His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, ruler of the Asante Kingdom, will attend and participate in our international salute to the Republic of Ghana.
The Asante Kingdom is a constitutionally protected sub-national traditional state in union with Ghana.
The Asantehene’s visit to Memphis will highlight some of Ghana’s culture and traditions. His Majesty will lead a contingent of paramount chiefs representing all regions of the Asante Kingdom, divisional chiefs, Princes, and stool attendants of the Golden Stool on a special visit to Memphis during International Week, May 2-8, 2022.
During the trip, His Majesty will meet with government and business officials and visit area attractions and cultural components of this year’s international celebration. The
King is scheduled to attend Ghana Live! Riches & Rhythms performance and the Black Star Black Tie Gala which will celebrate the King’s 72nd birthday.
The King plans to address local college students in a public speech. His Majesty’s most recent public speaking appearance in the United States was in 2019 when he addressed the United Nations in New York City. The royal visit to Memphis will culminate with the King conducting a traditional Durbar Ceremony on historic Beale Street on Saturday, May 7.
About the Asantehene
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is the 16th Asantehene (King of Asante).
His Majesty was born on May 6th, 1950 (Barima Kwaku Dua, Otumfuo Osei Tutu). He is the youngest of 5 children and a direct descendant of the founder of the Asante Kingdom, Osei Tutu I. In 1999, he received a nomination to succeed the throne from his late brother. He ascended the Golden Stool on April 26th, 1999. His platform as King focuses on furthering peace among the region and developing the education, economy, and health of His people.
His Majesty also works with international organizations to help promote peace throughout the world and in particular, the African continent. He has secured a World Bank grant to lead a pilot project that promotes partnerships with traditional authorities. This project will challenge the Traditional Leaders to demonstrate their capacity with help from funding by the World Bank to improve and develop their own communities. This has helped to create awareness of the importance of the region’s traditional cultural heritage.
About the Asante Empire
The Asante Empire, also spelled Ashanti, is known, and widely studied for its military prowess, wealth, architecture, and culture. The empire occupied what is now southern Ghana in the 18th and 19th centuries.
In 1701, the Asante state was founded by Osei Tutu, who conquered and unified 30 smaller states into the Asante Kingdom. He was installed as Asantehene, or king, and established Kumasi as the capital city. The king’s authority was symbolized by the Golden Stool of Asante, on which all kings of Ashanti are enthroned. It can be seen on the modern-day flag of Ashanti (pictured top left).
From the beginning of the 18th century, the Asante empire dealt in the transatlantic trade. They supplied slaves and gold to both the British and Dutch traders on the Gulf of Guinea. In return, they received firearms from the Europeans. This helped them to establish their power and aid in their military expansion. By the 1750s, it was the largest and most powerful empire in the region.
The Asante empire fought against the British occupying forces in 1824 and managed to maintain their statehood until 1902 when they were formally declared a British colony. In the 1930s, the Asantehene title was restored as a figurehead sovereign.
Today, the Ashanti Kingdom, exists as a constitutionally protected, sub-national traditional state in union with the Republic of Ghana. The current king of the Asante Empire is Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Asantehene. The kingdom economic revenue is derived mainly from gold and agricultural products.
Over the years, the Otumfuo Osei Tutu II foundation has impacted 100,000 students through educational scholarships.