Profile and achievements of the past Asante Kings

Nana Opemsuo Osei Tutu I 

1st Occupant of the Golden Stool (1680-1717)

The Kingdom of Asante was founded by Opemsoo Osei Tutu, the first Asantehene. He was born on Friday in the year 1636 at Kokofu Anyinam. Osei Tutu was the son of Manu Kotossi, the niece of the rulers of Kwaman namely Oti Akenten and Obiri Yeboah.

Opemsoo Osei Tutu’s father was Owusu Panin of Abrenkese Nyameani. When his uncle Obiri Yeboah died, Opemsoo Osei Tutu succeeded him. He swore the oath of office as the first King of the Asante Kingdom, and this 1’s what the Akyeame (linguists) of that time said “When somebody dies he must be succeeded.

Today your uncle has gone to the village and will not rise again so we have brought you this sword to swear to the people of Kwaman.” Instantaneously was given the King’s fisher crown (Denkyemkye) to wear to complete the swearing ceremony. Osei Tutu fought so many wars with the help of Okomfo Anokye, the Chief Priest of Asante.

Achievements


  • Opemsoo designed the “Denkyemkye made up of the crocodile skin and was the first king to wear it.
  • With the help of Okomfo Anokye, the spiritual head of Asante, assisted Opemsoo Osei Tutu to build the political and traditional strategies of the Asante Kingdom. It was his time that the Golden Stool came from heavens.
  • During his early days of enstoolment, he brought the Abusua Clan power of Juaben, Nsuta, Asumegya, Ejisu and Bekwai under his command.
  • Osei Tutu also known as Nyamekese created Kumasi and was able to free the Asantes from the Denkyiras. Under his command, Opemsoo fought and drove the people of Dorma out of their settlement known as “Wampaamu” now Kwadaso.
  • It is interesting to note that Opemsoo Osei Tutu won many battles and acquired war booties from his captives which most of them are still in the custody at Manhyia Palace.
  • Opemsoo Osei Tutu designed most of the Asante regalia which are still in existence and in the custody of Manhyia Palace.

Okatakyie Opoku Ware I

2nd Occupant of the Golden Stool(1720 — 1750)

Nana Opoku Ware was known as ‘Okatakyie’ because he was a brave warrior and fought in so many wars. He reigned from 1720 to 1750. He studied his uncle’s military tactics and won so many battles. He acquired a lot of wisdom from his uncle Opemsoo Osei Tutu.

Achievements


  • Okatakyie continued the military expansion of his uncle and succeeded in conquering so many states in the then Gold Coast.
  • He achieved a lot for the Asante through his power and influence. he received rent and tributes from the Europeans.
  • Okatakyie Military successes and expansion earned the Asantes the slogan “Asante Kotoko, Wokum Apem a Apem Beba”
  • He created the positions of Ankobea and Gyaase in the Asante Traditional Structures.
  • Opoku Ware I, introduced the Asantes to the European Education to the extent of sending some Asante Youth to the Dutch to study.

Nana Kusi Obuadum

3rd Occupant of the Golden Stool(1750 - 1764)

Nana Kusi Obuadum succeeded Opoku Ware I from 1750 — 1764.

Nana Kusi Obuadum is distinguished by his war against the Adako Clan who fled to Cote d’Ivoire. Nana Kusi Boadum became ineffective because of illness in health and he was forced to abdicate the Stool.

Nana Osei Kwadwo (Okoawia)

4th Occupant of the Golden Stool(1764-1777)

Osei Kwadwo succeeded Nana Kusi Obuadum from 1764 – 1777. He continued the work of Nana Opoku Ware I. He replicated his military and administrative prowess.

Osei Kwadwo was given the title “Okoawia,” because he chose to fight in the broad daylight. Osei Kwadwo defeated most of the Muslim areas.

He despatched his enlighting officials to the captured areas to offer education. Okoawia will be remembered for moving the Asantehemaa’s Stool from Kokofu to Kumasi. It is therefore very important to note that Nana Konadu Yiadom
(Owoahene) was the first queen mother to live in Kumasi.

Achievements


  • He achieved the title ‘Okoawia’ because of his courage to fight in the
    broad daylight.
  • He was the first Asante King who moved the Asantehemaa’s stool to Kumasi and ensured that she stayed in Kumasi.

Nana Osei Kwame Panin

5th Occupant of the Golden Stool(1777 — 1803)

Nana Osei Kwame succeeded Osei Kwadwo Okoawia from 1777 — 1803.

He was the first son of Nana Konadu Yiadom. He took faith in the Muslim religion and started propagating Islamic ideas. He was described as one of the most peaceful and merciful Kings of the Asantes. During his reign, Muslims and Foreigners came to Kumasi as teachers and traders.

His faith in the Islamic religion conflicted with the traditional religion and the practices of the Asantes, and this instigated his people who fought against him. He was not even prepared to pour libation. Consequently, the family rose against him and they forced him to abdicate.

Achievements


  • He was the only King of Asante who supported Islamic religion and encouraged Muslim settlement in Asante.
  • He was described as one of the most peaceful Kings in Asante.
  • He was able to bring foreign teachers and traders to Kumasi.

Nana Poku Fofie

6th Occupant of the Golden Stool(1803-1804)

Nana Poku Fofie was the sixth occupant of the Golden Stool in the year 1803.

He succeeded Nana Osei Kwame and died after few weeks on the throne, Nana Osei Kwame and his Muslim clerics were blamed for the sudden death of Nana Poku Fofie. He did not stay on the stool for long and died barely a week after.

Nana Osei Bonsu (Nana Osei Kwame Tutu)

7th Occupant of the Golden Stool(1804—1824)

Nana Osei Bonsu succeeded Nana Poku Fofie from 1804 — 1824.

He was also known as Nana Osei Kwame Tutu, who marched his army to Cape Coast where he was surrendered by the British colonial troops under Colonel Torrance. Osei Tutu Kwame stepped into the sea with sword and symbolically splashed the sea with his sword.

He was given the title “Obonsuo” that is, the one who has conquered the mighty ocean. From that time he was known as Nana Osei Bonsu, “king of the sea’.’ During his reign, there was order, peace, accountability and good governance. Nana Osei Tutu Kwame’s primary goal was to unify all Asantes, and also incorporated other Akan states such as Akwamu, Akyem’, Denkyira under the Golden Stool.

By 1806 Osei Kwame Tutu’s vision was to improve Asante power and influence, which was acknowledged in the areas of Akwamufie, Accra, Kyebi, Akropong, Salaga, Yendi, Dunkwa, Elmina, Cape Coast and Dormaa Ahenkro. That was a clear indication of Asantehene’s Power.

Achievements


  • Nana Osei Bonsu was the first and only Chief in Asante who marched his army to Cape Coast. He was given the title “Obonsuo” meaning the one who conquered the Almighty Ocean.
  • During his time there was order and peace, accountability and good governance.
  • His major achievement was his ability to unify all the Asantes and also cooperating with other African  States.

Nana Osei Yaw Akoto

8th Occupant of the Golden Stool(1824-1834)

Nana Osei Yaw Akoto (1834 —l867) succeeded Nana Osei Bonsu and ruled from 1824 – 1834- He led the Asante forces to victory, killing Governor Macarthy.

It was his time that the coalition of all African Ethnic Groups was formed and with that, the Europeans were defeated at Akatamanso in 1826. The “Treaty of Fomena” of 1831 was also signed by him.

Achievements


  • He was the Asantehene who defeated The British and killed Governor Macarthy.
  • During his reign, he formed the All African Group Coalition.
  • He signed the “Treaty of Fomena” in 1831.

Nana Kwaku Dua I

9th Occupant of the Golden Stool(1834-1867)

Nana Kwaku Dua succeeded Osei Yaw Akoto and ruled from the year 1834 -1867.
His reign was peaceful. He encouraged people to do business. Trade and Agriculture flourished in Asante during his reign, and the power of Asante increased remarkably.

Achievements


  • He was able to encourage Asantes to trade and develop Agriculture.
  • During his time the power of Asante increased remarkably.

Nana Kofi Karikari

10th Occupant of the Golden Stool(18637-1874)

Nana Kofi Karikari came to the throne in the year 1867 and vowed to make wars his main business. He started the Sagrenti war in 1874 between Asante and the British. The defeat and charges of financial mismanagement preferred against him forced him to abdicate the stool.

Nana Mensa Bonsu

11th Occupant of the Golden Stool(1874-1883)

Nana Mensah Bonsu succeeded Nana Kofi Karikari in the year 1874.
He determined to resolve the fortunes of Asante. He set up a New Civil Service that employed Europeans under Owusu Ansah, and an English educated son of Nana Osei Bonsu. He also set a committee to check and control smuggling along Asante’s frontiers. Nana Mensah Bonsu turned out to be unusually cruel to his subjects. His subjects decided to destool him in 1883.

Nana Kwaku Dua II

12th Occupant of the Golden Stool(1884-1884)

Nana Kwaku Duah” II succeeded Nana Mensah Bonsu in 1884.
He reigned for only 40 days. Nana Yaa Akyaa decided to put her son Agyeman Prempeh on the stool. She was opposed by some of the divisional chiefs who were supporting Nana Atwereboana. As a result, a civil war ensued.
Nana did not achieve anything because of his 40 days on the stool.

Nana Agyeman Prempeh I (Nana Kwaku Dua III)

13th Occupant of the Golden Stool(1888—1931)

In 1888, Nana Yaa Akyaa finally won the support of Nana Agyeman Prempeh, and the civil war ended. He was formally placed on the Golden stool under the stool name, Nana Kwaku Dua III but later changed to Prempeh I.
Nana reunited the Asantes and started negotiating with the European firms to establish schools and companies. Nana Prempeh brought Asante into modernity.
This really alarmed the British because of his greatness. In 1896 the British callously arrested him and some of his chiefs and sent him to Seychelles Island.
Whiles in Seychelles, the Yaa Asantewaa war broke out in 1900. He wrote the history of Asante while in exile because of the fear that the history of Asante will get lost. The title of the book was “The History of Asante Kings and the Asante Kingdom”. Nana Agyeman Prempeh I returned to Kumasi from Seychelles Island ‘ on 12th November 1924 and passed away peacefully in 1931.

Achievements


  • Nana Agyeman Prempeh 1 established schools and companies which brought modernity to Asante.
  • Nana Prempeh I was the first Asante King to write the history of Asante, titled “THE HISTORY OF THE ASANTE KINGS AND THE ASANTE KINGDOM.”

Otumfuo Sir Osei Agyeman Prempeh II

14th Occupant of the Golden Stool(1931-1970)

Otumfuo Sir Osei Agyeman Prempeh II was born in Kumasi in the year 1892 as Barima Osei Kwame Kyeretwie. He was enstooled in 1931 and took the
name Osei Tutu Agyeman Prempeh which was shortened to Osei Agyeman Prempeh.
He was knighted by the British government and had the title Otumfuo Sir to his name. He began the process of consolidation with some of his elders and chiefs on the issue of the reinstatement of Asante as a nation. The response was overwhelmingly positive from elders and the paramount chiefs, and that brought the restoration of the Asante Confederacy 1935. Otumfuo Sir Osei
Agyeman Prempeh II was a strategist.
During his reign, he was progressive and worked tirelessly towards Education and the Socio-Economic Development of the people of Asante. It was his aim that the institution of chieftaincy thrived successfully. He created Nkabom Stool to commemorate the restoration of the Asante Confederacy. He also elevated certain stools in Asante and Brong Ahafo to the status of Paramountcy.
To promote the institution of chieftaincy, cultural and traditional values, Otumfuo Osei Agyeman Prempeh II threw his support to the late Dr. A.A.Y. Kyeremanteng and assisted him tremendously in the establishment of the Kumasi Cultural Centre which has been a tourist centre over the years. Otumfuo Sir Osei Agyeman Prempeh II promoted the formation of clubs and associations. He was a great warrior.

Achievements


  • Through his own negotiations and efforts, he was able to convince the
    British Government for the restoration of the Asante Confederacy.
  • Otumfuo Sir Osei Agyeman Prempeh II established an educational fund
    (Asanteman Scholarship Scheme) to take care of sons and daughters of Asante which they benefited.
  • He was very instrumental in the building of the Kumasi Central Hospital
    (now Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital).
  • He created the Nkabom stools to commemorate the restoration of the Asante Confederacy.
  • He elevated the stools of Asokore, Duayaw Nkwanta and Awua Domasi.
  • He formed the Asante United Football Club which later became Asante Kotoko Football Club.
  • He also contributed immensely towards the sustainability of golf playing in Asante.

Otumfuo Opoku Ware II

15th Occupant of the Golden Stool(1970-1999)

Otumfuo Opoku Ware II was born in Kumasi on 30th November 1919. He was the first child of Nana Akua Akyaa of the Royal Oyoko Family of Kumasi and Opanin Kwabena Poku of Jachie. He was named Kwaku Adusei. At birth, he was baptized into the Anglican faith and given the Christian name Matthew.
He completed his elementary education at Anglican Bishop Primary School in Accra in 1933 after obtaining the standard seven certificates. He attended Adisadel College in Cape Coast in 1938. As it was the desire of his uncle, Otumfuo Osei Agyeman Prempeh II to have him trained as a Draughtsman and a Surveyor.
He joined the P.W.D. and was posted to Air Force Base at Takoradi. He rose to become the First African to head a district office of the Upon the invitation of his uncle he came back to Kumasi to head the newly established Asantehene’s Lands Office, where he worked for a good number of years. In 1952 he left for UK. to pursue his studies.
He returned from overseas in 1962 as a Barrister-at-Law. He practised the profession with a law firm. known as Effa and Totoe Chambers in Kumasi. In 1968 he was invited to join the government of the National Liberation Council (NLC) as a Commissioner for Transport and Communication.
Otumfuo Opoku Ware 11 retired from the ministerial post. He was later appointed Ghana’s Ambassador-designate to Italy in 1970. He was compelled the honour following the death of his uncle. He succeeded his uncle Sir Agyeman Prempeh II as the 15th occupant of the Golden Stool.
Otumfuo Opoku Ware II was enstooled as Asantehene (elect) and swore the oath of office to the Kumasi State on 6th June, 1970 and became Asantehene officially on 27th July, 1970. Otumfuo Opoku Ware II reigned for almost twenty-nine years. He earned a lot of admiration and gratitude. He died on Thursday, 25th February, 1999 and left behind five children including the present Akyempimhene of Kumasi, Oheneba Adusei Poku.

Achievements


  • He supported the establishment of Lands Administration Research Centre at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi.
  • He supported and, took a keen interest in contributing a lot to the success of the School of Medical Sciences at the KNUST, Kumasi.
  • Otumfuo Opoku Ware II founded the Manhyia Palace Museum, and the Opoku Ware II Jubilee Foundation which takes care of the activities of the museum, etc.
  • On traditional matters, Otumfuo Opoku Ware II elevated forty-one stools
    within the domain of the Golden Stool to the Paramountcies.
  • He further created Sompa, Nkosuo, Aboafoo and Dwametoa Stools within the Kumasi Traditional Council.
  • Otumfuo Opoku Ware II was invited to open the exhibition code-named “Asante Kingdom Of Gold” at the Museum of Mankind in the UK. and also at the Museum of Natural History, New York, USA which portrayed wealth and the rich culture of the Asantes to the world.
  • He was a man of peace and influential Ambassador for Asanteman and Ghana.