The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has become the first black monarch in history to be featured in the famed Pirelli Calendar in its 60-year-old history.
Shot by 28-year-old Ghanaian visual artist Prince Gyasi, a grandson of the King, the 2024 calendar entitled “Timeless”, celebrates people who have made their mark and are destined to inspire future generations.
Gyasi portrays the essence of timeless elegance and luxury, and dived into the profiles of individuals showcased in the 2024 Pirelli calendar and witness how they reshape narratives within their respective domains to embody the concept of timelessness.
Apart from Otumfuo, the calendar also features a number of black talent, including actors Angela Bassett and Idris Elba, author Margot Lee Shetterly, poet Amanda Gorman, and model, Naomi Campbell.
The calendar was unveiled in London on Thursday, November November 30, 2023.
This great and historical achievement of Gyasi, which will be unveiled in 2024 to coincide with the Otumfuo’s Silver Jubilee.
The Pirelli Calendar is a prestigious annual not-for-sale trade calendar published by the United Kingdom subsidiary of the Italian tyre manufacturing company, Pirelli.
The company began the publication of the calendar in 1964.
The CNN wrote: “ Headlined by Idris Elba, Angela Bassett and Pirelli habitué Naomi Campbell, as well as the notable inclusion of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, king of Ghana’s Asante people, it marks a bold and colourful departure for the once-risqué calendar.”
Within its pages, Gyasi refers to his heritage, his community, his inspirations – from the mythology he used to enjoy reading with his mother to His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu.
In his introductory script, he indicated that those featured in the calendar include both people he admired as a child as well as new inspirations, describing them as “timeless”.
“I realised that it isn’t about being young or old, fresh or wise. What makes these icons who they are lies elsewhere. It is in their focus, their dedication, their passion. They never stop. They never quit,” he writes.
“I want to tell a story that explores the power of how our achievements are experienced in the eyes of those we inspire. In the end, this project is not about my journey or yours; it’s about theirs, my community, the youth. This is about providing a chance for other kids like me to see these images and to be inspired to become their own best selves.”