Jerome Otchere: Kotoko’s new jersey oozes identity

Unless King Faisals owner, Alhaji Karim Grunsahs comment on Asante Kotokos 2022/23 seasons jersey, which has a watermark image of the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, is echoing concerns from the hallowed Manhyia Palace, it should be dismissed. Alhaji Grunsah essentially suggested that, imprinting the clubs owner and life patrons picture on its jersey amounts to asacrilege.Alhaji Grunsahs views and other radio and social media remarks Ive seen are interesting. The occupant of the treasured Golden Stool, at any time, is revered. We must first note that. The Ashanti Kingdom has kept its chieftainship and its associated traditions inviolable for over three centuries. Some of us whether Kotoko fans or not; whether or not we are Ashantis would always uphold the well-preserved customs of the Asanteman, which is headed by the Great King, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.I believe Alhaji Grunsah perhaps wanted to do same. What he however overlooked is Kotokos inalienable association with the King, who in principle isAsante Kotoko. In one of his wise admonitions to the clubs Board in August 2013, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II stated: Asante Kotoko is me. When you touch Asante Kotoko, its me youre touching he counseled the then Paul Adu Gyamfi-led Board at their inauguration.Respectfully so, if the Asantehene isAsante Kotoko, why cant the club have his iconic image on its jersey? Whats the desecration? Whats the taboo particularly when its his own esteemed property thats employing remarkable imaginative ways not only to eulogise him but also appreciate his august presence and authority over the club? The Asantehene has total, immutable right to anything Asante Kotoko.His image has historically been used on various paraphernalia of Kotoko including the team bus, billboards, magazines, adverts, etc. I recall how fans mobbed club agents when a Kotoko key holder was released 10 years ago with Nanas image nicely cast on it. For me, the new jersey design is a matter of heritage. Its about identity. Its the pride, prestige and origins of Kotoko. We must be proud of our origins.The NYA-Management for three seasons now has stayed on an apt course to place Asanteman, its colours and identity well within in Kotoko through creative ways. Otumfuos image on Kotokos jersey is a perfect blend of heritage and modernisation says University of Ghana, Museums and Heritage Studies student, Kwame Yeboah.The Porcupine, whichs Kotokos emblem was adopted by Asantehene, Nana Kofi Osei Tutu in 1701. Then in 1935, the emblem was given to the club by the Asantehene, Nana Sir Agyeman Prempeh as it represented Asantemans identity he explains. In football, its alright for a jersey design to stir controversy. It has to be said again, that, Otumfuos image on Kotokos jersey is excellent. Its a stony affirmation of Kotokos identity.It depicts the greatness of the club’s ancestries. It speaks to Kotokos heritage and uniqueness. No football club in Ghana has rich historical ties with the Asantehene. Generations unborn would be told of it. The design imbibes Nana’s prominence and honourability into the team. It’s a positive artistic work we must adore. 

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