A Brief History of Tanyigbe.

A Brief History of Tanyigbe.

Ewes lived under the rule of King Agorkorli at Nortsie in Togoland, and so were the people of Tanyigbe. Some Ewe towns as we have them today did not exist at all in Nortsie, they came into being thereafter.

Tanyigbe, however, existed as an established town at Nortsie, but with much less population than it is today. In Nortsie, our ancestors established into fourteen divisions mainly comprising of immediate family members. Later on, during our stay at Nortsie two more divisions were formed adding up to a total of sixteen divisions. The journey from Nortsie to our present stay was embarked upon by all sixteen sub-divisions as the indigenes of Tanyigbe. The sixteen regrouped into the four main divisions in Tanyigbe today, namely: Anyigbe, Etoe, Atidze and Dzafe.  

Tanyigbe has two other names; Gbelé and Nyamprobi, and we the people are referred to as “Tanyigbeawo” (people of Tanyigbe), or “Gbeléawo” and sometimes the name Nyamprobi is added to Gbelé making “Gbelé-Nyamprobiawo”. So our full identity is “Tanyigbe, Gbelé-Nyamprobiawo”.
The people of Tanyigbe come from the Ho Municipality of Volta Region (Ghana). Their town is located on the Akwapim-Togo range (also known as Kabakaba Hills ) which stretches from Ho through Akoefe to Tanyigbe. Beneath the Kabakaba Hills lies an underground stream with an opening at Tanyigbe called Wuzi and served the people for more than 150 years without drying up,the water is very pure and tasty attracting tourists to the area every year .
These few indigenes established themselves into fourteen sub-divisions. Two more families joined later increasing the sub-divisions from Nortsie to sixteen. 
These subdivisions later regrouped into the four main divisions in Tanyigbe today: Anyigbe, Etoe, Atidze and Dzafe.

Tanyigbe has two other names; Gbelé and Nyamprobi, and the people of Tanyigbe are referred to as “Tanyigbeawo” (people of Tanyigbe), or “Gbeléawo” and sometimes the name Nyamprobi is added to Gbelé making “Gbelé-Nyamprobiawo”. So our full identity is “Tanyigbe, Gbelé-Nyamprobiawo”.

These names are heavily influenced by historical occurrences. Some of the names can be traced to the conditions at Nortsie and others emerged during our journey out of Nortsie. At Nortsie, we called ourselves Tanyigbeawo; a name coined out of the phrase “Ta ko ayi anyigba” literally meaning except the head falls to the ground which also means “except death” we are not giving up. This name was derived from our resolute nature and tenacity of purpose. Whatever we set out to do, so long as we were convinced that we were right, nothing deterred us from persevering to the end. The name was like a vow that we carried along with us in all our dealings. “Except death, nothing stops us from doing what we have to do”.  

Our journey from Nortsie to our present location was long and winding; it had many stopovers. After we broke away from the main group with which we started from Nortsie, our first real settlement was at Gbèle, near Accra, in the valley of the Aburi Mountain. The Gas call it Gbèle, but the indigenes call it Brekusu. This is where Tanyigbe earned the name ‘Gbeléawo’ meaning people of Gbèle.

When Tanyigbe moved from Gbèle, its next settlement was Amamprobi near Akuapem-Mampong, hence the third name "Nyamprobiawo". 

While the people of Tanyigbe settled at Gbèle and Amamprobi, our companions in the journey, the people of Tokokoe (this is a neigbouring town of Tanyigbe) also settled at Aburi hence their name "Tokokoe Abudi".

At a point, we decided to relocate from Amamprobi, and headed towards our current location. We joined the people of Tokokoe at Aburi and as usual, we all moved together. We walked along the Akuapem Ridge till we got to the Volta River and crossed it. We located a place to stay; we felt very comfortable, thus we named the place “Dzifadzi” (heart is at peace) but our stay there was brief and we decided to move again.

Something unimaginable happened when we were relocating from Dzifadzi. Two brothers, Letsu and Letsa, sons of Agutsime of Tanyigbe went on a hunting expedition and did not return before the group set off. It is explained that we could not wait for them since no one was sure if they were alive or not.

The brothers did return and could not trace their people. They therefore settled there forming the founding fathers of the Dzifadzi people. Dzifadzi was later relocated to Vakpo during the construction of the Akosombo Hydro Power.

 In this respect, Dzifadzi or Dunyo as they are called now, are originally from Tanyigbe.  There exists a good relationship between us since we rediscovered each other. 

On the journey to our next settlement together with Tokokoe, we were happy to come across our old time companions the Taviàwo (People of Tavieƒe) and we settled with them at Asorglor.
 However, we were not too comfortable there so we decided to relocate again but this time, we did not go too far. Just a few miles away from Tavieƒe (Asorglor), we met the people of Avatime and settled with them. Shortly after that, the people of Avatime moved away. Tokokoe also left later to their present location.
 Tanyigbe, however, remained at that location for a long time until the late 1920s to early 1930s when we relocated again across the mountain, along the Ho-Kpalime trunk road to present day Tanyigbe and we call the former place, Gbɔxome (Old town).

In all our journeys, whilst fighting wars and conquering where possible, we looked out for the existence of clean water for drinking and fertile agricultural land; those were our main attraction for settlement. 
We were also inclined to settle between or around hills and mountains to provide us with natural defense from our enemies.

Several decades later, during the reign of Togbega Kwasi Adiko V, Tanyigbeàwo adopted the ANT HILL, (Babakɔ) as our symbol with the motto “tsi dza, tsi medza o, baba lè kɔ ɖo gbe”. Meaning, whether it rains or not, the ant will always build its home. 

It is common knowledge that ants do not depend on rainfall or weather to construct their home, they go ahead, irrespective of the circumstances. 

Again, this depicts the tenacity of the people of Tanyigbe.

PS: These are recounts from oral history as documented by some of our historians. 

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