Mensa Bonsu

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Mensa Bonsu
Asantehene of Asanteman; Kumasehene of Kumasi
King of the Kingdom of Ashanti
Reign 1874 – 8 March 1883
Coronation 1874
Predecessor Kwabena Dwomo
Successor Kwaku Dua II
Born c. 1840
Praso, Kingdom of Ashanti
Died c. 1896 (aged 56)
Kumasi, Kingdom of Ashanti
Full name
Otumfuo Nana Mensa Bonsu
House House of Beretuo Dynasty

Mensa Bonsu (c. 1840c. 1896) was the tenth king of the Kingdom of Ashanti, from 1874 until his forced abdication on 8 March 1883.[1]


Accession to the Ashanti throne[edit]

Mensa Bonsu became Asantehene (king of the Ashanti) after his elder brother Kofi Kakari was deposed in September 1874. Mensa Bonsu tried to restore the fortunes of Kumasi after its destruction in the 1873-4 Anglo-Ashanti war.[2] However, he did not make himself popular with contemporaries: "Chronically short of revenue, and personally avaricious (for women as well as gold), King Asantehene Mensa Bonsu carried punitive exactions to new and insupportable levels."[1] Attempts were made to depose the Asantehene in 1877 and 1880.[2] In 1881 Bonsu sent a golden axe to Queen Victoria as a gesture of good will.[3] He was destooled and banished from Kumasi in 1883.[2] The following five years saw Asante civil war. Asantehene Mensa Bonsu died in British captivity in 1896 and was succeeded to the throne by heir apparent Kwaku Dua II of the Kingdom of Ashanti. In 1911 Mensa Bonsu's corpse was disinterred for ceremonial burial at the Ashanti capital city Kumasi.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c T. C. McCaskie, State and Society in Pre-Colonial Asante, Cambridge University Press, 2003, pp. 69-70.
  2. ^ a b c Daniel Miles McFarland, Historical Dictionary of Ghana, Scarecrow Press, 1995, p. 121.
  3. ^ "RA VIC/MAIN/QVJ (W) 13 June 1881 (Princess Beatrice's copies)". Royal Archives, Bodleian Libraries. 24 May 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2013. 

External links[edit]

Asantehene Genealogical Tree Timeline History
Genealogical tree of the Asantehenes the Emperors of the Ashanti people and Ashanti City-State and Ashantiland and Empire of Ashanti