Solomon Salifu Tampuri’s book titled ‘Gonja’ fits several assumptions about the people of Gonja while it breaks down on a brief history of the people of the Gonja Kingdom.
The book simply traces the journey of the people of Gonja from their original home in Mande in modern Mali to their present home in the Northern Region of Ghana.
Gonjas, as they are called, have been blessed with a great sense of unity such that all over the world they consider themselves as one people.
It is very surprising that irrespective of their social estates, they consider themselves one big family.
Gonja is currently a kingdom in northern Ghana founded in 1675 by Sumaila Ndewurah Jakpa.
However, it is much more interesting that the bloodline of Ndewura Jakpa continues to form the ruling dynasty amongst the people.
“The world class spiritual guidance and religion of the Gonja kingdom rests on the Muslim estate while the preservation of the land, the dynastic shrines and sanctuaries is under the jurisdiction of the commoner estate”(Gonja p1).
However, parts of Tampuri’s story explain that the Gonja kingdom is originally divided into sections with “several compound units forming a village or town”.
Therefore to a Gonja, his village people are not only neighbours but his kinsmen or wider family.
Similarly, groups of villages will form divisions within the Gonja political system.
Gonjas consider their village and the villages of their parents as their main points of orientation.
Even though they consider themselves as one, there exist prominent towns in the kingdom which includes Bole,Bunsunu,Daboya,Damongo,Debir,buibe,Laribanga,kalba,kandia,kabalma,kong,kpembe,kusawgu,mandarin,mankarigu,mankuma,mpaha,nakwabi,nyanga,salaga,sawla,soma,sonyo,Tulewe,Tuna,Yipala,and Yapei (Gonja p.3).
A classic pattern amongst the Gonjas is that, even though there are no cities in the Gonja land, that hasn’t stopped them from clamouring for their own region in recent times.
Solomon Salifu Tampuri represents and touches briefly on the classical roots and relationships that exist amongst the Gonjas in the northern parts of Ghana and other parts of the world.