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CeCAST advocates institution of ‘Yaa Asantewaa Festival’

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By Stephen Asante, GNA

Kumasi, April 07, GNA – 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, 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.

GNA



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