Yaa Asantewaa was born in 1840 in Besease (a town in central Ghana), she was the daughter of a man named Kwaku Ampoma and a woman named Ata Po. Her brother was a man named Afrane Panin, he would become a chief of the people in a local community called Edweso. As she entered womanhood, she grew crops on her land and would enter into a polygamous marriage, (which was not uncommon for regal or wealthy men) with a man from the Asante captiol city of Kumasi.
During the rule of her brother, Yaa Asantewaa witnessed the Asante Kingdom (formerly the Asante Empire), go through a major decline. Which was the result of it’s five year civil war (1883-1888), and the Asante’s long on-and-off bloody conflict with the British Empire. After the death of her brother in 1894, Asantewaa utilized her power and influence as Queen Mother to nominate her grandson as Ejisuhene (King/chief of Ejisu, a city near the Asante capitol city of Kumasi). In 1896, Yaa Asantewaa became regent of the Ejisu-Juaben district, after the British exiled her grandson, the Asante King, Prempeh l and several other nobles and government officials to the Seychelles Islands. Sir Frederick Mitchell Hodgson, who was the British governor-general of the Gold Coast (present-day Ghana), demanded the Golden Stool . which was and is believed by traditionalist to hold the soul of the Asante kingdom. The demeaning demand by the British led to a secret meeting with the highest remaining Asante officials. In the meeting there was a disagreement on rather or not to give the Golden Stool (the physical representation of the soul of the Asante Kingdom) to centuries-old enemy the British, for their exiled Asante officials and nobels. During the meeting Yaa Asantewaa stood up and gave a speech to the members of the Asante council:
How can a proud and brave people like the Asante sit back and look while whitemen took away their king and chiefs, and humiliated them with a demand for the Golden Stool. The Golden Stool only means money to the whitemen; they have searched and dug everywhere for it. I shall not pay one predwan to the governor. If you, the chiefs of Asante, are going to behave like cowards and not fight, you should exchange your loincloths for my undergarments (Montu mo danta mma me na monnye me tam).
To add seriousness and dramatic affect to her words, Asantewaa picked up a rifle and fired it in front of the other council members. Yaa Asantewaa would be chosen by one of the regional kings of the Asante kingdom to be a leader/commander of an Asante battalion. She would lead an armed-force of 5,000 men in war against the British empire
WAR AND AFTERMATH
In March of 1900, the Asante laid siege to a British fort at Kumasi, where the British sought refuge. After several months more months of back-and-forth conflict, the British governor of the Gold Coast would send an elite, well-trained and equipped force of 1400 soldiers to put down the African rebellion. Yaa Asantewaa and about fifteen of her most trusted advisors and confidants would be captured by the British and exiled to Seychelles. Yaa Asantewaa’s military defeat would mark the end of the series of wars between the Asante and the British, which took place from 1823 to 1900. In January of 1902, the British would annexe the territory of the Asante empire, and made it a protectorate of the British crown. On October 17, 1921, Nana Yaa Asantewaa died in exile on the Seychelles Islands. Three years later, on December 17, 1924, King Prempeh l and other members of the Asante royal court were allowed to return to Asante (at the time a British colony). Prempeh l, would make sure that the remains of his grandmother, Queen Mother Yaa Asantewaa received a proper royal burial. A little over 30 years after her death, her dream of an Asante independent of British colonial rule would be achieved when the Asante kingdom (now-part of the Republic of Ghana), won its independence on March 6, 1957. Ghana would be the first sub-saharan African nation to accomplish this feat.
Nana Yaa asantewaa is a revered figure in the history of Asante and Ghana, for her role as a strong and empowering woman, who confronted European domination and oppression. She is remembered in this Asante song:
Koo koo hin kooYaa Asantewaa ee!Obaa basiaOgyina apremo ano ee!Waye be egyaeNa Wabo mmode(“Yaa AsantewaaThe woman who fights before cannonsYou have accomplished great thingsYou have done well”)
A week-long centenary celebration was held in her honor in Ghana in 2000, to acknowledge her accomplishments as Queen Mother and her role as a freeddom fighter against British imperialism.
Osei Tutu I was born in what is modern-day Ghana in 1660. When Osei Tutu I inherited the title of Kumasihene (king of Kumasi). Tutu would use this new influence to get the other Akan city-states to unite against the regional African hegemonic power,who were also an Akan people known as the Denkyira.
Osei Tutu I and his traditional African priest Okomfo Anokye motivated many Akan city-states to unite because of a traditional African belief that the Golden Stool came from heaven and held the soul of the new Asante kingdom.
Once unified of what was the newly formed Asante kingdom, of which Osei Tutu I was now the new the Asantehene (Asante king), Tutu and his new forces would go on to defeat the the Denkyira, and then they would use the pincer formation to turn the new kingdom into a West African Empire. This was achieved by welcoming small African kingdoms who were willing to join the Asante confederation and by conquering other West African city-states who refused to submit to the power of the Asante empire. By 1701 the European powers on the coast of Ghana began take notice of the military brillance and growing power of the Asante.
Death OF THE KING
In 1717, Osei Tutu I would be killed in a war of conquest against the Akyem. He was allegedly shot by a sharpshooter who was hiding in the forest. He died crossing the River Pra.
Osei Kofi Tutu I with his loyal priest and advisor, Okomfo Anokye, united several Akan city-states to form the Asante kingdom, which later became the Asante empire.Osei Tutu II, currently sits on the thrown of Asante (Golden Stool), and even though like the Queen of England, his role is more ceremonial than political, the Asantehene is still one of the most powerful, respected and influntial people in Ghana today. The Asante kingdom is alive and well today in the Asante region of Ghana, even thougn it has shrunk in size since the birth of modern-day Ghana, the territory of Asante is still slightly larger than the nation of Israel and it’s influence is felt all over the nation of Ghana and is respected all over the world, especially within the African diaspora.
In the past four days huge amount of rainfall has flooded the streets of Accra, the capital city of Ghana, west Africa. Reportedly killing between 10-12 people, so far in the southern regions of The small nation.
Rescue workers in the Ghanaian capital of Accra.
It has been reported that 185mm of rainfall dropped on the capital on sunday, which is about the annual average for June.
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