Centre for Cultural and African Studies (CeCAST) of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), has proposed the institution of a festival dubbed: ‘Yaa Asantewaa Festival’ in honour of the first female War General of the Ashanti Empire.
“The Centre is hopeful that such a festival would help boost Ghana’s tourism drive since there are lot of things and historical facts society could learn from the heroic deeds of Nana Yaa Asantewaa,” Mrs. Vesta Adu-Gyamfi, the Director of the center noted.
The legendary Yaa Asantewaa, the then queen of Ejisu, is noted for courageously leading the Ashanti army to fight British forces in a war fought between March-September, 1900.
The ‘War of the Golden Stool’, also known as the ‘Yaa Asantewaa War’, was the final war in a series of conflicts between the British Imperial government of the Gold Coast (later Ghana) and the Ashanti Empire, then an autonomous state in West Africa.
Mrs Adu-Gyamfi, who was delivering a paper at the Yaa Asantewaa Memorial Lectures in Kumasi, explained that it had to take a woman of Yaa Asantewaa’s calibre to be able to overcome the socio-cultural and political barriers of her time.
“She posed a danger to the colonialists even than the men,” the CeCAST Director said, stressing that, the visible leadership qualities of the late queen ought to be emulated by contemporary women.
“Yaa Asantewaa fought all forms of injustices and prejudices of her time to raise the image of women,” she stated.
Mrs Adu-Gyamfi, who was speaking on the topic: “Advancing the Tourism Sector in Ghana: The Relevance of the Yaa Asantewaa Festival”, proposed that the festival, when instituted, should be all-women affair.
It should serve as a platform for women of substance to come together to inspire the younger generation to aspire for excellence and greatness in their chosen fields of endeavour.
Mr. Kwame Omane Kwarteng, President of the Yaa Asantewaa Memorial Foundation, organizers of the programme, disclosed that they were seeking support to construct a ‘Centre for Women Empowerment’ at Ejisu, the spiritual home of the legendary female Ashanti Warrior.
The Centre, amongst others, would mentor and train young women to acquire employable skills, while also building their capacity to overcome peer pressure that may serve as impediment to their development.
Mr. Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafo, an astute media practitioner, who chaired the occasion, lauded the legendary Yaa Asantewaa for being an inspiration to all women.