Sunday, 20 January 2013

Ghana’s History: Ghanaian Women in Power 1500 -2000

Around 1600 Queen Nana Ikuro of Nsuta (Ghana)
Followed by Nana Yita as head of the Akan speaking people, which is closely related to the Asante (Ashanti) royal family. In 1701 it was one of the founding states of the Asante Confederation

Around 1600 Queen Nana Ankeyeo Nyame of Kokofu (Ghana)
Succeeded by Nana Aberewa Ampen as head of the Akan speaking people, which was another of the founding states of the Asante Confederation

Around 1600 Queen Nana Adifa of Dwaben (Ghana)
Ruler of an Akan-speaking people, closely related to the Asante (Ahanti) royal family, and alto took part in the founding, of the Asante Confederation 100 years later.

Ca. 1610 Queen Dodi Akaibi of Ga-Adamge (Ghana)
Succeeded by son, Okai Koi, who was killed 1677.
Around 1620 Queen Nana Bempomaa of Kokofu (Ghana)
Succeeded Queen Nana Ankeyo Nyame and was succeeded by son, Nana Akyempon Tenten.
Ca. 1630-ca. 60 Queen Nana Yita of Nsuta (Ghana)
Succeeded Queen Nana Ikuro and was succeeded by her son Nana Dansu Abeo. In 1701 Nsuta was one of the founding states of the Asante Confederation.
Ca. 1630 Queen Nana Aberewa Ampen of Dwaben (Ghana)
Followed on the throne by son, Nana Ampomben Afera.

Ca. 1660-17.. Queen Regnant Nana .... of Nsuta (Ghana)
Succeeded her aunt, Queen Nana Yita.

1700-ca. 1750 1st Asantehemaa Nana Nyarko Kusi Amoa of Asante (Ghana)
There are different interpretations of the role of the Queen Mother of the Asante, but it seems that she held the important office of "ohemaa" - the second highest political position in the state. Theoretically an Ashanti Queen Mother was next to the king in the sense that she automatically took upon the king's responsibilities should a condition arise which made it later for the latter to administer. She was a full member and co-President of the governing body and she took part in all-important decisions. She was de facto royal co-ordinator and possessed traditional legitimacy in determining the right successor to the stool of the Ashanti King. She exercised a general supervisory authority over women but did not in fact represent the overall interest of the women. Nyaaako was mother of king Opoku Ware I (1720-50) and the 4th Asantehemaa Konadu Yaadom I, who was in office (Ca.1778-1809

Ca. 1710-ca. 60 Queen Regnant Asea Poku of Baule (Ashante-Brong) (Cote d'Ivoire)
The Baule belong to the Akan peoples who inhabit Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire. During the Asante rise to power the Baule Queen, Aura Poku, was in direct competition with the Asante king. When the Asante prevailed, the Queen led her people away to the land they now occupy. The male descendant of Aura Poku still lives in the palace she established. Succeeded by niece

1720-39 Leader Nanny of the Maroons in the Blue Mountains in Eastern Jamaica
Head of the Windward or Eastern Jamaican Maroons - Africans - and the struggle against the British colonial empire and its institution of slavery in Jamaica. The Maroons themselves and the British settlers too, all recognized her as an outstanding military leader. She was particularly skilled in organizing the guerrilla warfare carried out by the Eastern Maroons to keep away the British troops who attempted to penetrate the mountains to overpower them. And, she was especially important to the free Africans in their fierce fight with the British during the First Maroon War from 1720 to 1739. She was also a spiritual leader, a Priestess, for her people. Despite relentless pursuit by the British forces, the Windward Maroons continued raiding plantations for food and supplies; survived and thrived in the mountainous jungle terrain; communicated using the famous abeng (cow horn); and kept the location of their mountain secret for at least ten years.
Ca. 1750-60 Queen Awura Danse Poukou of Baule (The Ivory Coast)
Successor of Asak Poku, who reigned from the beginning of the century, and was succeeded by a niece, whose name is not known.

1750-... 2nd Asantehemaa Nana Nkatia Ntem Abamoo of Asante (Ghana)
As Asantehemaa, or Queen mother, during the reign of king Kusi Obodom (1750-64), she was a full member and co-President of the governing body and she took part in all important decisions. She was de facto royal co-ordinator and possessed traditional legitimacy in determining the right successor to the stool of the Ashanti King. She exercised a general supervisory authority over women but did not in fact represent the overall interest of the women. Nana Nkatia was succeeded by Kaua Afriye at a not known time.

From 1760 Queen of Baule (Ashanti-Brong) (Cote d'Ivoire)
Succeeded her aunt, Awura Danse Poukou. Since then the kingdom has been ruled by kings, who inherit their position along matrilineal lines. There are various subchiefs in charge of the kings' local populations, and all the chiefs rely on political advisors who help in the decision making process.

1770-93 Denkyirahene Amoako Atta Yiadom of Denkyira (Ghana)
Reigned after Amoako Atta Kuma (1725-70). The state was founded in 1500 under the name of Agona, but was renamed in 1620. In 1701 it was defeated by the Asante and became a tributary kingdom.

1777-78 Regent The Asantehemaa Nana Akua Afriyie of Asante (Ghana)
It is not exactly known when she took office as Queen Mother as successor of Nana Nketia Ntem Abamoo. She was mother of King Osei Kwadwo (Around 1764-77) and of three daughters. The oldest, Akyamaa, was the mother of king Osei Kwame (Around 1777-98) and the 6. Asantehemaa. The second daughter, Sewaa Okuwa was mother of the 5. Asantehemaa. Akua Afriye was succeeded by the third daughter, Konadu Yaadom I, as the 4. Asantehemaa.
Ca.1778-1809 4th Asantehemaa Nana Kwaadu Yiadom I of Asante (Ghana)
Succeeded her mother, Akua Afriye, as Queen Mother, and was mother of four kings; Osei Kwame, Opoku Fofie, (1798-1801), Osei Bonsu (1801-24) and Osei Yaw Akoto (1824-33) and of two Asantehemaas, Nana Ama Serwaa and Yaa Dufie. She lived (1752-1809).

1809-ca. 19 5th Asantehemaa Nana Adoma Akosua of Asante (Ghana)
1814 Regent

As Asantehemaa, or Queen mother, during the reign of Osei Tutu Kwame Asiba (1804-24), she was left in charge of the government while the king went to the coast to visit his troops on the battlefield there. In the period, Adoma Akosua received a Dutch embassy with which she discussed trade. Succeeded on the post by cousin, Ama Sewaa, and lived (1765-1819).



1817-26 The 24th Okyehene and the Ohemaa Nana Afia Dokuaa of Okyeman (Akyem Abuakwa)  (Ghana)

The first and only woman to hold the office of ruler as well as that of Ohemaa (Queen mother) in the history of Akyem Abuakwa, and ascended the Ofori stool in 1817 in lieu of a male heir to her uncle, Kofi Asante (1811-1816). She maintained the tradition of resistance to Asante overlordship and joined an anti-Asante alliance of coastal chiefs and the British Administration on the coast. She personally fought at the head of the Akyem Abuakwa contingent at the battle of Katamanso in 1826. It was the allied victory at Datamanso and the ensuing Treaty of 1831 that liberated Akyem Abuakwa and the Southern states from Asante’s claims to suzerainty over them. Nana Dokua was also a first class administrator. She set up towns and villages into the present divisions for the purposes of war and administration, as well as preventing break-ups or revolts in her kingdom. She married Barima Twum Ampofo of the Oyoko clan of Barekeseso in Ashanti, whom she made the Asiakwahene. She had two male twins, who successively became kings after her death.


Ca. 1819-24/33 6th Asantehemaa Nana Ama Sewaa of Asante (Ghana)

As Asantehemaa, or Queen mother, during the reigns of Osei Tutu Kwame Asiba (1804-24) and perhaps also trough that of Osei Yaw Akoto (1824-34), she acted as counsel, political acumen, historical perspective, and detailed knowledge of royal genealogy. She also helped to maintain the delicate balance of power between the elite and the powerful chiefs of the federated states. She was mother of King Nana Kwaku Dua I and Asanthemaa Nana Afia Sarpong, and lived (1763-1824/33). 


1824/33-1835 7th  Asantehemaa Yaa Dufie of Asante (Ghana)

Queen mother, during the reigns of Osei Yaw Akoto (1824-34), and Kwaku Dua I Panyin (ca. 1797-1834-67). She was succeeded on the post by her cousin, Nana Afia Sarpong, and lived (1770-1835). 


1831 Head of Diplomatic Missions Akyaawaa Oyiakwan for Asante (Ghana)

A daughter of the the Asante King, Asantehene Osei Kwadwo (1764-77), she headed two different diplomatic missions that successfully negotiated the Maclean Treaty in April 1831 with the British and with the Danes at Christiansborg Castle in August of the same year. (b. ca. 1774).


1835-1859 8th Asantehemaa Nana Afia Sapong of Asante (Ghana)

The daughter of king Osei Kwame (Around 1777-98), she was the second Queen Mother during the reign of Kwaku Dua I Panyin (ca. 1797-1834-67), and was succeeded as Asantehemaa by her only child, Aufa Kobi Serwaa Ampen I, who was in office (1859-1884). Afia Sapon lived (1790-1859).



1838-48 The Dwabenhene Ama Sewa of Dwaben (Dwabehene or Dwabeii) (Ghana)
1843-48 Reigning Dwabenhemaa and Dwabenhene

Took over as chief and led her people back to Asante from exile in Akyem Abuakwa in the south east of the Gold Coast after the death of her two sons in succession. Indeed, her daughter, Nana Afrakoma Panin and her granddaughter Nana Akua Saponmaa both held the dual offices of Dwabenhemaa and Dwabenhene (Queen Mother and King) concurrently.



From 1848 Reigning Dwabenhemaa and Dwabenhene Nana Afrakoma Panin of Dwaben (Dwabehene or Dwabeii) (Ghana)

Succeeded mother, Ama Sewa, and was succeeded by daughter, Nana Akua Saponmaa, as holder of the dual offices of Dwabenhemaa and Dwabenhene (Queen Mother and King).

**After 1848 Reigning Dwabenhemaa and Dwabenhene Nana Akua Saponmaa of Dwaben (Dwabehene or Dwabeii) (Ghana)

 Succeessor of her mother, Nana Afrakoma Panin, at a not known time.

1859-84 Asantehemaa Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampen I of Asante (Ghana)

As Asantehemaa, or Queen mother, during the reigns of the kings Kwaku Dua I Panyin (1834-67), Kofi Kakari (1867-84), Mensa Bonsu Kumaa (1874-83) and Kwaku Dua II Kumaa (1884), she was a full member and co-President of the governing body and she took part in all important decisions. The de facto royal co-ordinator and possessed traditional legitimacy in determining the right successor to the stool of the Ashanti King. She mother of the kings Nana Kofi Kaakari and Nana Mensa Bonsu, and was succeeded on the post by daughter Yaa Akyeaa. She lived (1765-1819).

1860-86 Dwabenhemaa Nana Akosua Afrakomaa II of Dwaben (Ghana)
A Queen who wielded much power and authority in Dwaben, a Core Member of the Kingdom of Asante. She reigned in conjunction with her father, Nana Asafo Agyei( who was a regent of the male stool of Dwaben). She was also very wealthy in her own right as attested to, by the following description of her, as she was seen in Cape Coast in 1876.
"According to Captain A.B. Ellis who saw the visitors, the Dwabenhemaa, Afrakumaa II, made the greatest impression on the spectators. The wealth of young, handsome queenmother was worthy of note: She was attired in a rich silk "country cloth" (kente) of great value, and her arms, from the wrist to the elbow, were covered with strings of gold ornaments and aggrey beads; gold anklets appeared on each leg, and her well-shaped neck was almost hidden by the mass of gold necklets which encircled it. 12 or 14 young girls, likewise bedecked with gold ornaments, attended her, bearing horse-tails with which to whisk away the impertinent flies.)"

1884-1917 10th Asantehemaa Nana Yaa Akyeaa of Asante (Ghana)
Mother the kings Kwaku Dua (1860-84) the 12th Asantahene in 1884, of Premph I (1888) and grandmother of Premph II. She had through strategic political marriages built the military power to secure the Golden Stool for her son. The British authorities offered to take the Asante under their protection, but Prempeh refused each request. In 1896 the British authorities entered Kumase and arrested Prempeh and Yaa Akayaa as well as Prempeh's father, and they were all send in exile. Succeeded as 11th Asantehemaa by daughter, Konadu Yaadom II, who was in office until 1944. Yaa Akyaa lived (ca. 1837-1917).
1887-1900 Edwesohemaa Nana Yaa Asantewaa of Edweso (Ghana)

1896-1900 Regent of Edweso
1900 Leader of the Resistance
Appointed Queen Mother by her brother, Nana Akwasi Afrane Okpesé, the Edwesohene, as successor to Nana Ampobin I. When her brother died in about 1894, she used her prerogative as Queen Mother to nominate her own grandson, to succeed to the vacant office. When he was sent into exile in 1896 she became regent. After the British deported the king of the Asante, she became leader of the resistance supported by some male leaders. Eyewitness accounts from Edweso indicate that she herself did not physically take up arms to fight. Her role has been described as being mainly inspirational. She was known to have visited the soldiers in the battlefield to ascertain how they were faring. She also gave directions and advice as well as supplied gunpowder. In the end she was captured and sent to Seychelles islands off Africa's east coast, while most of the captured chiefs became prisoners-of-war. She lived (1850-1921).

1917-44 11th Asantehemaa Kwaadu Yaadom II of Asante (Ghana)
Elected Queen Mother after the death of her mother, Yaa Akyaa. In the period 1900-35 there was no Asantehene or king of the Asante. From 1926-35 the kingdom was ruled by chiefs with the title of Kumasehene. The last of those, Otumfuo Nana Osei Agyeman Prempeh II, began his reign in 1931, became Asantehene in 1935, and ruled until 1970. Konadu Yaadom II was followed on the post by her cousin, Nana Ama Sewas Nyaako, who was in office until 1977.d
1942-69 Dwabenhemaa Nana Dwaben Serwaa II of Dwaben (Ghana)
1959-63 Dwabenhene (King)
Concurrent Queen and King of Dwaben. First enstooled as the Queen of Dwaben and held the joint offices until1963, when she placed her son, Nana Kwabena Boateng II on the male Stool of Dwaben, making him Dwabenhene. She continued to rule as Dwabenhemaa until 1969, when she abdicated. Nana Dwaben Serwaa II, is still alive and well over a 100yrs of age. She lives in Dwaben, in Ashanti and in Ghana.
1944-77 12th Asantehemaa Nana Ama Serwaa Nyarko II of Asante (Ghana)
The second Queen mother during the reign of king Otumfuo Nana Osei Agyeman Prempe II (1892-1931/35-70) and during of Otumfuo Nana Opoku Ware II (1919-70-99). She was granddaughter of Aufa Kobi Serwaa Ampen I, who was (1859-1884) and daughter of daughter of Akua Afriyie, the Kumasehemaa. In 1977 she was succeeded by the present Asantehemaa, Nana Afua Kobi Sewaa Ampem II - who is Queen Mother for the present king, Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II (1950-99-).
1969-94 Dwabenhemaa Nana Akosua Akyaamaa II of Dwaben (Ghana)
Also known as Nana Akosua Domtie, she succeeded Nana Dwaben Serwaa II, who abdicated in that year. Her daughter, Nana Akosua Akyaamaa III, succeeded her on the Queenship throne of Dwaben and her son, Nana Otuo Serebour II, is the present King of Dwaben.
1979 and 1981-2001 Politically Influential Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings in Ghana
The wife of President Jerry Rawlings, she had no official position in government, but nevertheless played a major role in formulating and even implementing policies relating to women, successfully creating a powerful and autonomous space for herself within the country's politics. She founded 31 December Women's Movement and used that as her platform and power-base. Many expected her to run for president in 2000-01, 1. Vice-President of National Democratic Congress from 2009 and Candidate for the position of presidential candidate in 2011. (b. 1948-)
1994- Dwabenhemaa Nana Akosua Akyaamaa III of Dwaben (Ghana)
Nana is a very astute Queen, wielding significant power and rules concurrently with her brother, Nana Otuo Serebour II, who is the Dwabenhene. Apart from ruling with her brother, she acts as his chief adviser cum admonisher and also, in Dwaben tradition, she is the ''mother'' of the King.
Before 1997 Chief Nana Osei Boakye Yiadom II of Aburi-Akuapem (Ghana)
Elizabeth Apeadu was the first woman chief of her village and an administrative judge and conciliator in the Akan political process as well as head of all Akan cultural and religious ceremonies. Since 1986 she serves as a consultant on the UN Decade for Women, advising the Committee on African Women’s Affairs.

2004- Chieftainess Nana Ekua Bri II of Apraponso (Ghana)
Also known as Anna Ekua Saakwa she is head of the 1.500 inhabitants of the village of Apraponso and of the surrounding villages in the Mpohor-Wassa Traditional Area of the Western Region as a subordonate of the local king. During the inauguration ceremony she swore the customary oath to the chiefs and people at the Apraponso Royal Ground, holding the state sword in her right hand, espoused the greatness, achievements and conquests of her ancestors and pledge to blaze their trail. She is a Social Democrat member of the City Council of Copenhagen and continues to live in Denmark. (b. 1958-).

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for this! Its so nice to have a concrete list of our history and keeping women leaders front and center.