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    Victory Amah

      Yaa Asantewaa was born October 17, 1840, in Besease, she was the daughter of Kwaku Ampoma and Ata Po. She had a childhood without any major incidents, she cultivated crops around Boankra, and her brother, Afrane Panin was the chief of Edweso, a nearby community.


      She was the Queen Mother of Ejisu in the Ashanti empire, which is now part of modern-day Ghana. She was appointed by her brother Nana Akwasi Afrane Opese, the Edwesuhene, or ruler, Edwesu.

      Se led the Ashanti War, which is better known as the War of the Golden Stool, or the Yaa Asantewaa War of Independence, against the British Empire, in 1900. She was in a polygamous marriage with a man from Kumasi and she had a child with him.


      During her brother’s reign, Yaa Asantewaa saw the Ashanti Confederacy go through a series of events that threatened its future, including a civil war from 1883 to 1888. When her brother died in 1894, Yaa Asantewaa used her right as Queen Mother to nominate her grandson as Ejisuhene. When the British exiled him to Seychelles in 1896, along with the King of Asante Prempeh I and other members of the Asante government, Yaa Asantewaa became regent of the Ejisu–Juaben district. After the exile of Prempeh I, the British governor-general of the Gold Coast, Frederick Hodgson, demanded the Golden Stool, the symbol of the Asante nation. This request led to a secret meeting of the remaining members of the Asante government at Kumasi, to discuss how to secure the return of their king. There was a disagreement among those present on how to go about this. Yaa Asantewaa, who was present at this meeting, stood and addressed the members of the council with these words:

      How can a proud and brave people like the Asante sit back and look while white men took away their king and chiefs, and humiliated them with a demand for the Golden Stool? The Golden Stool only means money to the white men; 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 dramatize her determination to go to war she seized a gun and fired a shot in front of the men. Yaa Asantewaa was chosen by many regional Asante kings to be the war leader of the Asante fighting force. This is the first and only example of a woman to be given that role in Asante history. The Ashanti-British War of the Golden Stool – also known as the “Yaa Asantewaa War” – was led by Queen Mother Nana Yaa Asantewaa with an army of 5,000.


      During the war, she was captured together with 15 of her men and sent to exile in Seychelles. She died in exile on the 17th of October 1921. King Prempeh I made sure that her remains and the remains of other dead exiles were returned for a proper royal burial.


      Her dream of independence for Asante was later realized on the 6th of March 1957, when the Asante protectorate gained independence as part of Ghana. Ghana was the first African nation in West Africa to achieve this feat.


      She is remembered as a successful farmer and mother, an intellectual, a politician, a human rights activist, a queen, and a war leader.







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