Born: 17th October 1840
Died: 17th October 1921
Birth Place: Ghana
Known for: Being a warrior Queen of the Ashanti
Yaa Asantewaa was a farmer and member of the Ashanti Royal family.
She raised an army of 5,000 people to defend against the British invasion.
She inspired Ghanaians to fight for their independence.
Yaa Asantewaa was a human rights leader, politician, and Queen, who led the Ashanti rebellion against the British invasion. Yaa Asantewaa was born in Southern Ghana, and was a member of the Ashanti royal family as well as a successful farmer.
The British had already taken the Ashanti King prisoner in 1896, along with some of the chiefs. The remaining Ashanti leaders were afraid. In order for the British invaders to strengthen their control over Ghana, the Governor-General demanded the Golden Stool, which was the most important symbol of the Ashanti nation. To give this away was like giving away the soul of the people.
Fighting the British
When the leaders met to respond to the British demand for the Golden Stool, Yaa Asantewaa reminded them that the Ashanti were proud people. The British were already taking their gold, and now they also wanted to take away the symbol of their nation. Yaa Asantewaa demanded that the people fight, and as the new leader she raised an army of five thousand soldiers in March 1900.
During the battle, the British sent many more troops than the Ashanti had, and the rebellion was eventually defeated in 1902. Yaa Asantewaa was captured, and sent away in exile to the Seychelles, where she eventually died. By the 6th of March, 1957, Ghana was at last free of British rule, and the Ashanti region became an independent kingdom once again.
Yaa Asantewaa is celebrated in Ghana, and around the world, as a fearless warrior queen who led a rebellion in an attempt to free Ghana from foreign control.
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