Mayor Joseph M. Petty has bestowed the keys to the City of Worcester, Massachusetts, in the United States upon Kojo Antwi, an iconic and multifaceted Ghanaian singer known as Mr. Music Man.
On Saturday, August 5, the legendary African musician received his award in front of an audience that included his ecstatic fans, 3-time, 2-division world boxing champion Jose Antonio Rivera, Mr. Richard Kweku Boateng, CEO of Big Shoes Entertainment and Anokyekrom Restaurants, and Ghanaian Royal Nana Sompahene, aka Mr. Maxwell Agyemfra, a resident of the city.
The prominent personality in Ghanaian music, culture, and tourism thanked Worcester for the honor and promised to keep using music to preach love, kindness, peace, and harmony while showcasing the stunning cultures of his native Ghana and Africa to the rest of the globe.
The custom of handing the keys to a city dates back to 1702 in New York, when Mayor Phillip French gave the city’s “Freedom of the City” to Viscount Edward Cornbury, who was then governor of New York and New Jersey.
To ensure the safety of the populace, important cities during medieval times were fortified with walls and gates.
The citizens of the town would have a formal ceremony and give a key designed to symbolize trust and honor to a hero or dignitary who was visiting.
As a dependable friend of city residents, the recipient’s freedom to enter and exit the city at pleasure is symbolized by the key.
The Key to the City, a valued emblem of appreciation and civic acknowledgment in the modern period, is given to those who have rendered the highest level of service to the general public and the common good.