Facts About The Ashanti Kingdom In Ghana
The Ashanti or Asante people are Akan people who speak Twi and occupy the Ashanti Region of the present Ghana. The Ashanti people settled in the central part of present-day Ghana, about three hundred kilometers from the Atlantic coast. The territory is a forest belt laced with some mountains in some areas. Kumasi is the capital of the current Ashanti region, and has also been the historic capital of the Ashanti Kingdom.
Most Historians believe that the Akan group of people migrated from the old Mali Empire and settled at a place near Kin-nta-mpo and from there; most of them migrated to places like Takyiman and Akurofuom. In the 1670s, Osei Tutu, a military leader and the head of the Oyoko Clan, founded the Ashanti Kingdom. He fought and defeated Denkyira in 1701 and annexed all Akan Clans under his Kingdom and administered them from Kumasi, his headquarter. Osei Tutu was succeeded by Opoku Ware 1 who also followed the footsteps of his predecessor to expand the borders of the Ashanti Kingdom.
The Ashanti Kingdom strongly resisted attempts by the British to subdue them. The Ashanti Kingdom was among the first African Kingdoms to give the European Colonialists a good fight. Between 1823 and 1896, the British fought four wars with the Ashanti Kings and in 1900, they defeated the Kingdom and incorporated it into the Gold Coast Colony as a Protectorate. However, in 1926 the Asantehene was given ceremonial control over Kumasi. And in 1935 the full role of leader of the Ashanti people was restored.
Kings of Ashati:
Several family leaders had ruled the different Clans of the Akan people but the main dated leadership began with:
(1). Osei Tutu Opemsoo 1680-1717
(2). Opoku Ware Katakyie I 1720-1750
(3). Kusi Oboadum 1750-1764
(4). Osei Kwadwo Okoawia 1764-1777
(5). Osei Kwame 1777-1803 (forced to resign)
(6). Opoku Fofie 1803 (died after a few weeks on the throne)
(7). Osei Tutu Kwame 1804-1823
(8). Osei Yaw Akoto 1824-1833
(9). Kwaku Dua Panin 1834-1867
(10). Kofi Kaakari 1867-1874 (forced to resign)
(11). Mensa Bonsu (Bonsu Kuma) 1874-1883 (forced to resign)
(12). Kwaku Dua 11 (Kwaku Dua Kuma)1884 (died after 40 day reign): Between 1883-1888 there was a civil war in Asante over the succession between the supporters of the Queen's (Nana Yaa Akyaa) son Agyeman Prempeh and his cousin Yaw Atwereboana.
(13). Prempeh I (Kwaku Dua III) 1888-1931. The British arrested him in 1896 after he refused to pay tributes British colonization. He also refused to fight the British and was exiled by the British to as far as the Seychelles Island. He finally returned to Kumasi on November 12, 1924 and was recognized by the British as the King of Kumasi striping him of all other part of Ashanti but in reality, the Ashantis still saw him as their King or Asantehene.
(14). Sir Osei Tutu Agyeman Prempeh II 1931-1970
(15). Opoku Ware Katakyie II 1970-1999
(16). Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II 1999 – the present day.
Today, the Ashanti Kingdom, with its traditional headquarters in Kumasi, has undergone a lot of transformations over the years. They are mostly Christians and a Moslem community made up of the Ashanti and other Akan Clans known as Kramo. The Kingdom has produced many Ghanain leaders among them is the immediate past president of Ghana, John Kufor.
Godwill A. Paul is a Clergy and Authour based in Lagos.