The Ashanti Empire is well known for being fierce and conquering vast lands across pre-colonial West Africa during its peak.
This great Kingdom has seen many kings that made this achievement possible and so we took it upon ourselves to show you all the rulers that ever ascended the throne of the Ashanti Kingdom.
1. Otumfour Nana Twum Antwi
This King ruled the Ashanti Kingdom in 1570 to 1600. By then, it was known as the Kwaaman State and so his title was Kwaamanhene and not Kumasehene. He’s known as the first King of the Ashanti Kingdom and the one most Ashantis trace their genealogy to.
2. Otumfour Nana Kobia Amamfi
The next King to succeed Nana Twum Antwi was Kobia Amamfi and he reigned in the year 1600 to 1630 before his demise.
3. Otumfour Nana Oti Akenten
Next in line was Otumfour Nana Oti Akenten who reigned from 1630 to 1660.
4. Otumfour Nana Obiri Yeboa
He reigned from 1660 to about 1680, his length of reign is not well documented but he lasted for a while.
5. Otumfour Nana Osei Tutu Opemsuo
His reign saw the transformation of the Kwaaman State to Kumaseman State. When he took over from Obiri Yeboa, he made a promise to unite all the Ashanti states and he did achieve this with the help of Okomfo Anokye. He is the King on whose lap the golden stool that was commanded from the skies fell upon. Legend reveals that Kumasi was created when Okomfo Anokye chose the state through his ‘planting of a tree’ experiment. It is said that he planted two seedlings in two towns and declared that the one that flourished into a tree will be the Capital of the Ashanti Kingdom. That is why we have Kumasi and Kumawu.
Kumasi meaning, beneath the Kum Tree and Kumawu meaning the dead Kum tree. He’s known as the founder of the Ashanti Kingdom. He reigned from 1680 to 1717.
6. Otumfour Nana Opoku Ware Katakyie
In the Ashanti Kingdom, when the King dies, the Beretuo dynasty which happens to be the seat of the Mamponghene acts as a regent till a new king is enstooled. Thus, after the death of Osei Tutu Opemsuo, the Mamponghene at the time, Nana Amaniampong took over the throne from 1717 to 1720 before Nana Opoku Ware Katakyie was enstooled. He reigned from 1720 to 1750.
7. Otumfour Nana Kusi Oboadum
After the demise of Nana Opoku Ware Katakyie, he was succeeded by Nana Kusi Oboadum who reigned from 1750 to 1764.
8. Otumfour Osei Kwadwo Okoawia
After the demise of Nana Kusi Oboadum, there was a break, the Mamponghene at the time, Nana Safo Katanka took over as a regent till a new King was enstooled. He took over for a while in 1764 and in the same year, Otumfour Nana Osei Kwadwo Okoawia was enstooled and he reigned from 1764 to 1777.
9. Nana Osei Kwame Panyin
After the demise of the reigning King and before the enstoolment of the successor, as usual, a regent from Mampong took over in the name of Nana Atakora Kwame, in the year 1777. Within the same year, a new King was enstooled in the name of Nana Osei Kwame Panyin who reigned from 1777 till his demise in 1803.
10. Otumfour Nana Opoku Fofie
Nana Opoku Fofie succeeded Nana Osei Kwame from 1803 to 1804, he reigned for just a year. He ascended the throne in December 1803 and died in March 1804.
11. Otumfour Osei Tutu Kwame Asibey Bonsu
In 1804, Osei Tutu Kwame Asibey Bonsu ascended the throne and reigned till the year 1824. Bonsu was added to his name in the year 1807. He took the reigns as Osei Tutu Kwame Asibey and so some history books do not have the Bonsu attached to his name.
12. Otumfour Nana Osei Yaw Akoto
He ascended the throne in the year 1824 till the year 1834 when he joined his ancestors.
13. Otumfour Nana Kwaku Dua I
During this period, the Ashanti Kingdom started keeping exact dates of enstoolment and this included the day and the month and not just the year. On the 25th August 1834, Nana Kwaku Dua I was enstooled as the new King of the Ashanti Kingdom. He reigned till the year 27th April 1867.
14. Otumfour Nana Kofi Karikari
He ascended the throne on 28th May 1867 but on the 26th October 1874, he was forced to abdicate the throne while still alive. He was the first King to be destooled in the history of the Ashanti Kingdom.
15. Otumfour Nana Mensah Bonsu
After being forced to abdicate the throne in 1874, the Mamponghene, Nana Kwabena Dwomo took over the throne as a regent. In the same year, Nana Mensah Bonsu was enstooled as the King of the Ashanti Kingdom. He was also forced to abdicate the stool on the 8th March 1883 which led to the Ashanti Civil War in 1883 which lasted for 5 years and finally ended in 1888.
16. Otumfour Nana Kwaku Dua II
At the time of the Ashanti Civil War, after the abdication of Nana Mensah Bonsu, Nana Kwaku Dua II ascended the throne on 28th April 1884 but died after a short illness in the same year of 11th June 1884. He ruled for just two months.
17. Otumfour Nana Prempeh I
Within the period, there was an interim council which was chaired by Kofi Owusu from 11th June 1884 to November 1884 due to the civil war. The chairmanship was handed to Akyampon Panyin from November 1884 to 1887 before the throne was handed to the Manponghene, Nana Owusu Sekyere II who acts as a regent for the Kingdom in 1887 to 26 March 1888.
Nana Prempeh I officially ascended the throne originally as Nana Kwaku Dua III Asamu. He was arrested by the British in 1896 and exiled in 1900. He was released on 12 September 1924 and was restored as King on 12 November 1926. He finally joined his ancestors on 12 May 1931.
18. Otumfour Nana Osei Tutu Agyeman Prempeh II
All this while the title of the throne had been Kumasehene, Nana Osei Tutu Agyeman Prempeh II ascended the throne as Kumasehene but it was during his reign that the title was changed to Asantehene on 31st January 1935. He ascended the throne on 22nd June 1931 and reigned till 27 May 1970.
19. Otumfour Nana Opoku Ware II
After the demise of Nana Osei Tutu Agyeman Prempeh II, the throne was ascended by Otumfour Nana Opoku Ware II on the 6th July 1970. He reigned as Asantehene till 26 February 1999.
20. Otumfour Nana Osei Tutu II
After the demise of Nana Opoku Ware II, the Mamponghene, Nana Osei Bonsu II acted as the regent for the throne from 26th February 1999 till 26th April 1999 before the enstoolment of Otumfour Nana Osei Tutu II who is till the incumbent King of Asanteman till date.