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Sanwi kingdom mourns passing of a prince

Video by Richard TOMPSETT , Norbert NAVARRO

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-06-29

He was known around the world as the King of Pop. But in a tiny kingdom on the Ivory Coast's south-eastern tip, singer Michael Jackson was true royalty.

'King of Pop' Michael Jackson was true royalty in the small Ivory Coast kingdom of Sanwi, where the people are mourning the passing of a prince.


For Sanwi’s population, the pop star was one of their own. Jackson was made a prince during a visit in 1992, when he came to discover his African roots.


"Michael Jackson comes from Krindjabo, capital of the Kingdom of Sanwi," explains Prince Joseph Koffi Aman, an inhabitant of the small kingdom on the south-eastern tip of the Ivory Coast.


After consultations with the king, district chiefs reached a surprising decision. The council wants Michael Jackson's remains to be transferred to Sanwi's capital Krindjabo, so that there can be an African funeral worthy of the pop star.


This view is echoed by the kingdom's young subjects, for whom Jackson's influence is as strong as ever.


“According to tradition, when a prince dies outside the kingdom, he should be brought back so the funeral can be carried out in line with our customs," says Jerome Tanoh Anoh, leader of the youth of Sanwi.


Anoh and his brothers are keen to attend Jackson’s funeral. However most of them will be mourning from a distance due to visa constraints.



Date created : 2009-06-29