History Tuesday!

The title is self-contradictory since the victims of slavery and war are countless. However; there were some people whose stories became the illustrator of dark human nature and the symbol of the fight for equality and peace.

YAA ASANTEWAA

She was the queen mother of The Ashanti King Ejisu and the leader of Ashanti Wars against British colonialism. She was born in 1840. Her brother was the chief of Edweso Community.

The empire was going through a civil war when her brother passed away. Her grandson, whom she nominated as the successor of her brother, was sent to exile by Britain. As the representative of the family, she campaigned for the rescue and return of the king.

Eventually, the regional Ashanti Kings selected her as the leader of the upcoming rebellion. Although the Ashanti rebellion was quite strong, the army of the Gold Coast quickly suppressed the upside.

Asantewaa was also sent into exile in Seychelles after the war, where she spent her final years.

SARA BAARTMAN

Sara Baartman of Khoisan descent was born in Camdeboo, Eastern Cape in the 1770s. Her tragic life story began when she was taken to London by a British businessman, who was fascinated by her exceptionally large buttocks.

She performed at freak shows in London under the nickname Hottentot Venus. Her years in England were nightmarish since she was subjected to sexual assault, rape, and poverty.

She was then relocated to Paris, where she continued performing at freak shows until her death. Her body was dissected and displayed at the Museum of Natural History in Paris, receiving a massive backlash from all around the world including Nelson Mandela.

Her body was returned to South Africa upon Mandela’s request and buried in the Camdeboo area. Her name was given to the westernmost district of Eastern Cape.

Read Also: Horrors of Slavery In Africa

KROTOA

Krotoa Eva was a translator who worked for the Dutch Officials during the first years of Dutch settlement. She was born in 1643 to a Khoisan ethnic sub-group called Strandlopers.

She was taken to work as a maid at Jan Van Riebeeck’s house. Improving her Dutch and Portuguese, she quickly impressed the Dutch officials of the East India Company.

So, she started translating talks for trade purposes. After being baptized in 1662 and marrying a surgeon in 1664, she changed her name to Eva van Meerhof.

She is considered the most frequently-mentioned Khoisan woman in European records.

OTA BENGA

Ota Benga was known for being exhibited at a human zoo museum in the early 20th century.

The Mbuti Congolese man was initially purchased by an anthropologist called Samuel Philips Verner, who was seeking human beings for his African exhibition. He was initially placed at Louisiana Purchase Exhibition, followed by another exhibition at the Bronx Zoo.

Following a massive controversy, he was released from the zoo and trained to work at a tobacco factory. He was a favourite employee due to his physical strength and durability, but he eventually wanted to go back to Africa. However, the emergence of World War I prevented all the ship travels. This triggered Ota Benga’s depression and loneliness, leading him to commit suicide.

ANARCHA WESTCOTT

She was an enslaved woman who was held subject to surgical procedures without consent and anaesthesia. She got pregnant when she was 17; however, she developed rickets due to the lack of vitamin D. Dr J Marion Sims discovered that her rectum and vagina were disfigured, while her rectum was severely fractured.

Sims performed over 30 operations to treat the fistula. Although he was able to treat her illnesses, the surgeries became a topic of heated debate since many claimed that Sims was performing experiments on her…

From the above one can only pray that:

‘May humanity never again perpetuate Such injustice against humanity’~Cape Coast Castle Museum Ghana

Source: Ghana Education/History/Research/First hand Info/ Cape Coast Castle/Slave Trade Ghana News

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