Sunday, 19 September 2010

Togo - Woezo!

It's more than 3,000 miles (or 5,000 kilometres) from the Saudi capital to Lome, the capital of my next country, Togo!  I'm quite excited to be blogging about Togo as it's a country I know practically nothing about.  Until I started researching this blog, I didn't even know what the capital of Togo was and I would have been hard pushed to pick out the Togolese flag from the range of similar flags of West African nations.

I've just started learning about Togo and I know now that it is a small slither of a country sandwiched between Ghana and Benin.  Togo is approximately the same size as Croatia, less than half the size of England and slightly smaller than West Virginia.  It has a population of over 6 million people and is made up of various different tribes and languages, the main one being the Ewe people of the south coast (including the capital). 

Something that fascinates me about Togo is that it was colonised by (the newly unified) Germany during 'the Scramble for Africa', one of two German colonies in West Africa (the other one being Cameroon).  Germany's colonial ambitions came to end after the First World War and the German Togoland was divided between Britain and France, British Togoland being incorporated into their neighbouring colony in Ghana, French Togoland becoming an autonomous country within French West Africa.  I'm not sure how much of a legacy the Germans left behind, as French is now the lingua franca, as in most of West Africa.  It's something I'm interested in exploring. 

I've got a couple of books lined up, have already spotted a Togolese dish I want to cook and I've started listening to some Togolese music.  So sit back, relax and enjoy the ride - the video I'm posting is from YouTube and fascinates me, just watching the coast glide past, you get a sense of what life is like in downtown Lome.  The artist is called Yawo and I really like the song Mi La Woe, which translates something like 'let's keep pulling together'.

Image credits:

The map of Togo is from Wikipedia, but originally came from the CIA's World Factbook and is in the public domain. 
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