The Juaben township came alive, erupting into glamour and splendour amidst a wild exhibition of indigenous African culture as the world trooped to Juaben, in the Ashanti Region, to witness the climax of the year-long celebration of the golden jubilee anniversary durbar of Juabenhene, Nana Otuo Siriboe II.
The grand durbar, which was well attended by heads of state, representatives from the diplomatic community, clergy, heads of institutions, corporate Ghana, academicians and all manner of persons, indeed, symbolized the rich traditional heritage of the Akan people.
On the day, guests and people were greeted and ushered onto the Prof. Adu Boahene Memorial Square by apintim, nwomkor) and fontomfroms accompanied by enchanted and boisterous traditional songs and chorus of appellations welcomed highly profiled personalities in Ghana and across Africa.
Filled with the immortalised ancient Asante spirit of ‘Wo kum apem a, apem bɛ ba!’ the crowd that thronged to witness the historic celebration were cladded in all shapes and types of traditional and Western apparels.
This signifies the relevance and reverence of the customs and traditions of the Asante people, despite acculturation while also being a manifestation of the importance of the occasion on the traditional calendar of the people.
Traditionally, a chief ideally is the custodian of culture. It is no wonder, the extent to which the culture of the people is highlighted in all manner and forms when the need arises.
But more importantly, this also shows that Asanteman indisputably remains the cultural epicenter and the epitome of the truly rich and unblemished Ghanaian cultures.
Nana Otuo Siribuo II, who wore a special hand-woven kente to match the occasion and carried in his palanquin, led a procession of chiefs, queen mothers and elders of the Juaben area amidst drumming and dancing, to sit in state at the ceremonial grounds.
As has been the tradition, he sat in state to receive homage from Juabenman and dignitaries present, the moment other traditional rites were performed when a paramount chief of his status sat in the open.
With the Juaben township clad in Asanteman colours; the traditional green, yellow and black colour identity, every bit of happenings among the people, at the time, was expressive of the historic moment being observed.
The culture of the people is not limited to dancing, drumming and singing alone but every aspect of life; entertainment, law, mannerisms, etiquette, different institutions among others.
The highlight of the occasion was the presence of Opemsuo, Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the overlord of Asante kingdom.
Also present was President Akufo-Addo together with the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, who was on a two-day working visit to Ghana.
The Omanhene of the Juaben Traditional Area and Chairman of the Council of State used the occasion to call on authorities to make a deliberate effort to encourage the youth to take interest and participate in cultural affairs.
‘It is important to leave behind important cultural and developmental legacies for the young people of Ghana,’ Nana Otuo Siriboe II, noted.
This has been a persistent call by Nana Otuo Siriboe II, who was speaking at the grand durbar to the mark 50th anniversary of his ascension to the Juaben Oyoko stool.
Earlier, the venerable statesman, during the launch of a book he co-authored with Abyna-Ansaa Adjei, emphasized the need to enlighten the present generation on the norms, traditions and customs of the people.
He was of the view that failure to do so will be a disincentive to the present generation, who are deemed to be future leaders of the country.
The Juaben Traditional Council, he said, has introduced some traditional games and other activities to promote knowledge of the customs and practices, especially among the youth.
It was understood that the publication of the history of the Juabenhene will also contribute to making the people informed about their cultural heritage.
The book, is titled Nana Otuo Siriboe II, 1971-2021: Fifty years of distinguished service to Juaben, Asanteman and Ghana.
During his brief remarks at the colorful ceremony, he appreciated the past and present leadership of the country, for the numerous opportunities given him to serve.
President Akufo-Addo while congratulating the Juabenehene for attaining this outstanding milestone, particularly also recognized his exemplary leadership and immeasurable contributions to the state, and donated GH₵100,000 towards the occasion.
The ceremony was followed by a musical concert in the evening, to celebrate the life of the distinguished traditional leader.