Mamprusi People; Eldest of the Mole-Dagbani Ethnic Group

Gbewaa Zuu; Tohagu Zuu, is the King and Overlord of Mamprugu kingdom. The ancient King of Africa.

It’s with no doubt that, the Mamprugu Kingdom is the oldest kingdom in Ghana and has been in existence since the 13th century that is the 1300s.

Mamprusi also known as Mamprugu are Mole-Dagbani speaking ethnic group of people found mostly in the northern and upper east regions of Ghana and northern part of Togo. The Mole-Dagbani ethnic group comprises the Moshi (Mossi), Mamprusi, Nanumba and Dagomba.There are some 450,000 Mamprusi living in Ghana, and approximately 11,000 in Togo. In Ghana, the Mamprusis live mainly in Nalerigu and Gambaga in the northwest of the Northern Region but also inhabit parts of the Upper East Region.

It’s one of the oldest kingdoms in Africa as far as Great Naa Gbewaa is concerned, and Tohagu having been the Zuu of Naa Gbewaa. Tohagu founded the Mamprugu kingdom. Tohagu was Naa Gbewaa’s third son and he succeeded Naa Gbewaa. The children of Naa Gbewaa were referred to as Dagbamba.

Naa Tohagu moved the capital from Pusiga to Gambaga. Sitobu and Mantambu moved from Gambaga to establish the Yoo and Nanum kingdoms respectively. The name Dagbamba refers to all the descendants of Naa Gbewaa. Among the Mamprusis, Yoobas, and Nanumbas, the Mamprusis are the elders.

Sitobu never succeeded Naa Gbewaa because he became chief when his elder brother Tohagu was already chief so he had to move out of Gambaga and settle in the forest and he became the king of forest, Yoonaa and later changed the name to Yaanaa. Sitobu, being the king of the forest, called himself lion that is why the Yaanaa uses the lion as his symbol.


The Mamprusi with their kingdom Mamprugu  is one of the earliest known states in the north of what is now Ghana. Their kingdom flourished in the twelfth and fourteenth centuries. The Mamprusi Kingdom was founded by the Great Naa Gbanwah/Gbewah at Pusiga, a village 14 kilometres from Bawku. The Kingdom spans most of the Northern and the Upper East Regions of Ghana, and into the west African nation of Burkina Faso. Thus, establishing this kingdom as the pre-eminent of its kind, and the only kingdom in present day Ghana whose relevance and authority cuts across national boundaries on the weight of its humble supremacy.

The original kingdom of Naa Gbewaa became Mamprugu. Tohagu was referred to as Mampruga because he said Maninpurgira meaning I am the one to divide and distribute the northern lands to those I want. He was also the Namyiri or Nayiri, which is the home for all chiefs and chieftaincy matters. Because Naa Gbewaa brought chieftaincy to Ghana. All the descendants of Naa Gbewaa respect Mamprugu as their parents and it is well known.

Source: OneMr Prince / Professer Procam

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