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 Agyeman Prempeh I (1871-1931) was Asantehene during British colonisation of Ghana. He refused to agree to the Asante Empire becoming under British control and was resultantly exiled. While in exile he learned to read and write, and later returned to the Asante Empire. 

Asantehene Agyeman Prempeh I was born around 1871 in Kumasi, Gold Coast (Ghana). He was known as a brave person and he was chosen to be Asantehene. 


From the beginning, the British suggested that they should control the Asante Empire. Prempeh kept saying no so the British sent troops to Kumasi. When the troops arrived in Kumasi, they said that the Asante owed the British gold. As Prempeh could not pay immediately, he was arrested by the British and taken to Cape Coast Castle. 


The British did not want Prempeh to have any control over the Asante Empire, so they moved him further and further away. In 1897, they took him to Sierra Leone to make it harder for him to be in contact with the Asante. 


On 28 March 1900 the British demanded the Golden Stool from the Asante. The Asante fought the British, as they did not want to give up the sacred Golden Stool but the British won. Now the British were worried about what the Asante might do. They decided to move Prempeh further away, he was sent to the Seychelles. 



Asante (also known as Ashanti) - people from the south-central Ghana (and Togo and Côte d’Ivoire)

Asante Empire - the area inhabited by the Asante and ruled by the Asantehene


Asantehene - king/chief of the Asante

Entrepreneurship - setting up new business


Gold Coast - name for Ghana when the British held colonial power


Golden Stool - sacred Asante symbol of power and the seat of the leader

Prempeh realised that the only way he was going to get back to the Asante Empire was by getting the British to trust him. He learnt to read and write, and he took an interest in Christianity. He kept sending letters asking the British to allow him to return to Kumasi.


 Finally, on 12 May 1924, he was told he could return if he lived as a private citizen (instead of as a leader). He agreed but it was difficult for him to live as a private citizen, as the Asante still considered him to be their leader. 


Prempeh wanted his reign to have had a positive impact on the Asante Empire. He encouraged education and business. He also repaired the Golden Stool that had been damaged while it was hidden from the British. This was a glorious time for Prempeh and it was the final year of his reign. He died in Kumasi on 12 May 1931.

Prempeh (810L-1000L): text

6 April 2020, Laura Webb

golden stool.jpg

Image: The Golden Stool

Works Cited Prempeh

Works Cited

Adjaye, Joseph K. “Asantehene Agyeman Prempeh I, Asante History, and the Historian.” History in Africa, vol. 17, 1990, pp. 1–29. JSTOR, Accessed 6 Apr. 2020.

Akyeampong, Emmanuel. “Christianity, Modernity and the Weight of Tradition in the Life of ‘Asantehene’ Agyeman Prempeh I, c. 1888-1931.” Africa: Journal of the International African Institute, vol. 69, no. 2, 1999, pp.

    279–311. JSTOR, Accessed 6 Apr. 2020.


Dhillon, Georgina. “The Exile of Prempeh in the Seychelles” International Magazine Kreol, Rila Publications, 10 Aug. 2017,


Ewusi, Philip. The Golden Stool (17th c.- ) •, 20 Dec. 2019, Accessed 6 Apr. 2020.


The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. “Asante.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 26 Dec. 2017, Accessed 6 Apr. 2020.


Ulzen, Thaddeus. “February 5, 1874: The ‘Sagrenti War’ and the ‘Sacking of Kumasi’.” Edward A. Ulzen Memorial Foundation, Edward A. Ulzen Memorial Foundation, 5 Feb. 2018, Accessed 6 Apr. 2020.

Ulzen, Thaddeus. “May 12, 1931: Prempeh I (Kwaku Dua Asamu III) Dies in Kumasi.” Edward A. Ulzen Memorial Foundation, Edward A. Ulzen Memorial Foundation, 13 May 2018, Accessed 6 Apr. 2020.



Ocloo, Delali. "Kente" 15 Aug. 2020.

Richardson, Clive. "Dad West Africa 037 The Golden Stool made of solid gold the cause of two wars with Britain" 26 Apr. 2014,

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