Beale Street, which long has been walked by “kings and queens” of music legends, will be the royal gathering ground for a traditional Ghanian “Durbar Ceremony” on Saturday (May 7).
The ceremony, which is set for 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., will be the culmination of the royal visit by King Otumfuo Osei Tutu II as the Memphis in May International Festival moves forward with its monthlong salute to the Republic of Ghana.
Conducted by the king, the Durbar Ceremony is a Ghanian tradition to “honor ancestors, cleanse society and pray for the fruitfulness of the land and the welfare of the people.”
After arriving earlier this week in a private jet, King Tutu II was greeted at the airport by the High Commission in Washington, D.C. and members of the Ghanian Association of Memphis. Numerous local elected officials later were on hand at a subsequent welcome by MIM President/CEO James L. Holt and Charles Ewing, 2022 MIM Board chairman.
“We are so glad to have you,” said Ewing. “All I can say is it goes up from here.”
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is the 16th Asantehene (King of Asante).
During his Memphis visit, The King was accompanied by a contingent of “paramount chiefs representing all regions of the Asante Kingdom, divisional chiefs, Princes, and stool attendants of the Golden Stool.” In addition to conferring with government and business officials, his itinerary featured a speech to college students.
He was the star attraction at the Black Star Black Tie Gala at the Renasant Center on Friday night (May 6). The gala also served as a celebration of his 72nd birthday.
(Note: Check back at TSDMemphis.com for more coverage of the royal visit by King Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.)