Civilian uprising

Events leading to the Ashanti’s uprising

Yaa Asantewaa had witnessed several events including civil war from 1883 to 1888 during her brother’s rule that posed threat to the future of the Ashanti Confederacy. She was inducted queen mother of Ejisu in the Ashanti Empire by her brother and following his death in 1894, she used such right and nominated her own grandson as Ejisuhene.

In 1896, the King of Asante Prempeh I, other members of the Asante government as also Yaa Asantewaa’s grandson were exiled by the British to the Seychelles following which she became regent of the Ejisu–Juaben district.

Civil Wars

Yaa Asantewaa had witnessed several events including civil war from 1883 to 1888 during her brother’s rule that posed threat to the future of the Ashanti Confederacy. She was inducted queen mother of Ejisu in the Ashanti Empire by her brother and following his death in 1894, she used such right and nominated her own grandson as Ejisuhene..

Dignitaries Exiled

In 1896, the King of Asante Prempeh I, other members of the Asante government as also Yaa Asantewaa’s grandson were exiled by the British to the Seychelles following which she became regent of the Ejisu–Juaben district.

Political Error

British colonial administrator Sir Frederick Mitchell Hodgson, the then governor-general of the Gold Coast, made a political error by demanding to sit on the royal and divine throne of the Ashanti people, the Golden Stool. He did not understand the significance of the Golden Stool that is the very symbol of the Ashanti people, living, dead, and yet to be born. Moreover he also commanded a search for the stool.

Leadership

This led the rest of the members of Asante government to hold a confidential meeting at Kumasi to find out a solution to secure the king’s return. · Yaa Asantewaa was also present in the meeting. She was disgusted to see that some of the members of the council were fearful of getting into war with the British and were suggesting to earnestly requesting Hodgson to free the king rather than fight for the king’s return and dignity.

Vilification

She addressed the council members reminding them of the gallantry days of their legends Osei Tutu, Okomfo Anokye and Opuku Ware I. She said if it were those days, the chiefs would not have let the king be captured and taken away without a combat and the white men would have never dared to speak to the Chief of Asante the way Hodgson did in the present day.

Slavery

She then said that if the men of the Asante cannot come forward to wage war against the British then she will call her fellow women and fight the British till the last of them fall on the warfront. Such courageous and motivating words by her led to the initiation of the Ashanti Uprising. Many of the regional Asante kings selected her as war-leader of the Asante fighting force thus making her the first and only woman in history of Asante to play such a role.