Sunday, 23 June

Lady Julia Osei Tutu remembers night she ‘auditioned’ to become Queen Consort of Asanteman

Culture
Lady Julia paying homage to her husband Otumfuo Osei Tutu II

The Queen Consort of the Asante Kingdom of Ghana, Lady Julia Osei Tutu, has fondly recalled how she made the acquaintance of her husband of 22 years, H.M. Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.

Walking down memory lane, on the occasion of Otumfuo’s birthday and silver jubilee, she said a vote of thanks she gave for the launch of Ecobank Ghana’s first branch in Kumasi, Asanteman’s capital, “mesmerised” the king, ending in an invitation to dinner at his residence, which she preferred to call an audition for her current esteemed position at the side of Otumfuo.

Elegantly draped in glistening silver lace, Lady Julia outlined Otumfuo’s legacy in education, peace, and nation building, among others, thanked Otumfuo’s mother of blessed memory, her sister-in-law, and prayed for life and wisdom for her husband’s continued reign.

All the while she spoke, her "sweets," sitting to her right, beamed with pride, perhaps reliving that fateful day they first met when she stood, addressed an audience and won his heart. He hugged her delicately in acknowledgement. To her right, distinguished guest Ga Mantse, Nii Teiko Tsuru II, smiled. 

Mr Jerry Adjorlolo mastered the ceremony.

Read Lady Julia Osei Tutu’s speech below:

Introduction

Excellencies of the high table, Nananom, distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I welcome all of you to this most special occasion, the 74th birthday of my dear husband, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, which also coincides with the very auspicious occasion of the 25th anniversary of his ascension to the throne of our beloved Asante Kingdom.

Otumfuo's reign has been characteriSed by his remarkable achievements in peacemaking, nation-building, development, education, health, and building bridges between the international community, Asanteman, and Ghana as a whole.

My dearest, I congratulate you on all your exemplary achievements. To say I'm proud of you would be an understatement.

A Night Became 22 Years

Otumfuo and I first met when I came to Kumasi as the Legal and Corporate Affairs Officer of Ecobank Ghana.

I was tasked with giving the vote of thanks for the inauguration of the first branch of Ecobank in Kumasi.

He tells me that he was mesmerised, that at the end of the ceremony, even though it had started to rain, he refused to leave despite the prompting of his courtiers.

He made sure he found out who I was and how to get in touch with me before leaving the event grounds.

That evening, I was summoned by my managing director, the late John Ackah, to dinner at Otumfuo's residence.

Little did I know that I was auditioning for the role of a lifetime. And here we are, 22 years – 22 wonderful years later – and many beautiful children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and an amazing extended family, including Nananom and Nana Hemaanom.

Eulogy to Otumfuo’s Mother

Special mention must be made of my late mother-in-law, Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampim Asantehemaa, who blessed me with this wonderful husband and many, many conversations filled with advice and love, a tradition that has been continued by the current Asantehemaa, my sister-in-law, Nana Ama Konadu Yiadom III.

More Memories and Prayer

Sweets, these years together have been truly exceptional, and I continue to pinch myself daily to remind myself that this is not a dream, but indeed the wonderful life you promised me when we first met.

You have exceeded my expectations, and I pray that the good Lord blesses you with many more years to continue your reign and to be the amazing father, husband, grandfather, and patriarch that you are to us all.

Distinguished guests, I cannot thank you enough for joining us in this celebration today.

Each and every one of you here has a relationship with Otumfuo, and that in itself is a testament that he is a king to us all, a father to many of you, a brother to some of you, and his ability to make time for each and every one of us here is one of the traits that I love about him the most.

A Vow Renewed

Otumfuo, my love, I promise to continue to be your backbone, to stand with you in good times and in difficult times. I reaffirm the vow that I made to you when we first married, that I will be your peace and your sanctuary, and I promise that the next 25 years will be filled with the goodness and love we have shared thus far. I pray the good Lord bless you, magnify you, and may he continue to provide you with the discerning wisdom with which you have ruled Asanteman.

Otumfuo, happy birthday, congratulations on your 25th anniversary, and here's to many, many more birthdays and celebrations.

Thank you.

Source: classfmonline.com/Prince Benjamin