Kumasi is a city which is located in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. It is the commercial and cultural capital of the Ashanti Empire. It is among one of the largest metropolitan areas in Ghana.
Due to the presence of different species of beautiful plants and flowers, it is also known as the Garden City. It is also alternatively known as Oseikrom (Osei’s town), with reference to Otumfuor Osei Tutu. It is the second-largest city in Ghana, falling behind Accra, the nation’s capital.
The meaning of Kumasi
The name Kumasi means “under the Kum tree”. History has it that around the 17th century, the chief priest of the Asante Kingdom, Okomfo Anokye planted three “Kum” trees at different places. According to the story, Okomfo Anokye wanted to determine the place which would become a great city for the Asante Kingdom.
The three different areas he panted the tree are; Kwaaman which was ruled by Nananom Ayokofuo, Apemso-Bankofo which was ruled by Nananom Aduanaduo and the final one at a village near Fomena and Amoafo, called Oboani which was ruled by Nananom 3ko)nafuo.
It was said that the Kum tree which he planted at Kwaaman blossomed into a huge tree where the King and his people began to spend a considerable amount of time together, hence Kwaaman was renamed into Kum-ase, which as said earlier, means under Kum tree.
What can Kumasi boast of?
Kumasi boasts of having considerable amount of sites which are highly relevant to the history and progress of Ghana. Let’s delve into that, shall we?
The Fort Castle, which was built in 1986 is located in Kumasi. Kumasi also houses Royal Asante attractions such as; the Kumasi National Cultural Centre, the Prempeh Jubilee II Museum, the Golden Stool, the Okomfo Anokye Sword and the Manhyia Palace which was built in 1972.
Also located in Kumasi is the headquarters of the Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited (GGBL). So now you know where the Guinness and other popular beer you drink in Ghana come from. The GGBL was founded in 1960 and is located specifically in the Kaasi Industrial Area. The Kaasi Industrial Area plays an important role in the local industry. It is believed that 50% of the timber industry is based in Kumasi.
In terms of Senior High School education, Kumasi can boast of Prempeh College and Opoku Ware SHS, which are a part of the biggest and most prestigious SHS’s in Ghana. Prempeh College was established in 1949 whiles Opoku Ware SHS was established in 1952.
Kumasi also houses the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). KNUST was established in 1952.
In terms of commerce, Kumasi boasts of the Kumasi Central Market, popularly known as the Kejetia Market, one of the most renowned markets in Ghana. The Kejetia Market is the largest single market in West Africa. It houses over 12,000 sores and stalls.
Kumasi also houses the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH). It is the second-largest hospital in Ghana. It is the only tertiary health institution in the Ashanti Region. KATH was built in 1954. However, it was initially named the Kumasi Central Hospital. It was converted into a Teaching Hospital in 1975, and it is affiliated to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
KATH is also accredited for postgraduate training in surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, otorhinolaryngology, ophthalmology and radiology by the West African College of Surgeons.
With regard to recreation, Kumasi has Rattray Park. The Rattray Park is one of the ultra-modern amusement parks which Ghana can boast of. It was inaugurated by President John Mahama and Otumfuor Osei Tutu on June 20, 2015. The facilities located in the park include; an artificial lake, a golf cart, a gym, children’s playground, restaurants and cafeterias.
Of course, when Kumasi is mentioned, the Ashanti Kingdom is also mentioned. Kumasi is the capital city of the Ashanti Region/ Kingdom. The Ashanti Kingdom is also one of the most powerful kingdoms in the world.
There’s so much to be said of Kumasi, so much so that, Lake Bosomtwe, the only natural lake in Ghana, is just a stone throw from Kumasi!
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