Asantehene to shake Trinidad and Tobago; State visit will showcase Asante culture and tradition

Trinidad and Tobago will have a real taste of the rich tradition and culture of Asante, when His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II embark on a State Visit to the Caribbean nation.

The Thunder gathered that Otumfuo, in all his glory, will participate in the 2023 Emancipation Day celebration among other activities in the country of 1.53 million people . Indications are that His Majesty will be traveling with a delegation including his chiefs, courtiers and administrative staff.

Asantes in diaspora
Meanwhile, Asantes in the United States, Canada and the Caribbeans are also gearing up for Otumfuo’s visit.
Information reaching The Thunder indicates that a large number of Asantes will gather to give the King a rousing welcome .

His Majesty will arrive in Trinidad and Tobago on July 30, and will be part of a number of activities, the Foreign and Caricom Affairs Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Amery Browne announced at a press conference.

Dr. Browne added that the royal visit will further strengthen ties that bind his country and Ghana culturally and historically.

Otumfuo will be taken to the Emancipation Village, Queen’s Park Savannah for an event when he arrives.
He will pay courtesy calls on the President and Prime Minister, and also participate in a trade and investment symposium to bolster trade and investment between Africa and the Caribbean.

The King will be hosted at a dinner at the Diplomatic Centre, partake in the procession joined by Dr Keith Rowley from the Brian Lara Promenade to the QPS, attend a cocktail reception at Hilton Trinidad, visit the Desperadoes pan yard, and the Yoruba Village Square, and also tour the Point Lisas Industrial Estate before his departure.

Ashanti, Trinidad and Tobago relations
Trinidad and Tobago , and Ashanti have historical relations. Documented history has it that William Kofi Nti, whose real name was Nana Kofi Ntim, a son of the 10th Asantehene King Kofi Karikari lived in Trinidad in the 1880s.

One account stated that in March 1874, King Karikari signed a peace treaty with the British known as the Treaty of Fomena which ended the Sagrenti War [ named after the then British Army Commander, Sir Garnet Wolseley] of 1873-1874 that led to the looting of the Ashanti palace and burning of Kumasi.

In an article headed, “ This Ashanti prince designed and built a signal station in Trinidad for the British in 1883”, written by Elizabeth Ofosuah Johnson , she said the 1874 Treaty of Fomena signed by King Karikari required that the Ashanti pay an indemnity of 50,000 ounces of gold, renounce claims to Elmina for the British and remove their army from the coastline so that trade could continue. In return, the British were expected to release all Ashantis who had been captured.

King Karikari negotiated that two royal sons be taken to England to be educated while the British who then had full control over Elmina allow the Ashanti to dominate trade. This was agreed on and Kofi Ntim and another royal were taken to England.

The writer added that of the two royals that were taken to England, Prince Kofi Ntim was the only one who survived, as his royal relative died in England a few months after arrival and commencement of school as promised to the King.

With the aim of sticking to their end of the bargain, Prince Kofi Ntim was taken to the Caribbean where he was most likely to survive as the climate was very similar to Africa’s.

Quoting articles written by Sir Francis Fuller, the writer said Prince Kofi Ntim was baptized in the UK and given the English name William. He was then educated in both England and Trinidad and after, was given an appointment in Trinidad and worked closely with the army and the governor. On arrival in Trinidad, he was placed under the care of James Henry Collins, the headmaster of the Boys Model School, Tranquility, Port of Spain.

“He is most remembered for designing and leading in the construction of a Victorian-style building in 1883 on the hills to the west of Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago which was then used as a signal station for the port and army,” the writer stated

Emancipation Day
It is a public holiday in Trinidad and Tobago on August 1. Emancipation day has been celebrated in Trinidad and Tobago since 1985 when it became the first country in the world to declare a national holiday to commemorate the abolition of slavery.

Emancipation day replaced Columbus Discovery Day, which marked the arrival of Christopher Columbus on Trinidad on July 31st 1498.

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