Who is Nana Yaa Asantewaa? Why was she important? And what is her legacy?
Around 1900, she led the resistance against the troops of the British Monarch as an old woman and, together with the women's brigade she formed, held out for a year in the war for the Golden Stool, the throne and pride of the Asante people in Ghana.
The British had been slaughtering the Asante to gain access to timber, gold and cocoa for years. The industrial revolution in faraway England required resources, many resources, like a hungry beast. For Nana Yaa Asantewaa and her women, the British Monarch’s claiming of the Golden Stool was the last straw. The Golden Stool would not leave the country!
Nobulumko Mngxekeza-Nziramasanga (soprano), Nonkululeko Nkwinti (mezzo-soprano), Doris Bokongo Nkumu, Nathalie Bokongo Nkumu, Abena Biney Gloria, Titilayo Oliha, Saar-Niragire De Groof, Briana Stuart, Maïmouna Badjie and Somalia Williamson sing, act and dance the story of Nana Yaa Asantewaa and her courageous struggle, to the sounds of famous arias from the classical Western opera repertoire – which Gorges Ocloo has appropriated for the occasion. Handel, Bizet, Shostakovich, Verdi, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Orff... they all pass in revue. With this AfrOpera, Gorges Ocloo reveals his roots.