The Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has disclosed that his mother the late Asantehemaa Nana Afia Serwaa Kobi Ampem IV and his late Uncle the Asantehene Prempeh II conspired to hide his royalty status as a potential Asantehene in the early days of his childhood life.

Describing himself as a lucky child Otumfuo said “My mother Afia Kobi Ampem was contemplating divorce with my father Boakye Dankwah because he was womanizing by late Uncle Osei Agyemang  Prempeh also known as Nana Kwame Kyeretwie insisted for my mother to continue the marriage at the time they have separated because he has not gotten what he is looking for in their marriage. The two reunited and the lord blessed them with me. My mother again told my uncle she could not continue the marriage with my father because he was still womanizing. My uncle then responded, “Afia you have my blessing for your decision after all I have gotten what I was looking for from him basically a male child named Berima Kwaku Duah.”

Otumfuo further explained that “my late uncle then adopted me four years after my birth to stay with my uncle Kwadwo Bonsu the Hiahene Oheneba Mensah Bonsu. I didn’t know it was a conspiracy between my mother and my uncle to hide my identity from me just for me to be cultured and take care of my educational needs. My uncle didn’t want me to stay in the royal Palace to go through any royalty process. So my uncle Mensah Bonsu took me as his biological son. He made me aware that I’m the next after his son Afoduo. No one knew I wasn’t his biological son until recently. He sponsored my education at Division School’’.

Otumfuo disclosed this while speaking at his 74th birthday celebration thanksgiving church service at the St. Cyprians Anglican Church in Kumasi and as part of activities marking the 25th Anniversary celebration on the Asanteman Golden stool.

He added that he was prevented from coming to Manhyia Palace, “they just didn’t want me to know about Manhyia Palace. My mother also hides herself from me. She only comes to my late uncle’s house purposely to visit her brother but not to have anything to do with me.’’  

Otumfuo further that after completing basic education at Division School at Asante New Town he was denied the opportunity to further his Secondary school at Prempeh College in Kumasi.

“My uncle secured admission at Prempeh College and the current Adontenhene’s mother has bought all my things in line with the prospectus the school gave out. One day my uncle told me he had changed his mind. He will send me to a different school. He would not allow me to go to school at Prempeh at the time all my friends in Ash-town were preparing to go to Prempeh and I wanted to be there. KO Asafo Adjei, Mark Addo, and Kwabena Poku among others were all there so we all wanted to be there as well.  So I landed in Sefwi Hwoso Secondary School SEWASS. Mr. Osei who was our head master told my uncle his friend who is a very disciplinarian at Opoku Ware has been transferred to Sefwi Hwoso so that’s where he will send me. All this was a ploy between my mother and the Asantene Nana Agyemang Prempeh in Manhyia Palace. So they said the Sefwi Hwoso paramount Chief is my son. Take him there and he will provide all his needs. I went there and successfully completed my secondary education there’’.

He explained “When I gained admission to study accountancy at IPS in Accra I was sent to stay with my father’s brother Asafo Boakye in Accra to take care of me after IPS education I left the country to the UK for further studies. Outside Ghana, I stayed with my brother Foduo Nana Bodu also played a major role in my schooling and working life there. All these were the doing of Hiahene because I didn’t know anything about my mother’s side until the death of my uncle through which I became Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the sixteen occupant of the Golden Stool. I’m happy to see my class 2 teacher Ms. Rose Asiedua Ampeh here and all my old time friends whom I have not seen many years ago’’.

Otumfuo questioned why my mother and uncle took me through all this and what really was their motives “Nana Agyemang Prempeh II why did he tell my mother at the time she wanted to divorce my father that Afia I have not gotten what he is looking for in her marriage and my uncle Mensah Bonsu also took up my up bring responsibilities and gave me all the disciplines training from the start. That is what has brought me this far. So this is my life story from the time I was born and named Berimah Kwaku Duah to the celebration of my 74th birthday as Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.’’

He concluded by saying “If we are thanking God today for how far he has brought me we should know that in the beginning, my family didn’t want me to boast about my royalty status so it was hidden from me. I was not pampered. I was trained and cultured for today’s tasks and responsibilities way back because they knew what was ahead of me right from my childhood.”

Source: Ghana/ Isaac Justice Bediako