Representation of Ghanaian culture at international events has been praised by many people in recent times. However, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II’s recent private meeting with King Charles of the United Kingdom has received a minor backlash on social media, especially Twitter.
The King of the Asante Kingdom is currently in London to attend the coronation of King Charles. The ceremony, scheduled for Saturday, April 6, 2023, was preceded by a private meeting between King Charles and Otumfuo.
But the meeting, which happened indoors, had an Asante cultural element that has not been received well by netizens. Otumfuo attended the indoor meeting under his famous traditional umbrella. This gesture (or cultural representation) has been described as ‘inconsiderate’ or ‘over the top.’
A well-known Ghanaian Twitter critic, Bongo Ideas, drew tweeps attention to the photo of King Charles welcoming Otumfuo and his wife, Lady Julia.
“The typical African leader loves to be worshipped so much that he has an umbrella over him in an enclosed room. Wei?” he captioned the photo. “Even King Charles with all the military power at his disposal needs no one around to make him feel kingly. But Manhyia Mansa Musa thinks otherwise. Piaaaaawwwww,” he added.
The typical African leader loves to be worshipped so much that he has an umbrella over him in an enclosed room. Wei? pic.twitter.com/B6AevYqLs8
— Albert Nat Hyde (@BongoIdeas) May 4, 2023
Other Twitter users started adding their voices.
“There’s a sense in this …. Those bashing @BongoIdeas should channel that same energy in advising your all-righteous great king to use his influence to at least stop galamsey in Kumasi , only Kumasi,” Twitter user @MysterObrempon opined.
“But why is there an umbrella in the room, pathetic! I agree with the boy over this one,” another user @_simply_tori stated.
Of course, there was a divided opinion. Others defended the King and the act.
Twitter user @mattenasu said: “The purpose of an umbrella is to protect someone from especially the scorching sun etc and that purpose is defeated here.”
Another user claimed the act was for spiritual protection. “Lol I am not an Ashanti but this one dirr I will defend the king. The umbrella you see there is not just a normal umbrella it’s for protection,” user @JMBILLGATES claimed.
The Coronation of King Charles III and his wife Camilla will take place at Westminster Abbey in London, United Kingdom.