Pepper Dem Ministries – a social media feminist group – has questioned a statement made by Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II about queen mothers of his kingdom.
Otumfuo was recently quoted to have said that queen mothers should uphold their roles of being advisers to chiefs instead of establishing associations and trying to overtake men.
But in a long Facebook post on Thursday, March 21, Pepper Dem Ministries have said Otumfuo’s statement ‘was in clear violation of indigenous pre-colonial African customs and practices.’
It added that Otumfuo fears the progress of women and that the ‘warning’ was uncalled for.
The full statement reads: “The moment we transported backward Jewish and Abrahamic gender ideals (clad in new religion) into our cultural systems, was the time we lost it.
How is it that a chief fears the progress of women? A king, “warning” Queen mothers in AD 2019. Colonialism and its accompanying ideals of subjugation of women did a number on us. It was in CLEAR violation of indigenous pre-colonial African customs and practices.
A few reminders:
Traditionally, the chief is nothing without the Queen mother. Queen mothers are not wives of Chiefs to the point where “submission” in subtlety is preached to dumb down any progress they (Queen mothers) want to make for themselves.
The article quotes —
” you will be forming associations & the next thing is you’re visiting the government………., I’m monitoring “
“You queen mother are to sit behind and beside your chiefs. You are to advise us, that is how it is planned……….. You are to advise us, not to overtake us. The queen mother role is not meant for fashion and taking nice pictures”.
Is there anything particularly wrong with formation of Associations that we don’t know about?? Language is very instructive. This is not only surprising to read, but sad that in AD 2019 statements that reinforce the dumbing down of women are not even far from the stables of traditional rulers who supposedly wield power. Essentially, “Women must be seen and not heard” is the narrative subtly being reenforced here”. What is it about the advancement (read as voices) of women that we fear so much? We surely do have a long way to go.
Any (diluted) culture that suppresses the advancement and progress of women is not one worth upholding in contemporary times. Especially when we know we wouldn’t repeat any of such comments in Western circles alone, is enough to betray our true intentions.
The greatest threat to our glorious future as Africans is feigning oblivion of the past— who were we before the coming of the white man and his patriarchal standards?? What were our gender dynamics? Why are we tweaking our cultural values to fit into patriarchal ideals which are fundamentally alien to us?? These are valid questions but the status quo will always count on our silence — and that’s why we refuse to forget how much work there is left to be done. We will continue to probe and question the status quo amidst the insults, vile backlash and negative reactions, to help restore the wholeness and agency women once enjoyed before the White man.”