Asantehene Prempeh II of the Ashanti was born in the capital Kumasi to Maame Akua Bakoma and Nana Kwaku Owusu, Otumfour Kyeame from Besease in 1892.
He was four years old when his uncle, Prempeh I (the 13th Asantehene), his maternal grandmother, queen Nana Yaa Akyaa, and other family members were captured and exiled to the Seychelles Islands by the British in 1896.
Prempeh I returned from exile in 1924 and died in May 1931, and Otumfuo Prempeh II was subsequently elected as his successor; however, he was elected as merely Kumasihene rather than Asantehene.
In 1935, after strenuous efforts on his part, the colonial authorities allowed Prempeh II to assume the title of Asantehene.
In 1949 Prempeh II was instrumental in founding Prempeh College, a prestigious all-boys boarding school in Kumasi, Ashanti.
He also gave a large tract of land for the construction of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), which in 1969 awarded him an honorary degree of Doctor of Science.
In October 1969 he was elected as the first President of the National House of Chiefs, and shortly thereafter was appointed to the Council of State.