Ramaphosa honoured with the status of chieftaincy in Ivory Coast
“I never thought in my life that I would wear a crown. I never thought I would also wear a necklace with an elephant — an elephant is a totem of my family.”
The words of an emotional President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday shortly after being honoured with the status of chieftaincy by the governor of the Autonomous District of Abidjan, Robert Beugré Mambé, in Ivory Coast.
Ramaphosa was also given the Key of the Autonomous District of Abidjan during his two-day state visit to the country, aimed at strengthening bilateral relations.
Mambé, who gave Ramaphosa the name of chief Dwasaho, said: “May everything that you do be profitable for both our countries. Your new name as the chief is Dwasaho, a name which means warrior. It is given to a very wise and smart warrior who has the ability to speak and has the determination to see and follow the values of Nelson Mandela.
“Our country will then be your country, second to SA, you are now Ivorian because you are a traditional leader. You are our family.”
Ramaphosa, dressed by Ivorian traditional leaders, responded by signing the Golden Book of the District of Abidjan.
Shortly after being dressed in his chieftaincy garb, Ramaphosa said: “This in many ways also proves our common ancestry. I feel very connected to the people here because we know that we, as Africans in the south, originate from this part of the continent.
“I’d like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for this unbelievable gesture of honour of traditional recognition, we never expected this type of honour being bestowed on us
“We are used to receiving the key to the cities, but now you’ve given us the key to the city as well as traditional title of a chief among your people. I’ve always wanted to be a chief, so thank you.
“I am delighted that the people of Ivory Coast are not only focusing on the past and present, but are also focusing on the future. That future for us was clearly represented and demonstrated in the important agreements that we signed with the government of Ivory Coast.”
Ramaphosa was also honoured with a state banquet at the Sofitel Hotel, where his Ivorian counterpart Alassane Ouattara bestowed the Order of the Dignity of the Grand Cross on him.
On Friday morning, Ramaphosa and his delegation are expected to visit the Autonomous Port of Abidjan with Prime Minister Patrick Achi, before attending the SA-Ivory Coast business forum in Abidjan.