#HeritageMonth2015: Meet the heroines Ghana’s history never popularised

Women have played very important roles in the history of Ghanaian communities. However, the traditional story revolves around the Kings and warriors who fought to build kingdoms and empires. The men’s bravery and leadership got their people going and consolidated their existence.

Aside the story of Yaa Asantewaa of the great Asante Kingdom, the stories have always favored the exploits of the men and left that of the women in the background.

– Who are the heroines who played various roles in our history?
– What did they do that changed the course of history?
– Where are they now?
– What lessons can we learn from their exploits?

Once upon a time, in the history of some Ghanaian communities, the women rose up and paid their dues. They ruled, they built, they transformed their societies and challenged the status quo. Their stories are captivating and full of lessons. These heroines put their shoulder to the wheel to inspire, instruct and left their legacies.

Juaben Serwaa I: In the 19th century, the people of Juaben and some of their neighbors with in conflict with the Asantehene and migrated to the Gold Coast colony. The British received them and gave them land to settle on. When Asantehene Kwaku Dua I became ruler, he wanted to re-unite Asante with the states that migrated to the Gold Coast colony. Juaben Serwaa led the people of Juaben to return to Juaben to rebuild. She lost her three sons on the way from the coast to Juaben but that didn’t deter her from resettling the people of Juaben and rebuilding.

Juaben Serwaa II: She ruled Juaben in the post-colonial times. She aligned herself to the then CPP government of the late Kwame Nkrumah to attract development to the area. She got the then ruler of Juaben deposed and ruled as both Juabenhene and Juabenhemaa.

Dodi Akai: She became the ruler of the Ga. She acted as regent when her husband died and her young son had to rule. She is really not acknowledge by the Ga because of the events that happened during her rule.

Amenfiwaa: She was the sister of the legendary Asebu Amenfi. Amenfi, the giant of Asebu, helped to set up and expand Asebu, the Fante chiefdom and town in the Abura/Asebu/Kwamankese District, Central Region, Ghana. In the history of the Gold Coast, Asebu is notable for being the first Fante chiefdom to sign a treaty with the Dutch Republic in 1612. Amenfuwaa was the power behind Amenfi, seeing to his welfare while he went about his legendary activities.

Akyaa Oyiakwan: She was a granddaughter of the Asantehene and grew to become the first recognized female linguist of the court of the King. 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.

Asantehemaa Nana Adoma Akosua of Asante: As Asantehemaa, or Queen mother, during the reign of Osei Tutu Kwame Asiba, 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. It is believed that she tried to usurp the powers of the Asantehene and made herself the ruler of the Asante people.

There are other great female legends who played different roles in different parts of Ghana. Dr Wilhelmina Donkor tells the stories of the female unsung heroines in this edition of the #HeritageMonth.

Listen and download below:


By: Kojo Akoto Boateng/citifmonline.com/Ghana

 

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