Friday, June 29, 2007

hail Ancestor Nana YAA ASANTEWAA

Born: 1840
Crossed over: 17th October 1921

"...Brave men of Asante, we are now faced with a serious confrontation by the Governor's extremely provocative demand for the Golden Stool. We should remember that the Golden Stool is not only our spiritual backbone but also the religious symbol of the unity of Asanteman. Not quite long ago the white man came and unilaterally occupied our God-given land and by force of arms has declared Asante Kingdom as a British Protectorate.

We should also not forget that during the time of Nana Kofi Kaakari the aggressors waged a senseless war on us, destroyed the seat of the Asante monarchy and burnt our Palace after looting all the treasures bequeathed to us by our fore bearers. Taking our brave men for a ride, the Governor arbitrarily arrested and deported our King with some paramount chiefs without you men rising even a finger.

Aren't you ashamed of yourselves? Today he has come to demand the Golden Stool. I am asking you all here, shall we sit down as cowards and let these rouges take away our pride? We should rise up and defend our heritage because it is better to perish than to look on sheepishly while the white man whose sole business in our country is to steal, kill and destroy and shamelessly demand for our sacred Stool.

Arise!!!! arise, men of Osei Tutu and Opoku Tenten, because I am prepared to lead you to war against the white men. I am urging all the WOMEN here to go home and stay behind because WE the MEN are ready for War. Should anyone of you be afraid to fight; may he be punished for his shameful act by the great Asante god Odomankoma..." A famous speech to the elders as the lone female present.

On May 17th ,1901, the Queen ordered the deportation of Nana Yaa Asantewaa and 13 Asante chiefs to the Seychelles Islands. Those who were also deported with Nana Yaa Asantewaa were as follows: Nana Kwame Afrifa, Nana Kofi Fofie, Nana Kwadwo Antwi, Kwame Asamoa, Nana Osei Kwadwo Krome, Nana Antwi Agyei, Nana Akwasi Aderi, Nana Kwabena Nkwantabisa, Nana Adu Kofi, Nana Kofi Kuma, Nana Kwame Akroma and Nana Kwaku Berchie. They were conveyed on the transport "DWARKA" by May 25th 1901. And they were to be made political prisoners on the Islands. They might have arrived by the latter part of 1901 in the Seychelles. When they arrived Nana Yaa Asantewaa was made to settle on an estate of about 27 acres in an area 2 and a half miles from Victoria. She and all the other chiefs were paid monthly stipends or allowances each by the Gold Coast Government. Nana Yaa Asantewaa even had servants that she was paying monthly salary out of her monthly allowances. Nana Yaa Asantewaa became a converted Christian and even took some lessons to learn the English alphabets. She died on the Islands on October 17th, 1921, as a result of a chronic toothache. She was buried on the Islands.





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