mercredi 19 mars 2014

Côte d'Ivoire: Aniaba Louis-Jean and the ivorian delusions of grandeur!

Received as a king to Versailles, the court of the Sun King.

         Heir to the throne of Assinie (Côte d'Ivoire), son of Nana Aniaba Zena original withers, born about 1672. Hostage to the ruling dynasty, he was adopted by the king and queen of Essouma. In 1687, returning from a mission to explore the coast of Guinea, Ducasse, an emissary of King Louis XIV (France), in his report emphasizes the need for France to establish trading posts on the Gold Coast (Assinie commendo and Accra) which are established Capuchin missionaries of Saint-Malo for nearly sixty years. In 1701, King Louis XIV sent the Chevalier d'Amon, Captain (former Marine to serve the Guinea Company) to lead a second expedition. This concludes a treaty favorable to France who is authorized to build forts under the protection of King Zena. Pledge of allegiance, he left at Assinie four of his companions with some goods and a white flag planted at the edge of the sea and sailed Aniaba Banga, two young princes of the court sanitized. In May 1688, Aniaba landed at La Rochelle in France with his cousin Banga aboard the St. Louis. He is directly leads to Versailles, the court of the Sun King, Louis XIV. In 1690, he was received with full honors by the king, his confessor Bossuet, Cardinal de Nouilles, etc.. On August 1, 1691, Aniaba is baptized by the Bishop of Meaux in the chapel of the Seminary of Foreign Missions under the names Jean-Louis. He sponsors as Jean-Baptiste Lagny, intendant of commerce of France, adviser Secretary of Roy and his wife Mrs. Bidault. Under the responsibility of Bossuet, the two young Africans are educated nobly. They even admitted as officers in the king's regiment, load reserved for seniors and French noble families together with a pension of 12,000 pounds per year, paid out of the royal treasury. Their portraits are executed by an artist of Versailles and taken to Africa in 1692 by a Tibierge. In 1695, Banga is reduced to Assinie.

Ivorian dream or delusion: To be the equal of Louis XIV!

         Promoted to captain, Aniaba accumulates women, servants, horses and debts. On June 19, 1700, when he learned of the death of his father, Zena, King of Assinie, he decided to return to Africa to take the succession. Claude Chatelain reports that King Louis XIV told him sarcastically "Prince Aniaba, there is not any difference between you and me that black and white." In 1701, he sailed from La Rochelle on "Poli" with his white wife native to the coast of Antibes. Assinie and Bassam arrives before June 24, 1701 after a stopover in Port-Louis. After 13 years in France, he is safe to rule over Assinie with the support of France. Despite several attempts to ascend the throne, he falls to Akassiny and Captain Amon disowns and sign treaties with other rival. On 24 August 1701, the first Fort St. Louis was built. On September 23, 1701, the frigate, The Poli weighed anchor leaving Aniaba with delusions of grandeur. In 1703, the French Fort St. Louis subjected to isolation and difficulties with the Dutch left cleaned. Was no more talk of Aniaba at the court of the Sun King. Dutch travelers reported his presence as advisor to the alias of "Hannibal" with a king Queta in Togo. His trail stops there.
Historian Ivorian Henriette Diabaté* devoted a book entitled “
Aniaba, un Assainien à la cour de Louis XIV (Aniaba an Assainien the court of Louis XIV), Collection Grandes Figures Africanes, Paris, 1975.
Reference: Jean I.N. Kanyarwunga, Biographical Dictionary of Africans, www.Nouvelles Editions Numériques Africaines.

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