King Tackie Tawiah I, the Ga King who defied the British order to steal the Golden Stool and also
Not only was he development- oriented, but also a leader who identified himself with his people.
In addition, he is acclaimed as the most illustrious, progressive and enterprising of all the Ga kings.
King Tackie Tawiah I- the King defied British order to steal the Golden Stool
King Tackie Tawiah I was born in 1817 as Nii Kwashi Tawiah into the Ga royal family of Teiko Tsuru We at Kinka. In Ga language “We” means “family.”
He was born to a father who was a prosperous Trader and a mother who had great respect namely, Nii Teiko Doku and Naa Ashing Danso respectively.
He attended the Wesley Methodist school. Prior to his enstoolment, he was a very successful Marchant prince operating in several African countries.
On December, 12 1862, Nii Quarshie Tawiah ascended the Ga throne as the 20th King (Mantse) of Accra after succeeding Nii Yaote who reigned from 1859 to 1862.
Thus within two years of his ascension as the Ga Mantse, King Tackie Tawiah I reign witnessed a riot between James Town and the Usher Fort in 1864.
This was the time that British ruled Accra ruthlessly, but he led his people to resist the
British attempt at introducing Ordinance for the town, demanding taxes and land acquisition.
When the three earthquakes hit Accra during the period, he mobilized the Ga people to stand its ravages and move on with their lives.
During the Anlo Wars (1855-1866), when the people of Accra joined forces with the Akwapim to fight the Anlo he also got involved.
He fought in the Tordzie or Adidome wars.
In 1869, he led his Ga warriors to march with the combined forces of the British, Ada, Akyem and also Akwapim against the Anlos and their Asante allies in the Vovo, Duffor and Clover Wars.
King Tackie Tawiah I was considered a great military tactician assisted by his two powerful
warriors: Asafoatse Oman and Asafoatse Ayi Kodwo Mankattah.
He fought alongside the Governor of Usher, who had the Gold Coast Constabulary in the June 1869 war at Asutuare.
He was an independent thinker who stood on his grounds against threats. When the British made
presentations to him to assist them alongside King Asafu-Adjaye of Juaben to invade Asante to claim the Golden Stool he declined.
Consequently, Governor Hodgson described him as an “uncooperative King”
As a result, he was exiled to Elmina from November 1880 to 10 March 1883 due to what
the British described as the King’s “persistent disobedience of the order of the British government.”
After receiving his pardon in 1883, he was taken to Ga Mashie (Accra Central) in a great procession to continue his reign and led his people in their struggles against the colonial regime.
The reign of king Tackie Tawiah I lasted for forty years. He died in 1902 and was buried in Accra.
For this reason, He was the second longest King after Nii Tetteh Ahinakwa who reigned from 1740 to 1782.
To sum up, On September 23, 2002, a giant effigy of him was unveiled at the Accra central business district near the Makola Shopping Mall in honour of his great achievements.
Truely, King Tackie Tawiah I was first honoured in 1997 when the Kanda Flyover in Accra was named after him.
In the same year, the Ga-Dangmes instituted King Tackie Tawiah I Memorial Lectures.
It is important to realize, he was the second Ghanaian King to be featured on a Ghana stamp after Asantehene.
- Osei-Tutu, John Kwadwo. The Asafoi (socio-military Groups) in the History and Politics of Accra (Ghana) from the 17th to the Mid-20th Century. No. 3. Department of History, Norwegian University of Science and Technology NTNU, 2000.
- Quartey-Papafio, A. Boi. “Law of Succession among the Akras or the Gã Tribes Proper of the Gold Coast.” Journal of the Royal African Society (1910): 64-72.