n Institute of African Studies Research Review - 'A man of great foresight' : S. W. D. K. Gandah's history of Birifu Naa Gandah (ca. 1872 - 1950) : editor's introduction




'A man of great foresight' : this is how S. W. D. K. Gandah chose to sum up his father, Birifu Naa Gandah I, an influential chief in Lawra District in what is today North-Western Ghana. Born around 1872, like many young men in the villages at the time, he was raised to become a farmer, herdsman and hunter. In 1917, Gandah - or, to be precise : Gandah-yir, literally 'the house of the brave', as his father called him - was enskinned as chief of Birifu and its satellite settlements and came to play an important role in the Lawra Confederacy Native Authority. He was in many respects what we could call a 'modernising' chief. He cooperated closely with the colonial authorities and successfully organised his subjects to perform the required road labour, pay taxes and provide soldiers for recruitment, assisted authorities in controlling the spread of disease amongst livestock and humans, and greatly supported the establishment of the first school in Lawra District.


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