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More about Yaa Asantewaa;
Yaa Asantewaa was born at Besease, a small town south of Ejisu about 12 miles from Kumasi, the capital of the Asante Kingdom. She led the formidable but ultimately unsuccessful resistance to British colonial rule of the Asante Kingdom from April 1900 to March 1901. Yaa Asantewaa was a member of the Asona royal clan and her brother, Nana Kwesi Afrane Okpese was the protector of the Golden stool of the Asante nation. In 1887, when the female stool of Ejisu became vacant, Nana Kwesi Afrane Okpese appointed his sister, Yaa Asantewaa, as the Queen Mother of Ejisu.
In 1896, after the British arrested the Asantehene, his mother, and other Kings & chiefs of Kumasi, including her grandson Kwesi Afrane, they were taken first to Elmina Castle, and then to Sierra Leone, for imprisonment.
After the Asante Kingdom was charged with indemnity and it was ordered that the Golden Stool be surrendered to the British authorites, Yaa Asantewaa made this statement, “How can a proud & brave people like the Asante, sit back & look while white men take away the King & Chiefs, then humiliate them with demands for the Golden Stool? The Golden Stool only means money for them. I shall not pay one predawn to the Governor. If you, the Chiefs of Asante, are going to behave like cowards and not fight, you should exchange your loin cloths for my undergarments.” With this, she threw the Kingdom of Asante into a war of resistance against the British, which began on April 2, 1900 and lasted until March 3, 1901, when Yaa Asantewaa was arrested, effectively ending all the armed resistance.
Folklore says she was betrayed by bounty hunters, but later scholars suggest that she surrendered herself to the British to spare her daughter and grandchildren, who were being held hostage in the fort at Kumasi. She & 15 other leaders of the rebellion, as well as many of their dependents, were exiled to the Seychelles on May 22, 1901, and 20 years later, that is where she died. Her remains and those of others exiled were repatriated to Asante and given royal burials there in 1924.
In 1960, Yaa Asantewaa Girls’ Secondary School was established in her honor. A museum in her memory was also established in Ejisu.