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The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, will travel to the Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean where 120 years ago, his great-uncle, Nana Agyeman Prempeh I, the Asantehene, was exiled.

The late Agyeman Prempeh was exiled together with his parents and 50 other chiefs, queenmothers and servants by the British colonial authorities for 27 years.

The government of Seychelles, through its Ministry of Culture and Tourism, invited Otumfuo Osei Tutu as a special guest of honour at the ‘Carnaval International De Victoria’; the biggest Creole festival, expected to be attended by nationals of many countries.

The Asantehene’s delegation will comprise senior chiefs, palace poets, royal drummers, horn blowers, historians and a number of business executives, 52 in number, for the one-week visit. They will showcase the Ashanti cultural heritage.

The visit will also attract more than 12 international broadcasting organisations.

The journey of the exiled king was full of emotions and the most sensitive memorial in Asante history in the 19th century and four years after the king’s exile (in 1896), there was the last Anglo-Asante war, also known as the Yaa Asantewaa War of 1900.

Itinerary

A release from the Manhyia Palace, signed by the Chief of Staff, Mr Kofi Badu, said the Asantehene would meet with the President of Seychelles. There will be cultural protocol agreements between Kumasi and Victoria and the finalising of the discussion started by UNESCO and the Government of Seychelles on the plantation villa house where the late Nana Prempeh (whose story of 27 years in exile is similar to Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment) lived.

The Asantehene and the delegation will also attend a memorial service at the St. Paul’s Anglican Church and meet with descendants of Nana Prempeh who live on the island.

The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Creative Arts, as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, taking opportunity of the visit and the week-long festival, will mount a promotional stand and advocacy platform to promote Ghana’s heritage. They will also have consultations with the Seychelles’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Background

Contemporary interest in Asante-Seychellois relations was rekindled when after his enstoolment as Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu and the Manhyia Palace commissioned the writer and documentary filmmaker, Mr Ivor Agyeman-Duah, to jointly produce “Yaa Asantewaa : The Heroism of an African Queen”, with the Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation (SBC).

The late Professor Emeritus Albert Adu Boahen served as the production advisor. It was premiered at the US Embassy in Accra, The Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), London and adopted by the PANAFEST Foundation, under the auspices of the African Union, and also by the government of The Netherlands to commemorate the tercentenary diplomatic relations dubbed ‘The Link: Ghana and the Black Soul of the Netherlands’.

A sequel by the same writer and producer and the SBC, ‘The Return of the King to Seychelles’ will be done after the visit.

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