group of people smiling at the cameraOrigin of the Ngola [Gola] People: The Gola is a nation of people and language which is a part of the Niger-Congo language family who migrated from western Sudan to present-day Congo. In the Congo, the Gola became a part of the “proto-Bantu” family and later splintered in two groups: Cameroon and Angola. The group that went south eastern of the Congo Kingdom by the Cuanza River erected the Ndongo Kingdom under the leadership of Ngola, meaning “King” or “leader.” Historians provide the evidence that present-day Angola, the corrupt name for the powerful kingdom of Ngola has been inhabited since pre-historic epoch and at the time of the Portuguese arrival in 1492. In other words, “Angola” is coined from the name of King Ngola, the rule of Ndongo Kingdom. The Mbanza Congo Kingdom and its southern kingdom of Ndongo, under the leadership of the Ngola had 50,000 people. The Ndongo Kingdom didn’t only bestride south by the Kwanza River, but it straddled present-day northern Gabon [].

Gola in the Cameroon: The group that came via the Cameroon founded the Ngola kingdom Cameroon. Recently, the Independent Observer [Global Witness] led a mission to Ngola Kingdom, now a village or community. There is a forest community called Ngola Achip Community. Equally so, one of the Gola leaders named Ngola was the founding father of Guinea Bissau in 1831.

Gola in Ghana: In Ancient Ghana the Gola were dominant in the field of Judiciary and land surveying. In most cases when new land was acquired by the empire, a Gola person was sent to establish the seat of justice in the new territory. The Arabs armies invaded and overran the ancient Ghana Kingdom. The Gola and other ethnic groups resisted, which led to what is known as the Kumba wars. Evidence is increasingly conclusive that the Gola did not only lose three of the Kumba wars but were also forced to withdraw to present day Sierra Leone where the Mende, Gbandi and Loma fought with them in the battle over land. Their enemies at the time pursued them and continued to make war with them. As their enemies pushed them into the Mende, several battles ensured with the Mende in present-day Sierra Leone. The Gola were eventually compelled to leave Sierra Leone and retreat yet again before finally making Liberia their home land where they met the Dei people. This is the manner in which the Gola arrived in Liberia. Some of these ethnic groups included the Gbandi, Lorma, Mende and Mandingo. Furthermore, history tells us that as early as the 1300s the Gola left ancient Ghana and migrated to what is known today as Ivory Coast and started to settle there and beyond. During that time, much of what is now Ivory Coast and Liberia was uninhabited, tropical rain forests.

Gola in Libera
According to the legend, Kanda Dazujuaha powerful Ngola or Ruler of the Gola people arrived in present-day Liberia between the 1200s to 1300s A.D. and established a kingdom in an area not near what later become known as Providence Island. The first successful kingdom established by the Gola was called Komgba, with Zui as its capital or seat of conscious. By the following decades, Jaa Kpende had succeeded Kanda Dazujuah and expanded the kingdom that straddled present-day Providence Island, where E.J. Roye Building stands today. The area comprising the Roye Building was called Dazoe because it was where the Gola had their Poro and Sande Colleges. The main entrances to these Universities during their heydays were on present-day Lynch and Broad Streets.

With the establishment of one of Liberia’s oldest kingdoms, the Gola warrior Gbao decided to find salt for his people, a journey that took him farther into a mishap. Days passed and warrior Gbao didn’t return with the salt. This prompted seven of his men namely, Da Hondo, Ziai, Ziai Dolo, Jaa Kpende, Baa Nyaamgbaa plus two others to go and find out what had happened. One day, the search for warrior Gbao took the seven men to Goije region near Zuo and Gbaama towns where the rescuers chose to take a break. They asked the citizens of Zuo and Gbaama whether they had seen warrior Gbao. Sadly, they learned warrior Gbao died while trying to retrieve salt from the Atlantic Ocean. Saddened by the news of their warrior’s death their stand was to settle in Goije region. They called their new home Gbaa Maambo or ‘Pola,’ which means fishing basket in Gola.

The second Gola settlement consisted of densely forested area of Dei Kingdom of Wuliwion near the Kpo River where the Dei Chief Baa Jiwa welcomed the Gola. During the meeting Da Hondo who led a group broke words that they needed a land. As land was the collective property of humanity and the ethnic groups did not see themselves as immigrants but indigenous Ancestral Baa Jiwa agreed and the Gola were granted permission to settle in an unoccupied land. Thereafter, a new Dei-gola culture developed, which was based on agriculture, and people built large towns that were renamed Bola. Very soon, however, the people started to branch out and establish their own towns. The kingdom came into being in the districts of present-day western Lofa, Grand Cape Mount, Bomi, and Montserrando Counties. Some of the known leaders of the Gola were Ge Tumbe of the Gbo Kingdom, King Njola of Senje Kingdom, Da Bombo Kasso of Goiji Kingdom and Gbato Kawa of Yangaaya Kingdom.

Names that are phonetically common between the Gola of Liberia and the Gola of Angola are Matamba, Kassanje Kissamas, Jinga, Jinga Mbandi, Ngola, and Kanini.

Mother Rachael