HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT YAA ASANTEWAA (QUENN MOTHER) IF THE ASHANTI KINGDOM

Yaa Asantewaa was an influential Ashanti queen at the beginning of the twentieth century who remains a powerful symbol today. Her birthdate is contested; she is generally believed to be born between the 1840s to 1860s in the Ashanti Confederacy in present-day Ghana. She was a skilled farmer before ascending to the title Queen Mother in the 1880s. It is believed that she was chosen for this title due to the matrilineal aspect of the Ashanti culture and that her elder brother Nana Akwasi Afrane Okpase, who was a powerful ruler at the time, appointed her to the role.

As the Queen Mother, Asantewaa held many responsibilities, including being the Gatekeeper of the Golden Stool. The Golden Stool is an emblem of the Ashanti kingdom, cultural system, and power. Since the Queen Mother is elected to be the mother of the reigning king, she present candidates for when the occupant of the Stool (the chiefdom) becomes vacant, in turn protecting the establishment of authority. Additionally, since the Queen Mother is the main adviser for the King, and thus is the second highest position within the empire, she fulfills the role of guarding the Golden Stool.

 

YAA

In 1896, the Ashanti peoples began to rebel against the British presence in their lands and the British attempt to construct the “Gold Coast” colony. To retaliate, the British captured and exiled Asantehene Prempeh I, King of the Ashanti, and Asantewaa’s grandson Kofi Tene, who was also a powerful leader. The British removed the king and other Ashanti leaders to the Seychelles Islands in an effort to acquire the Golden Stool.

While remaining leaders within the community debated on how to best respond to the British threat, Asantewaa held her ground and rallied the troops. Her leadership and passion led to her role as Commander in Chief of the Ashanti army. In turn, the Anglo-Ashanti wars’ fifth and final war against the British became known as the Yaa Asantewaa War of Independence (or the War of the Golden Stool), which began on March 28, 1900.

That conflict began when British representative Sr. Frederick Mitchell Hodgson sat on the Golden Stool.  Since the Stool was not a throne, when Hodgson’s act became known, Yaa Asantewaa led the rebellion which resulted in the death of 1,000 British and allied African soldiers and 2,000 Ashanti.  Both totals were higher that the deaths from all previous wars between the Ashanti and the British combined.

To inspire the leaders of her community, Asantewaa proclaimed that if the men of the kingdom would not defend the people, then the women would rise to the challenge. This both invigorated the men and challenged traditional gender roles. She led the rebellion and became an image of strength and resistance. Unfortunately, she was captured during the rebellion and exiled to Seychelles, where she died in 1921.

Yaa Asantewaa remains a powerful reminder due to her impactful actions in both empowering her people and in tactics against the British army. In August 2000, to commemorate her influence, a museum was opened in her honor in the Ejisu-Juaben District of Ghana. Similarly, there is an achievement award titled the “Nana Yaa Asantewaa Awards” (NYA) which honors women who uphold the values and leadership of Asantewaa.

 

SOURCE   blackpast.org

About Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez

Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez is an International Award Winner, Published Author & Poet, Broadcast Journalist, MC and Youth Empowerment Consultant . He is also The CEO of AFRICA4U and The Founder of Africans in The Diaspora People also see him as a Cultural and Social entrepreneur, which means he is skilled in working with many different communities, bringing people together in successful focused events. Tony has organised many cultural events …involving both BME and mainstream communities. He is skilled in hosting events that reinforce community cohesion and bringing different kinds of people together. He has organised events in The UK, The U.S.A, Holland, Germany, Romania, Malta and Nigeria and has visited over 22 European Countries. Tony has also organised The Black History Month Celebrations at The UK House of Parliament for over five years in a row He continues to promote the true life and success stories of Africans in Europe and Africans around the world and has organised several small scale literary and awards initiatives aimed at empowering young people. He has also spent time as an International broadcaster and was The Producer and Presenter for AFRICA4U International Radio Talk Show at Reading4u Radio Station for nearly three years. Tony has interviewed high profile Members of Parliament, Distinguished celebrities and some of Africas best musicians including Ivonne Chaka Chaka and Kanda Bongoman. He has also been a guest on BBC Radio on numerous occasions to discuss the community cohesion events he organises at UK House of Parliament and also to recite some of his published work in memory of Nelson Mandela, 50 Years Anniversary of The race relations act and major community issues. Tony has also a Guest on popular Radio stations in Nigeria and The States In the last few years he has been very passionate about Youth empowerment, community cohesion and cultural intelligence. Tony was born in South London and has lived in several parts of England and Nigeria . He started writing at the tender age of nine, a habit he expressed with creative enthusiasm. Tony writes Poetry, short stories and proverbs on personal development. He is currently working on his 4th book which will also be his first novel. He is also into Public Speaking at Special events and Social functions and is a Mentor for young people in the UK Community. He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at The University of Lagos, Nigeria in English and World Literature. He later went on to attain a teaching qualification at The Frances King International Training Institute, South Kensington London, it was here he studied Teaching English as a Foreign Language. He also studied Web Design at The City University in London. He published his first book in June 1999 called “The Beauty in the Dark” (A Collection of Poetry which received critical acclamation in many circles around the world). .Tony’s aim in life is to inspire the young generation and to encourage the youth to make the very best of their dreams and aspirations,. He published a 2nd book in June 2009 called ” The Sound of Running Water” – A Family gift book of proverbs and quotations on Personal Development and Positive Thinking . In December 2009, he published his 3rd book called “One Moment of Peace”.- A collection of Poetry inspired by personal experiences and spiritual growth. Besides the fact that the Artist has won International online awards, he is mostly inspired by Life experience, love, music and cultural awareness. He was Resident Poet at the 5th London Poetry Festival in 2009 and has been a guest on BBC Radio on very many occassions including The famous Anne Diamond Show. He has also been a guest on a few SKY TV stations and several International Radio Stations around The World
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