Yaa Asantewaa Unremembered

One of the highlights of the colonial era was the exiling of personalities who stood in the way of the colonialists. The legendary Yaa Asantewaa and Nana Prempeh I made the chapters of our history for their opposition to the aliens. It was an ultimate sacrifice of sorts, having been forcefully moved to another part of the world: Yaa Asantewaa eventually dying in exile weeks by sea away from her birthplace.

Last week, the 95th anniversary of the death of Yaa Asantewaa was observed in the Seychelles Island and strangely not in Ghana. It makes sense that because the descendants of the two persons are now part of the island, such a celebration is in order but it is more important that the land of the birth of Yaa Asantewaa does same.

We do not appreciate or celebrate our heroes and heroines. Those who ignore such important persons of our history are making it impossible to have citizens serve their country gallantly when the need arises.

When news about the celebration of the life of Yaa Asantewaa was carried in the Seychelles newspaper The Nation and reproduced in DAILY GUIDE a few days ago, we wondered why this attitude of not having a passion for our history is still holding sway.

One of the reasons the spirit of nationalism is still lacking in the country is the inadequate knowledge by our kids about our history, especially our heroes and heroines and growing in the unfortunate condition.

When people act in ways which are inconsistent with the spirit of patriotism, it is because such persons are invariably oblivious to the history of the country or even if they do they do not care about it. They could not care the hoot about what in their views are the achievements of citizens long gone and out of the face of the earth. How sad!

It is not for nothing that certain dates in our history are punctuated with holidays: unfortunately most people regard such days as periods of staying away from work, period. They do not reflect on the lives of the persons being remembered, their travails and what they eventually achieved for us as a people.

While we express our displeasure over the non-observance of the close to a century of the death of Yaa Asantewaa, we would be quick to ask that the authorities find ways of making amends to the blunder.

Perhaps the appropriate state agency tasked with highlighting such dates or even Manhyia, through the Cultural Centre in Kumasi, if there is such a place, can start planning towards celebrating the centenary of the death of Yaa Asantewaa. Seychelles Island has blazed the trail.

Posterity would not forgive us if by the time we live out our lives on earth, our children are denied adequate knowledge of our history, heroes and heroines.

It is not enough to incorporate such subjects in our Social Studies classes, only but to nationalize them through appropriate celebration as was done in Seychelles Island.

Have we ever thought of celebrating Tetteh Quarshie, the man who smuggled cocoa from Fernado Po to the country?

But for the few pointers to him, we hardly hear about him just because no date has been set aside to celebrate him.