chairman of the publicity committee of the anniversary, the Asokore Mamponghene, Nana Boakye Ansah Debrah, it will be a glorious opportunity for Ghanaians and indeed the entire world to have a view of the stool, which is the embodiment of the soul and spirit of Asante.
Thousands of people including Ghana’s President, John Evans Atta Mills and other presidents and former presidents from the world over are expected to witness the ceremony.
Nana Debrah said the planning committee was considering telecasting the anniversary celebration live to enable the millions who could not make it to Kumasi to watch the occasion.
The Golden Stool does not often come out.This would, indeed, be the second time that in the reign of the current Asantehene that it will appear in public.
Adorned with pure gold, it is believed that the Golden Stool flew out from the sky at the instance of Okomfo Anokye amidst thick cloud of white dust and rested on the knees of Opemsuo Osei Tutu I, the Asantehene who united the Asante Kingdom.
History has it that it was on a Friday during a gathering of chiefs from Ashanti when the powerful fetish priest, Okomfo Anokye, ordered the stool to fall from the skies.
Traditionally, the Golden Stool never touches the ground. On the enstoolment of a new Asantehene, he is just lowered on it and raised three times. On special occasions like the coming Addaekese which commemorates the 10th anniversary of Otumfuo’s enthronement, when the golden stool is taken out, the Asantehene will follow it.
Typifying the soul, unity and symbol of Ashanti culture, the Golden Stool has been fiercely guarded by the Ashantis and have never lost it.
Indeed, Ashantis believe that they would disappear from history if ever the Golden Stool or (the Sikadwa Kofi) was taken away from them.
The current Asantehene, who is the son of the Asantehemaa, Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem, is known in private life as Nana Kwaku Dua.
A British trained university graduate, he had a private company in Kumasi before he was enstooled Asantehene.
His people describe him as “King Solomon” for his wise decisions that had seen the continuous growth and development of Asanteman.
Meanwhile, days to the grand event, Kumasi is in the celebration mood.
Tourists and other people have been trooping to the Manhyia Palace, some to see preparations going on and others to wish Otumfuo long life and good health during his reign.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has introduced modernity into the Kingship and many have benefited from his reign in the past 10 years.
Very early into his reign, he established the Otumfuo Education Fund, which has supported and continues to support thousands in their academic pursuits.
Significantly, the education fund is not reserved for indigenous Ashantis. People from other ethnic groups have benefited from the scheme, showing how the Otumfuo cares for the development of the entire nation.
Infrastructure that have come out of his initiatives are also found not only in the Ashanti Region but in other regions as well.
No wonder, many see him as a King par excellence and as he celebrates his 10 years on the Golden Stool, it is appropriate that the entire nation joins Asanteman in wishing him all the best in the years ahead.