There are many stories in history that we do not have the pleasure of hearing in our general curriculum, this is one of them. Due to her being a Jamaican and me sharing that same blood I am biased to believe that she is now my favourite historical woman, she was a G! Thankfully oral history and true stories meld together to paint a marvellous character .
Nanny was born to the Asante people in Ghana but was captured and brought to Jamaica as a slave during the 1600’s. Like I said she, was a woman who did not heed to foolery, so she and her brother Cudjoe led others on an escape to the Blue Mountains. They formed communities and became known as ‘The Maroons’. These were people who knew their worth as humans and did not want to be bound! Known to be ferocious fighters who would raid plantations and fight off the enemy at all costs they proved to be a BIG problem for the British and they could not be crushed. She even established a town after her namesake, ‘Nanny Town’, in the parish of St. Thomas. She led the freedom of over 800 slaves, rebellions and trained her followers in the art of guerilla warfare. Her town was attacked on numerous occasions but the people were never caught. Her physical strength and practicality coincided with her being a wise woman who was knowledgable in the art of natural healing and herbs, some claimed she had superpowers! A constant fight against their enraged enemies between 1728-34 meant that the British eventually folded and signed a treaty with them in 1739, promising them land to live peaceably and to never be aggravated again.
Due to her amazing strength and accomplishments, she was proclaimed a national hero of Jamaica in 1976 and her face is on the $500 bill. A monument of herself can also be found in Moore Town, Portland. This Sister deserves to be recognised as a pillar of strength and nobility.