An elaborate regal burial programme to bid final farewell to the 111-year old late Asante Queen, Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem, who died on Monday November 16, last year, has been announced by the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi.
Otumfuo Osei-Tutu the II, the Asantehene and biological son of the deceased queen, would sit in state to observe the four-day burial event which begins on January 16, and ends on the 19th, when her mortal remains would be interred at the Asante Royal burial site at Breman.
Scores of dignitaries from across the globe are expected to throng the Manhyia Palace to commiserate with the Asantehene.
They would include delegations from Seychelles Island, Swaziland, Burkina Faso, Uganda, la Cote D’Ivoire, Uganda and Nigeria as well as politicians and the diplomatic corps.
Nana Nsuase Poku Agyemang III, Chief Linguist of the Asantehene, at a media briefing on Friday said the late Asantehemaa, would be laid in state at the Manhyia Palace for mourners to pay their last respect from Monday, January 16 to Wednesday, January 18.
Giving details, he indicated that the dress code would be “all black” and that Nananom (chiefs) in the Asanteman Council would file past the body on Monday, the 19th.
The next day – Tuesday, would be the turn of chiefs from outside the Ashanti Region, Institutional Heads and Chief Executives, with foreign nationals and dignitaries paying their respects, on the following day – Wednesday.
The Asantehene would sit in state each of these days to receive the sympathizers.
Nana Poku Agyemang, who is the Chairman of the Funeral Committee, said in the morning of Thursday, the body would be conveyed to the Saint Cyprians Anglican Church for a Requiem Mass after which it would be moved to the Royal Mausoleum at Bantama for a wreath-laying ceremony.
He said night-to-dawn curfew would be observed on Thursday to pave way for her final burial.
As part of preparations for the Asantehemaa’s funeral, all major roads leading to the Palace would undergo repair works.
He thanked the general public, Christians and Muslims for complying with the ban on noise making which was imposed in the city after the demise of the queen and called on the residents to keep the city clean ahead of the event.
The late queen reigned for 39 years.