History Tohazie- Founder of the Kingdom of Dagbon

Tohazie- Founder of the Kingdom of Dagbon


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The origin and birth of the people of Dagbon state located in the Northern Region of Ghana can be traced to a legend called Tohazie which means ‘red hunter’. He was a great warrior and hunter.

The origin and birth of the people of Dagbon state located in the Northern Region of Ghana can be traced to a legend called Tohazie which means ‘red hunter’. He was a great warrior and hunter.

Oral history of the kingdom of Dagbon tells that it was founded by a warrior named Tohazie, who arrived in present-day northern Ghana in the 15th century with his cavalry men from east of Lake Chad, stopping in Zamfara, present-day northern Nigeria, and in the Mali Empire, before settling in northern Ghana.

Tohazie was a very brave hunter who mastered the art of archery. On arrival in the Mali Empire, he settled in a village in the middle of a drought.

He was on a hunting expedition one day when he came across a village. He was welcomed by an old lady he made him feel at home. She provided Tohazie with everything excluding water. When Tohazie enquired why there was no water, the old woman told him of the bull at the river.

This bull had been torturing the villagers for some time and as such they were dying from thirst. The bull was believed to a spirit and killed anyone who tried to venture into the river to fetch water. After his stay in the village he went on his way.

However, as the story goes, when leaving the village, he thought to himself, ‘If I leave this village without doing something, who will rescue the people from the bull?’ So he decided to go back to the village and try killing the bull.

He stayed in the village for two days and early the next day he went to the river to face the bull singlehandedly. When the bull saw him it charged towards him in an effort to kill him. Legend says he struggled with the bull for a very long time. Using his hunting experience and some super powers he had, he eventually managed to kill the bull.

He beheaded the bull and took its head to the chief. The chief was so happy he awarded Tohazie with his daughter called Pagawugba who gave birth to a son called Kpogon-umbo.


After serving briefly in Mali, Kpogon-umbo and his followers came into conflict with the rising Songai Empire in western Africa and reprisal attacks from the Songhai compelled Kpogon-umbo and his followers southward.

Kpogon-umbo later seized power and ruled over Biun in Gurma. His son, Naa Gbewaa (or Bawa) left Biun with some of his followers to settle at Pusiga in the north-eastern part of Ghana where he ruled until he died.


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