THURSDAY, April 12- April 18, 2007
ASHANTI: The Kingdom Of Gold
By: George Asare, Kumasi
A 30 minute documentary film depicting the cultural values, traditions and the customs of the kingdom of Asante was screened at the Great Hall of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) last Saturday to educate viewers about the historical values of the Asante kingdom.
The film, which was produced by Lawer Akunor and screened by the Information Services Department attracted a large audience, including the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu 11, the former Mayor of Kumasi, Nana Akwasi Agyemang, the Vice Chancellor of the KNUST, Professor K. K Adarkwa, the former Asante Regional Minister, Mr Sampson Kwaku Boafo, the Asante Regional Director of Health Services, Dr. Kofi Asare, a veteran Kumasi based Lawyer, Paapa Dadson, Chiefs, some District Executives, businessmen, the academia, students and a cross section of the public.
Dubbed Asante: The Kingdom of Gold the documentary was also meant to create awareness among the general public on the rich cultural values of Asanteman and raise funds for the expansion of the Manhyia Palace Museum. The first 10 copies which were on CD were auctioned for 200 million cedis.
Other copies were sold for 2 million cedis each, and the expectation was that, the public would patronize as many copies of the documentary film as possible as a way of generating adequate funds to expand the Manhyia Palace Museum and effectively develop it into an excellent tourist attraction to attract a large number of both domestic and foreign tourists.
The film traced some of the historical events and values of the Asanteman Kingdom, including the Golden Stool and gold ore deposits which attracted the Europeans to do business with the kingdom, as well as the events that brought the Asantes on collusion course with the British.
It also traced the events leading to the Seychelles Island, the role played by the legendary Yaa Asantewaa to prevent the British Army from seizing the Golden Stool which is the soul and symbol of unity of Asanteman, as well as her exile to the Seychelles Island, the return of Prempeh 1, from Seychelles Island and the donation of the Manhyia Palace to him which he rejected until it was paid for.
The film also showed glimpses of Otumfuo Agyeman Prempeh 11, the Silver Jubilee celebration of the late Asantehene, Otumfuo Opoku Ware 11, his funeral as well as the enstoolment of the present Asantehene, Otumfuo Oei Tutu 11 and some of his visits to the United Kingdom and the honorary doctorate degrees bestowed on him at some universities in the United Kingdom.
The special honour conferred on the former UN Secretary General Busumburu Kofi Annan by Otumfuo Osei Tutu 11 at the forecourt of the Manhyia Palace, as well as some festive occasions of the kingdom were also given prominence in the film.
In his remarks, the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu 11 commended the Board of Trustees for their commitment on the documentary film.
He pointed out that the film which centered most on the palace museum, initiated by the late Otumfuo Opoku Ware 11, was in line with the historical, cultural and traditional values of Asanteman.
He said his desire to expand the museum to make it more attractive to the tourist sector was on focus, and therefore urged the public to give their maximum support to bring it to function.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu 11 stressed the need for all Ghanaians to support the project, explaining that, the effective development of the project would attract foreign tourist which would in turn generate adequate revenue that would enhance sustainable socio-economic development of the nation.
He said when completed, the museum would also offer opportunity for research by students to enrich their academic performances.
He however noted that most of the activities of the film centered on him to the exclusion of his predecessors, and therefore urged the Board of Trustees to research into the various roles played by his predecessors and include them in the documentary to make it more attractive.
Graphic Showbiz - Thursday, April 12 - 18 Page: 8 & 9