As we celebrate Ghana month, I deem it necessary to take you back to the past. Revealing the true identity of an elastrous son of Africa and Ghana. It will interest you to know that we are blessed as black people and must always be proud.
Today, I take you to my own home, where I bring you the story of the Tamakloes. Read, be inspired and learn. Know your history so that you shall never be deceived. For it is said that one may not know where he journeys to but one can never forget his route.
TOGBUI NYAHO TAMAKLOE I, Dufia of Whuti and the Miafiaga of Anlo was born about the year 1814; he was well over 100 years old at the time of his death on 18th March 1918. He was the son of Amega Adika Kpeku, the great-grandson of Drafor, the father of Nditsi of Alagbati, Anloga. His mother was Abui Hode, daughter of Kpetsusi, the granddaughter of Agbleze, the son of Sri I. He was also the maternal brother of Kwasi, the father of Amega Kpeglo Fiawoo. Togbui Nyaho Tamakloe was by birth a nephew of Togbui Joachim Acolatse I, both being descendants of Adu Asimadi ofAtado in Togo. Togbui Nyaho Tamakloe can also trace his descent to the great house of Ahosi of Tegbi, and to the Ahiable family of Anloga.
Togbui Nyaho Tamakloe, as a child was known as Nyaho Adika. As he grew up he became more and more known as Tamakloe which is a corruption of “Bo Kro Tam Kro”, an Akan expression of valour and gallantry, meaning “he who builds and destroys;” the full text of the saying reads:
“Bc kro tam kro
Hawo lo gbe
Nyi tc le vo
Dodonu ba deka
Kpekpem abe aba nu
Tobgui Nyaho Tamakloe was a man of great wisdom and understanding; on the day he was baptised as a Christian by Pastor Fryburger on 14th December, 1913, he was heard to have jokingly boasted that God, in fact, denied him nothing on earth. God, he said, gave him wisdom, a lot of children, an immeasurable amount of wealth and above all, Jesus Christ Himself He was baptised David, Abraham, Ebenezer.
When Togbui became a Christian, his one time fetish comrades were so disgusted with the idea that they came up with the following song to taunt and deride him:
“Ta avc ne legba yi yee
Ta avc ne legba
Legba le avidzi
Be avc la mesu ye o, yi yee…”
To the surprise of all, Togbui Nyaho so liked the song that he got up and danced to it.
Togbui Nyaho was a warrior of great courage and distinguished himself creditably in the following wars of the Anlos:
The Agoe-Adzigo War of 1865.
The Agortime-Gbedzidzavu War of 1869-1871.
The Datsutagba War of 1871-1874.
The Taleto War of Whuti 1885.
Togbui Nyaho Tamakloe I took part in the Agoe-Adzigo War of 1865; it was at this war that his brother Kwasi, the grandfather of the present day Fiawoos was killed and his head was brought back by him to Anlo for decent burial.
Togbui Nyaho Tamakloe succeeded to the stool of his grandfather, Togbui Kpeku upon the death of his uncle, Togbui Katsriku. He served creditably as a sub-chief under Togbui Axorlu I, the Awadada of the Adotri Division. When Togbui Dzokoto I of Anyako was sick and infirm and could no longer lead the Lasibi Division, he consulted with the leaders of Anlo and it was agreed upon that Togbui Nyaho Tamakloe should transfer from the Adotri Division to take over the command of the leadership of the Lasibi Division.
Togbui Nyaho Tamakloe I took over the command in 1869 and was immediately ordered by Togbui Axorlu I, the Awadada, to lead the Lasibi Division in the Agortime-Gbedzidzavu war of 1869-1871. On his return from the war in 1871, the Awoamefia Togbui Gbagba was so delighted with his qualities of leadership that he ordered his confirmation at Anloga as the Chief Commander of the Lasibi Army in succession to Togbui Dzokoto of Anyako.
Togbui Nvaho Tamakloe was off again soon after his confirmation to the Dzatsutagba War of 1871-1874 as allies of the Ashantis against the Adas and the Gas. The result of this war was the signing on 22nd June, 1874, of a peace treaty at Dzelukope between the warring factions at the instance of the British Government resulting from the Glover Expedition of 1874.
The Whuti Taleto war of 17th January, 1885, involved one George Atiogbe alias Geraldo de Lima II, a native of Grand-Pope in Dahome now the Republic of Benin on whom the Anlos conferred Anlo citizenship, his friend Toggui Tenge Dzokoto II on one side and the District Commissioner of Keta, Captain Campbell on the other. By the time the war ended, it engulfed the towns of Whuti, Srogboe, Attorkor Dzita, and Anloga and the store of Togbui Nyaho Tamakloe at “New Glasgow” was looted and set on fire. Togbui Nyaho was at the time on the side of the British for the abolition of the slave trade and the construction of the Keta coastal road to Atiteti.
It was during the Taleto War that Togbui Joachim Acolatse I was wounded in the head and Togbui Nyaho Tamakloe’s sons Amegbor and Azamesu were also wounded in the thigh.
Togbui Amegbor of Klikor invited Togbui Nyaho Tamakloe soon after the Taleto War to endeavour to obtain for Klikor the “Union Jack” which at the time was the symbol of authority not only for the British Government but also for the Chief to whom it was presented. Togbui Nyaho succeeded in obtaining the flag and in gratitude the Chiefs and people of Klikor confirmed him a true and valliant son of Klikor and on 22nd February, 1892 conveyed a large tract of land at the village of Avata to him. Togbui renamed the village “Kpodoave” and developed it into a prosperous coconut plantation. The lineage of Togbui Nyaho Tamakloe can be traced through Amega Ahosi of Tegbi to Klikor.
Togbui Nyaho was by nature a shrewd businessman. In addition to Kpodoave, he owned vast tracts of land and fish creeks at Glidzi, Adzato, Hatorgodo and coconut plantations- in Togo. His business transactions were principally in rum, gunpowder, textiles, tobacco and copra with Messrs. F & A Swanzy.
For the successful management of his plantations and trading posts, Togbui Nyaho appointed his sons as managers. Some of his sons, such as Agbeve of Adzato, Tupa Kokoroko of Kpodoave and Alu of Hatorgodo he elevated to the status of sub-chiefs and created for them judicial courts for the settlement of minor offences. In other to safegurad his business interests and property Togbui Nyaho in 1912 and in 1914 sent his nephew the late Francis Awoonor Williams and his late son Ben Kporku Tamakloe to do law in Oxford and in Cambridge In England. Both returned to the Gold Coast qualified and practised law until their death a few years ago.
Togbui Nyaho was highly respected as an authority in the culture and practices of the Anlos and on 2nd September, 1902 was appointed to serve on a committee under the chairmanship of A. Rover, the District Commissioner of Keta to standardise the pronunciation and writing of names of people and places in the Anlo land. Togbui Nyaho on 21st August, 1916, voluntarily donated to the war effort the sum of £70.
Dufia Nyaho Tamakloe with the help of his uncle, Togbui Joachim Acolatse I was instrumental in the abolition of slave trade in Anlo land and in the establishment of British rule of law and justice as it is known today. He was also assisted greatly in this crusade by Togbui Sri II, the Awoamefia of Anlo, Dufia Amegashie Afeku I and Dufia Tay Agbozo I, all of Keta.
Although an illiterate, Togbui Nyaho saw to it that his land and property were legally documented. Knowing that the knowledge of this can only be acquired through education and in the propagation of Christianity, Togbui willingly donated land to the Roman Catholic Church at Keta and the Bremen Mission at Whuti for the establishment of Mission Schools. In appreciation of this generous offer, the Roman Catholic Church authorities close on 40 years allowed the children of Tamakloes to attend the Keta School free without the payment of school fees. This noble gesture-enabled many sons and daughters of the family to attend school and become educated.
Miafiaga Nyaho Tamakloe reigned for 63 years when he died in 1918: he left behind more than 150 children and it is no wonder that his descendants are scattered in every part of Ghana and all over the world.
Out of the 150 children, only 4 females are currently alive
Togbui Nyaho Tamakloe was known to be repeating the following sayings of valour and gallantry at the time of his death.
“Tamakloe tstsi xoxo
Be yekle vc ga vc gawo
Le nu wcm
Ke menye amami viwo o
Ne vca de ke di
Eye womi ye la
Ne dzc ye de ta to kaba
He died peacefully on the 18th March, 1918.
Note: The above biographical sketch is an extract from research being conducted into the life and times of Togbui Nyaho Tamakloe I.
By: Kofi Tamakloe.