Today Friday 6 May marks the 66th birthday of the monarch of the Asante kingdom Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
Known in private life as Nana Barima Kwaku Duah, the youngest of five children, he ascended the Ashanti monarchy on 26 April, 1999, to succeed the late Otumfuo Opoku Ware II.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is known for integrating tradition with modernity. His reaction to the challenges facing the modern Ghanaian chief cannot be far-fetched as he was the first Ghanaian traditional ruler to declare his intentions towards meeting the challenges of the modern Ghanaian chief.
At a meeting with the Asanteman Council in the early days of his enthronement as Asantehene, he summarised his intentions as follows: “Our predecessors engaged in inter-tribal wars, fighting for conquest over territories and people. Today, the war should be vigorous and intensive against de-humanisation, poverty, marginalisation, ignorance, and disease. Chieftaincy must be used to propel economic development through proper lands administration, through facilitating investments in our communities, and through codification of our customs and traditions, making it impossible for imposters to get enstooled and creating unnecessary situations for litigation.”
Apart from his key interest in education with the setting up of the Otumfuo Education Trust Fund, he has over the years tackled problems relating to litigation, health, trade and investment, land title registration, and so on.
He is the life patron of one of the biggest football clubs in the country, Asante Kotoko, a club he recently donated a bus to.
He is loved and revered by the people of Asante, including political figures across the country. He is married to Lady Julia Osei Tutu II with six children.
Some Ghanaians took to social media to wish him a happy birthday.