Kwame - Capture
I don't know why the Asantehene lied. He said I cheated him; that I sold him poor quality gold. Other young men, some I know well, were accused of crimes as well. I think he planned to sell us to the white slave traders.
Some of the others tried to struggle against the guns and chains. There was no point. I saved my strength.
I didn't see my family. I fear for my wife, Kessie and our son, Adisa. I hope my father is there to care for them. I hope they are safe. I think the Asantehene will tell my father lies and try to cheat him again. I try to be angry, hoping it will stop me falling into misery like the others here but it is difficult.
Read about capture for Okechukwu, Oyeladun and Kofi.
Taken away by white men
Strong, young men were the main targets of white slave traders. Women and children were also taken, often to serve in houses as well as in the fields.
It was also thought that people from different regions had different characteristics, and that some were more suited to slavery than others, being less likely to rebel.
Most African captives were sold into slavery by other Africans (kidnapping led to bad feeling between the white traders and the chiefs). In most cases the Africans were captured during war. Some, like Kwame, were sold into slavery as punishment for a crime.
The Asantehene was the chief of the Asante people. He ruled a semi-military government, with chiefs throughout his kingdom who acted on his behalf. Ghana still has an Asantehene but it is a mainly symbolic role.
Kwame suggests that he has not committed a crime, and that the chief has deliberately sold his own people into slavery. This was quite unusual but did happen.