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How Asantehemaa Yaa Akyaa Invested In Weapons To Oppose British Rule

The 10th Asantehemaa, Nana Yaa Akyaa is said to have invested massively in sophisticated weapons to combat and resist the threats of the British.

Ghanaian historian Eugenia Anderson recounts that after ousting her mother to take over as the Asantehemaa, she allied to protect the kingdom.

This was at a time when the Kingdom was embroiled in internal wrangling over the true heir to the Golden Stool, following the death of Nana Kwaku Duah II, just 44 days after he was enstooled in the stead of dethroned Nana Kofi Karikari.

“Kwaku Duah II reigned for only 44 days. After his death, Yaa Akyaa fought for the stool for her son, Prempeh I. Supporters of her opponents were all executed leading to a prolonged war of four years. Within the period, she assumed the role of a rival ruler of Asante and took possession of the Golden Stool so that no opponent could be enthroned.”

She is known to have invested a greater part of her resources into weapons.

“Yaa Akyaa was a wealthy trader who used her money to finance the ambitions of her children. As a known wealthy woman, she deployed her resources liberally.

“…She also acquired a large supply of snider rifles and ammunition to aid herself and her ambition. As a result, she was given the title Obaa Barima. Yaa Akyaa remained resolutely opposed to diplomatic missions,” the historian with the History Department of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) said.

She was exiled along with her son, Prempeh I in 1896 to Seychelles Island where she died on September 2, 1917, at the age of 77 years.

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