Queen Mother Nana Yaa Asantewaa, c. 1840 – 17 October 1921
During the Ashanti-British War of the Golden Stool of 1900, Yaa Asantewaa commanded an army of 5,000 against a British Empire at the very height of its imperial powers. It was the only time in Ashanti history that a woman had led men in war. It was also the last conflict in Africa in which one of the sides was commanded by a woman. The war raged on for several months, with the Ashanti almost emerging victorious until reinforcements were sent in via the British Expeditionary Forces and from neighboring West African nations. The defeat of the Ashanti in the War of The Golden Stool marked the end of the Ashanti rebellion, and on January 1, 1902, after almost one hundred years of various skirmishes and battles, the British finally and formally annexed the Ashanti Empire as a British protectorate. Yaa Asantewaa and some of her advisors were captured by the British and exiled to Seychelles Island, where she died in 1921. In 1924, the Asantehene, Prempeh I, and other exiled Ashantis were returned to their home in the Gold Coast, and Yaa Asantewaa's remains were returned to the Gold Coast (now modern-day Ghana), where she was buried with full royal honors.