Kumasi - Capital of the Ashanti Region
Kumasi, Ghana's second city of millions, is located in the centre of the Ashanti region and often alternates with Accra when it comes to what is Ghana's most populous city. However, since the figures are only rough estimates anyway, a serious result in such a tight race cannot be safely stated anyway. Kumasi Accra is also only in importance because it is not the political capital of the state and possibly because the lack of coastline means that the international connection is not so great. Culturally and historically, however, Kumasi does not have to hide here – quite the contrary. After all, the city is home to arguably Africa's largest market, or, with Asante Kotoko, for example, the country's most successful football club, which has already been able to include some continental titles in its portfolio. It is also worth taking a closer look at this club if you want to familiarize yourself with the culture of the Ashanti. In addition to the colors of the Ashanti (green, yellow, black), the porcupine adorns its coat of arms as a national animal of the ethnic group. It stands for the resilience of the Ashanti and should illustrate it as well as the club motto 'Kuma Apem A, Apem Beba', which roughly means: If you kill a thousand, a thousand new ones will come. Pretty obviously there are references to the conflict-ridden history of the Ashanti. Also, the king of Ashanti is always automatically honorary president of the association, which illustrates the inseparable connection of the ethnicity with this club and last but not least also of the city. If it is only about a football club, this comparison is intended to show how charged and symbolic the culture of the Ashanti is and how this manifests itself in everyday life.
The city itself was founded in the late 17th century and already declared by King Osei Tutu to be the capital of the Ashanti, because here he received the golden chair, which is so important for the Ashanti culture, which stands as a symbol of the unity of the Ashanti. Due to the wars of the Ashanti, the city also had to contend with the consequences again and again. Parts of it were destroyed by the British in 1874 in their fourth war with the people, including the then Royal Palace.
As is customary for such bustling cities of millions, a stay in Kumasi is of course both very exhausting and adventurous. The full programme of impressions is clearly gained in the huge markets – above all the central Kejetia. There is hardly anything that you can't find here and since Kumasi is a center of gold production and its processing within Ghana, especially jewelry and accessories are highly sought after. But woven and printed fabrics, for which there is a considerable industry, are also very popular. As a non-resident, it is indeed a tremendous achievement not to lose yourself completely in this market and to look at something and postpone the decision to postpone later shows a healthy optimism to find exactly that place again.
For relaxation and the somewhat more indirect experience of culture, you can definitely take the military museum with you, but you should not leave the Manhyia Palace, the former seat of the King of Ashanti, which was built in 1925 and is now a museum for the Culture of ashanti serves, while the current seat of government was built in the immediate vicinity but unfortunately it is not easy to visit.