Thursday 2 May 2024

ATAKPAME: The indigenous Yoruba people of Togo

Atakpamé, also known as Ife-Togo, is a significant city in Togo, boasting the fifth-largest population in the country. Situated in the Plateaux Region, it offers a unique blend of natural beauty and industrial activity. Here are some fascinating facts about Atakpamé:

- Nestled in a picturesque hilly savannah on the eastern edge of the Atakora Mountains

- Thriving industrial center and strategic location on the main north-south highway, 161 km north of the capital Lomé

- Regional hub for commerce, particularly in produce and textiles

- Witness to the historic 1764 Battle of Atakpamé

- Center of controversy in 1902 involving German Catholic missionaries and colonial officials

- Invaded by British and French forces in 1914 during World War I as part of the Togoland Campaign

Atakpamé has strong ties to the Yoruba people, with:

- A rich Yoruba heritage, as the Ana subgroup of Yoruba people makes up most of the city's native residents

- Widespread use of the Ife dialect, a Yoruba language spoken in Togo, Benin, and Nigeria

- Historical connections to the 1764 Battle of Atakpamé, involving Yoruba mercenaries from the Oyo Empire

- Cultural and historical similarities with other Yoruba towns in Nigeria, such as Ibadan, Abeokuta, and Idanre.

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