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General News of Sunday, 14 August 2022


The three presidential seats designed for Kwame Nkrumah

Kwame Nkrumah during his swearing-in in 1960 play videoKwame Nkrumah during his swearing-in in 1960

In pursuit of his African Personality concept after independence, Dr Kwame Nkrumah contracted Kofi Antubam, a talented artist, to create the country’s three Presidential Seats for the political authority of the new nation.

With the help of some local craftsmen, Kofi Antubam designed and made the seats, a task that took them almost a year to complete.

The three Presidential Seats, according to Jerry Orhin Yorke in a 2017 research publication, are “The Chair of State (Asipim), Seat of State (Asεsεgua) now referred to as The Presidential Seat and The Vice-president’s Seat (Asipim). These seats and the State Sword (Afena-nta) came into existence as a result of Kwame Nkrumah’s policies on the Ghanaian political culture. It was revealed in the researcher’s findings that, all the politico-culture artefacts created by his cultural policies were Ghanaian and for that matter African.”

Antubam, a pioneer of the use of adinkra symbols in Ghanaian art, made use of various adinkra symbols in the designs of all three seats to symbolise the sovereignty of the nation as well as the authority of the president.

The Chair of State (Asipim)

The design of the Chair of State was similar to the royal stools used by chiefs during durbars. This was the chair Dr Kwame Nkrumah used for his swearing in on Republic Day, July, 1, 1960.

On top of the back rest of the chair stands the national emblem of two eagles facing each other with the black star in their middle.

Many adinkra symbols we used in the design of this chair to communicate wisdom to both the leaders and citizens of the country.

The Adinkra symbols used are Ananum, Adinkera-Hene, Krapa (MusuYide), KɔdeεMɔwerεwa, Mbensu, Owo-Koforo-Adobe and Adomand Fihankra.

The Chair of State is the tallest among the three presidential seats, standing at 7 feet 4 inches high (223.52 cm), 2 feet 3.5 inches in length (69.85 cm) and 2 feet in breadth (60.96 cm).

The Seat of State (Asεsεgua)

The Seat of State is now known as the Presidential Seat and has become the symbol of the authority of Ghana’s presidents.

Covered in gold dust to signify the abundance of mineral resources in Ghana, this seat is used by the country’s president during national functions such as swearing-in and state of the nation.

This seat was designed in the form of the royal stools used by traditional rulers in the southern part of Ghana.

It was made out of a white tropical wood known as sεsε which was brought down from Swedru to Achimota.

The Adinkra symbols used for the seat are Osramfa, Okosuasu, Kontonkurowi, Kuntinkantan or Anantwurom, Aborobe, Dadebene or Ahokera wo, Abankuo, Ghana Soroma-Bire, Ananum, Puruw, Ananum, Owo-Koforo-Adobe, Akosane (Dame-Dame), Krapa (MusuYide) and Nkyinkyim.

The seat originally included flat wooden wings at both sides of the arm-rest but they were removed.

The Vice-President’s Seat (Asipim)

This seat was originally made for Dr Kwame Nkrumah and he is recorded to have used it at different sittings in parliament during his tenure.

Currently, it is used by the country’s Vice-President at state functions where the president uses his own seat.

This seat has almost all the Adinkra symbols that were used on the other two seats.

It is the smallest of the three, standing at 4 feet 6 inches (137 cm) high, 2 feet 4 inches (71 cm) in length and 2 feet (60 cm) in breadth.


Note: Information for this article were gathered from Jerry Orhin Yorke’s 2017 research publication titled “Ghana’s Presidential Seats and Sword of State: Aesthetic Manifestation of Kwame Nkrumah’s Cultural Policy on Ghana’s Political Culture”. Additional information were also gathered during People and Places tour of the National Museum