Thousands of people from across Ghana and beyond on Thursday thronged the forecourt of the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi, to mourn the Asantehemaa, Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem II.

President John Dramani Mahama and former Presidents Jerry John Rawlings and John Agyekum Kufuor, were among the tall list of dignitaries present to observe the one week funeral rites.

Also there were the Esama of Benin Kingdom in Nigeria, Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedon, Paramount Chiefs, present and former Ministers of State, the clergy, and politicians.

The deceased was the biological mother of the reigning Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and died at the ripe age of 111.

Amidst firing of musketry, clattering of the executioners’ sword, throbbing of the ‘fontomfrom’ and ‘atumpan’ drums, the mourners clad in black, took turns to exchange greetings with the Asantehene – to console him and Asanteman.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu, earlier rode to the event grounds in a palanquin accompanied by long retinue of court attendants.

They sang dirges and performed some intricate traditional dances – it was a spectacular display of the Asante royal mourning.

Nana Afia Kobi, was the 13th Asante Queen and reigned for 39 years.

In keeping with the long-held tradition of the Asante Kingdom, all funerals and noise-making has been banned in the Ashanti Region and would remain so until her mortal remains are laid to rest.