Africa mourns King Sani (Michael Jackson)
By Robert Mukondiwa
WHILE the legacy of
Michael Jackson continues to have tributes paid to it as an artiste, a
king of his music genre and, indeed, a businessman and a father, there
is one quiet legacy that has not been celebrated, least of all
Michael Jackson was a crowned King in the Ivory
Coast, during one of his epic tours of the African continent. Around
the time of his releasing the Dangerous album, Michael traveled to
Gabon, which ironically also lost a political leader in Omar Bongo
recently, and proceeded to the Ivory Coast.
Here in the land
that he personally described as the "land of his ancestors", Michael Jackson consented to being crowned King Sani in a ceremony conducted
under a sacred tree in the gold-mining village of Krindjabo, heart of
the Agni tribe near the capital Abidjan.
The coronation took
place superintended by traditional chief Amon N’Djaolk, who placed a
golden crown on the head of the tribe’s new monarch and declared that
Jackson was now King of Sani, king of this proud West African
In fact, "King Michael" loved the honour so much
that he kept a very close relationship with the tribe for the whole 18
years that he reigned over the tribe as their monarch, capping his
celebrated life as a unique and unpredictable eccentric personality who
was anything but fully understood, least of all predictable.
well-recited and shy response after the coronation is well documented.
Overcome by emotions, Michael said "merci beaucoup" to his
French-speaking subjects, repeating the same in English with the
trademark soft "thank you very much".
He then joined elders of
the king’s court, signed official documents and sat on a throne of gold
as women dancers, clad in white gowns, gave a dazzling performance of
These elderly women are the guardians of the
village, and their ceremonial dances gave their blessings to the
crowning of "King Sani" and asked God for protection at a tree that
symbolised the essence of power.
The musical messenger, who
journeyed to West and East African nations as an
ambassador of peace, love and goodwill, achieved a success that
exceeded his expectation.