King of the Ashanti
He is Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, 49, successor to Otumfuo Opoku Ware I. "If I fail to continue the exploits of my ancestors and fail in my duty, I contravene the Great Oath of Asante" he claimed during the swearing of the oath. The king inherits a kingdom whos power stretches past the current Ghanaian republic.
In the sixteenth century, the Fanti of Denkyera controlled a large segment of the Akan population. Every year, the Fanti exacted a tribute of nubile young girls and four jars of gold powder from the Ashanti. To get out from under the yoke, Okomfo Anyoke, a village priest in Kiwaman, assembled the chiefs of the principal clans in the city of Kumasi. He went into a trance and used his magic to make a Golden Throne appear before Osei Tutu, the chief of the Ashanti. The priest declared the throne sacred. From then on, it symbolized the Ashanti nation, and no one was allowed to sit on it. Osei Tutu was crowned first Asantehene. With Okomfo Anyoke’s help, Osei Tutu defied Dim Gyakyeri, the formidable king of the Denkyera.
In 1701, the two armies clashed at Feyiase. The Asantehene crushed the Denkyera forces. Over a hundred thousand died on the battle field. Pillage and looting went on for nearly two weeks. The victory marked the beginning of an Ashanti supremacy that was to last two centuries. It took the English seventy years and seven military campaigns to defeat the Ashanti armies. During one of those campaigns Colonel Baden-Powell, the founder of the Boy Scouts, sacked Kumasi, the Ashanti capital. In 1896, the English broke Ashanti resistance, looted gold and art objects, captured King Prempeh and deported him to the Seychelles. The Golden Throne had disappeared. The English were sure they had taken it, but were mistaken. The real throne reappeared thirty-five years later in Kumasi.