Heritage Month 2015: The things you didn’t know about Yaa Asantewaa

Once upon a time in the Golden Kingdom of Asante lived a woman, a thoughtful, brave and strategic heroine, Nana Yaa Asantewaa. Yaa Asantewaa was the queen mother of Edweso (Ejisu) who led the Asante to fight the British. Yaa Asantewaa’s mother was Ata Po, and her father Kwaku Ampoma.

Her parents were both from Ampabame near Besease in Ejisu. She had a brother called Kwasi Afrane. The siblings Kwasi Afrane and Yaa Asantewaa were Asona royals of the Besease lineage of the Edweso stool.

They were the only children of the marriage and were born in the 1830s. Yaa Asantewaa grew up to marry Owusu Kwabena of Kantinkyiren near Trede.

He was a paternal grandson of Asantehene Osei Yaw (1824–33). His union with Yaa Asantewaa produced only one child, a daughter called Ama Sewaa Brakatu (or Ama Sewaa Boankra, after the Edweso village where her mother farmed and gave birth to her). According to availabele records, Yaa Asantewaa’s brother died in 1894.

Yaa Asantewaa rose to prominence towards the turn of the 20th century. She inspired Asante to fight the British after the British abducted the then Asantehene, King Prempeh I and the Edwesohene, Nana Afrane II.

Why should she excite extra comments? Did she plan, inspire, lead and direct the uprising, or did she merely symbolize resistance?

Did she fight in person, or oversee operations from Edweso? Dr Wilhelmina Donkor, President of the Garden City University College and former head of the History Department – KNUST, shares the story of Yaa Asantewaa and her role in Asanteman.

Source – Citi FM