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Onga seasons Ashanti royal celebrations
An opportunity for any brand to be associated with the royalty of the Ashanti Kingdom is always a rare one and it was such an opportunity that was presented to the Onga brand in Ghana.
The Ashanti Kingdom is considered one of the most ancient kingdoms in Africa and one of the few that still wields tremendous power over its subjects. With oversight over a large portion of the goldproducing areas of Ghana, the King of Ashanti or Asantehene (Otumfuo Osei Tutu II) is easily one of Africa's foremost monarchs.
The occasion of the 15th anniversary of his coronation was marked with a number of activities, and one of those was an exhibition of traditional Ashanti cuisine. The Queen Mothers of Ashanti, who were in charge of the exhibition, insisted on having the Onga brand participate because they associated Onga with traditional cuisine across the country.
The event itself was a rich, colourful display of Ashanti culture with all the sub-chiefs of the Asantehene as well as all the Queen Mothers of the Ashanti Kingdom (hundreds of them) in attendance; many of them ushered to the durbar grounds amidst loud, throbbing traditional drumming.
The highlight of the event was the food exhibition to be inspected by the Ashanti King (Otumfuo) himself and this was where Onga played a central role. Overnight, the Queen Mothers had cooked over thirty different dishes indigenous to Ashanti, and these meals were on display for everyone to inspect and have a taste. Some of the dishes were very familiar, others were not and many patrons were surprised to learn that such meals were a part of Ashanti cuisine.
As part of the entire event, the Onga team had brought along a TV crew to film a few episodes for Onga's popular cooking programme, the Onga Food Tour, with the Queen Mothers who were doing the cooking.
Activities for the day came to a climax when it was time for Otumfuo to go around and inspect the various meals on display. He was quite visibly impressed since it was the first time such an exhibition had been held and he asked that the Queen Mothers help promote more local cuisine amongst the people of Ashanti and Ghana in general.