The Ashanti Regional capital of Kumasi went dead on Thursday evening as the late Asantehemaa, Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem II was taken to her final resting place, the Breman Royal Mausoleum.
Being the final day of the four-day royal burial rites referred to in Twi as ‘doteyie’, the Manhyia Palace had placed a ban on all commercial activities in the city and also asked all residents to stay indoors after 7:00pm to allow for the performance of some rites before the burial later in the night.
The ban on commercial activities had virtually turned into a holiday for Kumasi residents as the only active place in the city was the Manhyia Palace where the burial service for the late queen mother was being held with dignitaries including President Nana Akufo-Addo, his Vice, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and their wives, Rebecca and Samira as well as former presidents J.J. Rawlings and J.A. Kufuor in attendance.
The empty streets of Kumasi
Though some had questioned the legality of the ban on commercial activities and the curfew describing it as a restriction on free movement, residents adhered strictly to the Manhyia directive.
Many mourners were seen hurrying from the funeral grounds when the burial service concluded at about 5:00pm in their apparent bid beat the curfew.
At about 8:00pm, the Garden City as Kumasi is popularly referred to was dead silent with no human activities.
Checks at places like Asafo, Amakom and Bantama which are popular for their bubbling night life showed residents were indeed respecting the memory of their queen mother.
Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem II’s casket, embossed with the logo of Manhyia made from gold and adorned with golden trims on the side was taken through the Bantama Royal Mausoleum before being taken for internment.
Born in 1905, she ascended the throne in 1977 and oversaw the reign of Otumfuor Opoku Ware II and Otumfuor Osei Tutu II, his biological son.