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Biography Of The Late Opoku ware ll

JudaGh
By JudaGh | self meida writer
Published 22 days ago - 1463 views

Opoku Ware II

Asantehene of Asanteman


Otumfuo Opoku Ware II (30 November 1919 – 26 February 1999) was the 15th Asantehene. He succeeded his uncle Osei Tutu Agyeman Prempeh II in 1970 and ruled for 29 years before passing away in February 1999.He was succeeded by Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II


Quick Facts: king of the Asante Kingdom, Reign ...

Opoku Ware II

Asantehene of Asanteman; Kumasehene of Kumasi


Opoku Ware II

king of the Asante Kingdom

Reign

6 July 1970 – 25 February 1999

Coronation

6 July 1970

Predecessor

Prempeh II

Successor

Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II

Born

30 November 1919

Kumasi, Ashanti Protectorate

Died

26 February 1999 (aged 79)

Kumasi, Ashanti

Spouse

Princess Victoria Opoku Ware

Issue

Nana Osei, Gifty (1950-2018) and Leslie Poku

Full name

Otumfuo Opoku Ware II

House

Oyoko Dynasty

Close

Early life and education

The future monarch was born under the name Jacob Matthew Poku in Kumasi the capital of Ashanti, then the Ashanti Protectorate, in 1919 into the Ashanti royal family. At the time, Prempeh I was Asantehene, as the Ashanti Emperor-King is called, before being succeeded by his nephew Prempeh II in 1931. Prempeh II in turn was Opoku Ware II's uncle, making the boy one of several candidates to succeed him, as to be decided by the Queen-mother, or Nana Asantehemaa. After attending Anglican school, Poku went to Adisadel College in Cape Coast. After working in the public sector for a while, in the 1950s, he moved to the United Kingdom to study law at the Middle Temple and was admitted to the bar in 1962.


Career

Then, he worked as a building inspector and later for the Public Works department from 1937 to 1943. After that, he was trained as a surveyor and worked on the Kumasi Traditional Council Hall and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.


Returning to the Gold Coast now Ghana after being called to the bar in 1962, he worked in the capital Accra first and then set up a firm in Kumasi. Through his success as a lawyer, Poku was able attain a great respect in Ashanti politics. Following the coup that overthrew Ghana's first president, Kwame Nkrumah in 1966, the National Liberation Council military government appointed Poku to their executive board as Commissioner of Communications (equivalent to minister of communications) in 1968.


Reign

In 1970, he was named ambassador to Italy, but shortly thereafter his uncle, the King of the Ashanti, Prempeh II, died. Due to his legal and political successes, he was chosen to succeed his uncle and enthroned as the Asantehene. As King, Opoku Ware II maintained a good relationship with Ghana's President Ignatius Acheampong, and later Jerry Rawlings.


He focused on trying to implement the traditional justice of the Ashanti tribe, rather than becoming involved in national politics. Much like his predecessors, he rarely appeared in public and usually had a spokesman represent him. When he did appear, he was as tradition demands covered in gold and wore an intricately woven kente cloth.


In 1985 the stool Nkosuostool (Development stool) was created by 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 notable people in Ghana has gained prominence.


In August 1995 he marked his silver jubilee celebration representing 25 years of his reign as Otumfuo Asantehene.


Personal life and death

In 1945, he married another member of the royal family, Victoria. In 1996, Opoku Ware II's wife Victoria passed away. On February 26, 1999, the King himself died. He was given a state and Ashanti cultural funeral spanning four days of ceremonies blending both African and Christian traditions and buried on 25 March 1999 after a month of mourning at the Royal Mausoleum. He was succeeded on April 26 by Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II after a period of mourning. He was survived by his three children Nana Osei, Gifty (1950-2018) and Leslie Poku.

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