London Telegraph, August 17, 2009
Jesse Jackson has inherited the title of prince of the Ivory Coast kingdom of Sanwi from the late Michael Jackson.
The American pastor and onetime presidential candidate was honoured at a ceremony with Amon N’Douffou V, king of the Agni people of the Krindjabo kingdom.
The crowning ceremony was attended by bare-chested women.
The king rules over a million members of his tribe, which venerates Michael Jackson after making him their prince after he visited the kingdom in 1992.
Villagers deep in the rainforest launched a search for a successor to the singer who was crowned prince of the Agni people 17 years ago.
The tribe held an extravagent two-day royal funeral for Michael Jackson. Traditional dancers and lookalikes of the dead singer paraded before the king and 2,000 mourners.
Tribal chiefs appealed to the US embassy to press Jackson’s family to bring his body to the west African country for a burial in accordance with the local tradition of the Sanwi kingdom.
Jesse Jackson was on a three-day visit to the Ivory Coast, invited by the association of “Young Patriots”, who are supporters of President Laurent Gbagbo.
He found himself feted by the tribe and has now inherited the the title of prince–or son–of the Agni from the late star, who was not a relation.
Krindjabo lies deep in the tropical rainforest in the southeast of Ivory Coast. Most people survive by subsistence farming or hand-panning for gold.