Life and Times of Otumfuo Opoku Ware II of Ashanti Empire (30 November 1919 – 26 February 1999)
Last Updated on April 2, 2022 by Janet Mawusi
The monarch was born Jacob Matthew Poku in Kumasi, the capital of Ashanti, then the Ashanti Protectorate, in 1919 into the Ashanti royal circle of relatives. At the time, Prempeh I turned into Asantehene, as the Ashanti Emperor-King is referred to, earlier than being succeeded via his nephew Prempeh II in 1931. Prempeh II in turn became Opoku Ware II’s uncle, making the boy one among several candidates to prevail over him, as to be decided by using the Queenmother, or Nana Asantehemaa. After attending Anglican school, Poku went to Adisadel College in Cape Coast. Then, he worked as a building inspector and later for the Public Works branch from 1937 to 1943. After that, he became educated as a surveyor and labored at the Kumasi Traditional Council Hall and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. In 1945, he married every other member of the royal family, Victoria. In the Nineteen Fifties, he moved to the United Kingdom to have a look at law and was admitted to the Bar in 1962. Returning to his local country, he worked within the capital Accra first and then installed a firm in Kumasi. Through his achievement as a legal professional, Poku became able to acquire a wonderful admire in Ashanti politics. In 1968, the National Liberation Council navy government appointed him to their government board as Commissioner of Communications.
In 1970, he was named ambassador to Italy, however rapidly thereafter his uncle, the King of the Ashanti, Prempeh II, died. Due to his criminal and political successes, he changed into chosen to succeed his uncle and enthroned because the Asantehene. As King, Opoku Ware II maintained a great courting relationship with Ghana’s President Ignatius Acheampong, and later Jerry Rawlings. He focused on trying to implement the traditional justice of the Ashanti tribe, in place of becoming worried in countrywide politics. Much like his predecessors, he hardly ever seemed in publicly and normally had a spokesman to constitute him. When he did appear, he was as tradition demands blanketed in gold and wore an intricately woven kente cloth.
In 1995 or 1996, Opoku Ware II’s wife Victoria died. On February 26, 1999, the King himself died. He succeeded on April 26 with the aid of Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II after a period of mourning.
He is the primary born of two(Sir Stephen Afriyie). He has seven grandsons and 3 granddaughters(Maureen Afriyie, Sylvia Afriyie, Lennox Afriyie, Kevin Afriyie, Eugene Afriyie, Denzil Afriyie, Jeffrey Afriyie, Erin Afriyie, Aaron Afriyie, And Paul Afriye Jr.)
He centered on trying to enforce the traditional justice of the Ashanti ethnic institution, instead of turning into concerned in national politics.Much like his predecessors, he rarely regarded in public and usually had a spokesman represent him. When he did seem, he changed into as subculture demands covered in gold and wore an intricately woven kente fabric.
In 1985 the stool Nkosuostool (Development stool) become created by means of Asantehene, Otumfuo Opoku Ware II, as a catalyst for development in Kumasi and beyond.Since then the trend of bestowing the title of Nkosuohene or Hemaa on tremendous people in Ghana has received prominence.
In August 1995 he marked his silver jubilee birthday celebration representing 25 years of his reign as Otumfuo Asantehene.