The Asantehene, His Royal Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II of Ghana, arrived in Trindad two days ago and was greeted by a team of ministerial officials including Minister of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds, Minister of Trade and Industry Paula Gopee-Scoon, Minister of Foreign and Caricom Affairs Dr Amery Browne, and Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts Randall Mitchell.
The Asante King has warned people, especially those of African descent, that there can be no true emancipation with poverty, crime and violence.
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He was speaking at the nation’s guest of honor at Emancipation Day celebrations on Tuesday afternoon at the Lidj Yasu Omowale Emancipation Village at the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port of Spain.
“Freedom to wallow in poverty cannot be true emancipation,” he declared, also lamenting accompanying racial discrimination and injustice.
He had two suggestions. One – that African leaders pursue a new universal declaration that racial discrimination be deemed a crime against humanity. Two – that governments educate youngsters about the great empires of the past.
He spoke about the needless violence in Trinidad and other Caribbean countries, which he surmised was often fueled by the drug trade. He reckoned this reflected a degree of despair which he warned could set back affected nations, but said, “We should, beloved Trinidadians, resist the temptation to be defined by drugs and needless violence, by slothfulness and wanton indiscipline.”
He mentioned the names of several Caribbean pioneers of African descent. In Sport – boxer Muhammed Ali, footballer Pele and sprinter Usain Bolt; Music – Bob Marley, Nat King Cole and Miriam Makeba; and in Politics – TT-born activist George Padmore, Barack Obama and Colin Powell.
In offering hope, Tutu II said, “As King of a mighty warrior kingdom, I can assure you that the African spirit does not cower under adversity. If it were not so, we would have been wiped out from the face of the Earth long before our time.”