5 famous African monarchs and their grand coronation ceremonies you may have missed [Photos]

Novieku Babatunde Adeola September 23, 2019
Newly crowned Oba of Benin Kingdom. Pic credit: Aljazeera

A continent built on the strength of monarchs, Africa has witnessed leadership under several kings and queens.

These monarchs enjoyed absolute power and governed the affairs of states and territories on the continent.

Although many of Africa’s remaining kings don’t have any significant political power, they still play a key role in fulfilling traditional and spiritual obligations in their respective monarchies.

In some African countries, these traditional empires have been constitutionally recognized as state institutions.

Some African monarchs are known to live lavishly with lots of privileges, including state protection, a generous monthly salary and allowances, and a motorcade of luxury vehicles.

With their massive fortunes, some of these African monarchs are also famous for their elaborate coronation ceremonies. Here are those grand ceremonies you may have missed:

Oba of Benin Kingdom – Ewuare II (Nigeria)

The ancient Benin Kingdom has an age-old tradition of magnificent coronations. For the people of Benin, this ceremony is extremely important as they see the King or “Oba,” as next only to the creator.

A palace aide kneels down before newly crowned Monarch. Kingship as an institution is much more than a ceremony hence the kingdom's strict and largely uncompromising adherence to ancient customs and traditions.
A palace aid kneeling before a newly crowned Monarch_Photo: CNN

Rites are performed throughout a twelve-day old ceremony. The prince, who mostly journeys by foot, makes an important stop in a village where one of the most significant ceremonies takes place – choosing the name or title of the new king.

Royalist supporters look on during the coronation ceremony.
Royalist support look on in support of the Oba during the coronation wedding_Photo: CNN
As is customary with coronations there are a glittering array of dignitaries.
Coronations glitter with an array of dignitaries_Photo: CNN
The Oba of Benin Kingdom: A history of the monarchy
The palace chiefs kneel for the crown prince before they perform the coronation ritual_Photo: Femke van Zeijil/Al Jazeera]
The Oba’s subjects wait outside the coronation hall to see their new king_Photo:[Femke van Zeijil/Al Jazeera] 
The newly crowned Oba with a handkerchief he placed in front of his mouth, a sign that he does not speak in public regularly, but when he does, his word is final _Photo:[Femke van Zeijil/Al Jazeera] 
The ekasa dancers ritually cleansing the ground the crown prince will soon walk on_Photo:
 [Femke van Zeijil/Al Jazeera]

King of Buganda – Majesty Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi (Uganda)

The King of Buganda assumes the title of Kabaka and rules over the Buganda Kingdom. The Baganda people are ruled by two kings, one spiritual and the other material.

His Majesty Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi at his 25th Coronation in 2018_Photo: Pmldaily
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The coronation of Ssabassajja Kabaka of Buganda His Highness Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II Coronation Anniversary was held in July, 31st, 2018 at Lubiri.
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The Asantehene from the kingdom of Ashanti (Ghana) on arrival at Lubiri for Buganda king Ronald Muwenda Mutebi’s 25th coronation anniversary_Photo: The Observer/Twitter
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Kabaka Mutebi II celebrates a
Coronation Anniversary – Buganda Royal Kingdom_Buganda.or.org
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Kabaka Mutebi II celebrates a
Coronation Anniversary – Buganda Royal Kingdom_Buganda.or.org

The Ashanti Kingdom – Otumfuor Osei Tutu II (Ghana)

The Ashanti Empire dates back to the 17th century. The current traditional king of Ghana’s Asante people, the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has been on the royal stool for 20 years.

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Otumfuo Osei Tutu succeeded his ‘senior brother’ Otumfuo Opoku Ware II who died on February 25, 1999_Photo: 3news.com
President of Ghana, Nana Akuffo-Addo at the 20th anniversary.
Photo: 3news.com

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II recently celebrated ‘Awukudae’, an important Asante traditional festival, as part of activities marking the 20th anniversary of his enthronement.

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Ms Sophia Akuffo, the Chief Justice exchanging pleasantries with Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene at the ‘Awukudae’ Festival in Kumasi Photo: Graphics.com.gh
Otumfuo Osei Tutu, dressed in a rich Kente cloth made in the green, gold and black colours of the Asante Kingdom, sat in state at Bogyawe, Manhyia Palace, where chiefs, important personalities and recognised groups paid homage to him_Photo: Graphic

Emperor Haile Selassie (Ethiopia)

Haile Selassie was well known for his strong opinion and condemnation of European countries with territories in Africa. He was an Ethiopian king who ruled from 1930 to 1974 after he had served as a regent from 1916 to 1930.

Photo: Pinterest

In his coronation ceremony, Emperor Haile Selassie I was covered in gold-embroidered scarlet vestments. He was then presented with a gold sword studded with precious stones and an imperial sceptre made of gold and ivory.

He was also given a golden globe of the world, a diamond-encrusted ring, and two traditional lances filigreed in gold.

Photo: Face2Face Africa

The event was deemed a ‘splendid affair,’ bringing in some of the world’s top leaders, including Britain’s Prince Henry. It cost about $3,000,000 at the time.

Photo: Rastaites
Photo: Rastaites
Station during the coronation. Photo: Rastaites
The Palace_Photo: Rastaites
Photo: Rastaites
Photo: Rastaites
Photo: Rastaites

The Kingdom of eSwatini – King Mswati III (eSwatini)

King Mswati III ascended the throne on April 25, 1986, following the death of his father who died in 1982. Welcomed by a host of loyalists filling the 50, 000 capacity stadium, Africa’s last monarch wore a crown or red and white feathers and a leopard-skin loincloth.

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The young king during the reed dance before his coronation. Pic credit: Flickr


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