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Biography [ edit | edit source ]

Yennenga was the daughter of Nedega, an early 12th-century king of the Dagomba Kingdom in what is now northern Ghana. ΐ] She was a beautiful and beloved princess who from the age of 14, fought in battle for her father against the neighbouring Malinkés. Ώ] ΐ] Skilled with javelins, spears and bows, she was an excellent horsewoman and commanded her own battalion. Ώ] ΐ] Yennenga was such an important fighter that when she reached a marriageable age, her father refused to choose a husband for her or allow her to marry. ΐ] Α] To express her unhappiness to her father, Yennenga planted a field of wheat. When the crop grew, she let it rot. She explained to her father that that was how she felt, being unable to marry. ΐ] Nedega failed to be moved by this gesture and locked his daughter up. Β]

One of the king's horsemen helped Yennenga, dressed as a man, escape on her stallion. Ώ] ΐ] Attacked by Malinkés, her companion was killed, and Yennenga was left alone. ΐ] She continued to ride north. One night, when she was exhausted from crossing a river, Yennenga's stallion took her into a forest. ΐ] Α] She met a solitary elephant hunter called Riale. Β] When he saw through Yennenga's disguise, they fell in love. Ώ] Yennenga and Riale had a son they named Ouedraogo, which means "stallion" and is now a common name in Burkina Faso. ΐ] Β] Ouedraogo founded the Mossi Kingdom. Ώ]


An unbeatable warrior princess who just wanted to have kids – and founded a new nation in her quest to do so.

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Art Notes

The buildings in the background are a goof on my part. They are based on the beautiful colored mud huts found in Tiébélé, Burkina Faso:

These huts are part to the traditions of the Kassena people, some of the earliest settlers of the area – however, they are ethnically and culturally distinct from the Dagomba, from whom Yennenga came. This fact was realized too late for inclusion in the book, and I regret the error.

The outfit for her father was based on Mogho-Naba, one of the Mossi leaders:

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Princess Yennega From Mossi Ethnic group of Burkina Faso.

Princess Yennega Mother of the Mossi land.
Yennenga was an African princess who lived over 900 years ago. She was known as a brave warrior and famous for her strong spirit. Today she is considered to be the mother of the Mossi people of Burkina Faso and is has become a cultural icon.
Much of what we know about Yennenga today comes from oral tradition stories that have been passed down through history. In some stories Yennenga is known as ‘Poko’ or ‘Yalanga’.
Yannenga was the daughter of King Nedega, who ruled over the Dagomba Kingdom (which is now part of Northern Ghana.) Yennenga’s three brothers all commanded their own battalions, and as she grew Yennenga also learnt the skills of a warrior. She was an expert horse rider and learnt how to use a javelin, spear and bow. She was a match for any of the men in her father’s armies, and soon she led her own command.

She led her army to success in many battles, especially against the neighbouring Malinké people. Across the land she became known for her skills in battle, becoming a feared warrior. She is sometimes known as ‘Yennenga the Svelte’, as she was very tall and slim and sometimes mistaken for a man when she rode with her battlion in her battle clothes. She was so important to her father’s battle plans that as she reached the age where most of her friends were getting married, he banned her from doing so.
Yennenga continued to be obedient to her father, but she was tired of being in battles all the time, and wanted to fall in love and marry, like so many of her friends had. No matter how much she asked, her father continued to refuse her this request.
One story tells us that Yennenga planted some wheat outside of her father’s house. When the wheat grew, instead of harvesting it she left it to wither and die. When her father angrily asked her why she had done this she told him that he was letting her rot, just like the wheat had done.
He wasn’t very happy that she had spoken to him so boldly and some stories say that he imprisoned her! Whether or not she was imprisoned by her father, very soon she escaped and disappeared into the forest on her stallion, dressed as a man so she wouldn’t be quickly found.
No-one knows for sure how long she was there, but at some point she met a well known elephant hunter called Riale. He soon discovered that she was a woman, and a skilled hunter as well. Soon romance blossomed and Yennenga and Riale fell in love and had a child. They called their son Ouedraogo, which means ‘Male Horse’ or ‘Stallion’, this was as a tribute to the horse which had taken Yennenga into the forest where she met Riale.
Ouedraogo grew to become an important leader and founded the Mossi Kingdom, which is why Yennenga is known as the mother of the Mossi people.
Today in Burkina Faso, and across the region Yennenga’s legacy remains. There are statues of her, roads named after her and even an African film award which is known as the Yennenga Gold Stallion and has a golden woman riding a horse with a spear on top. The national football team of Burkina Faso is even called ‘Les Étalons’ which means ‘The Stallions’, after Yennenga’s famous horse.

Her story has inspired many, who see her as a symbol of a woman with a strong character and an independent mind.

Princess Yennenga: The Horse-Riding Warrior of Burkina Faso

Yennenga was the only daughter of king Nedega and the queen Napoko. Nedega was an early 12th-century king of the Dagomba Kingdom in what is now northern Ghana.

Yennenga was a very brave woman, skilled with javelins, spears and bows, she was also an excellent horsewoman who rode horses much better than most of her father’s guards.

From the young age of 14, Yennenga fought in battle alongside her father’s best warriors against the neighbouring Malinkés.

Yennenga was such a skilled fighter that when she reached the ripe age of marriage, her father refused to choose a husband for her or allow her to marry because he wanted her to remain with him.

To express her unhappiness to her father, Yennenga planted a field of wheat. When the crop grew, she let it rot. She explained to her father that was how she felt, being unable to marry. But even that wasn’t enough to make her father change his mind instead he locked her up with the hope that her time in solitary confinement would make her change her mind.

But Yennenga had friends among the King’s guards. One night, one of the king’s horsemen helped Yennenga, disguised as a man, they both escape on separate horses. But the escape didn’t go as smoothly as they had hoped it would. An attack by the neighboring Malinkes left her companion dead and Yennenga alone.

On the run with her horse, she meets and fell in love with a young Elephant hunter, Rialé with whom she had a child called Ouedraogo. Ouedraogo is a famous last name in Burkina Faso and means “male horse” in honor to the horse that led the princess to Rialé.

Ouedraogo, upon reaching adulthood, left his parents home and travelled north, where he founded the kingdom of Tenkodogo, which is considered to be the cradle of the Mossi Kingdoms.

Historians indicate that Ouedraogo visited his grandfather, King Nadega, who had been searching for his daughter all these years. Upon discovering his daughter was alive, he sent a delegation to request Yennenga to come back home.

Together with Riale, Yenenga was welcomed by her father with a feast.

King Nadega who was desperate to make amends with his daughter promised to oversee the training of his grandson, he also gave him a cavalry, cattle and other goods, with which he used to set up his kingdom.

It is for this reason that Yennenga is called the mother of the Mossi people. Many statues have been built in her Honour in the capital city of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou. A statue of a golden stallion, called the Étalon de Yennenga” (Stallion of Yennenga), named after Princess Yennenga is awarded as the first prize in the biennial Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou.

The Burkinabe national football team is called Les Étalons (The Stallions) after Yennenga’s famous horse. The building of a new ecological city that is going to host some 80,000 people is currently in progress near Ouagadougou and will be called Yennenga.

Yennnenga, Dagomba Warrior Princess Whose Son Founded Mossi Kingdom In West Africa

Role models are significant. In many contexts, “trial and error” can be a good way, but learning from other people’s experience and experience is also essential.

She had no blind acceptance of rules or authorities but had the courage to follow her own path. She had the courage to engage others in order to succeed, had the courage to love, and she knew that she was good at what she did. She had the courage to love what she succeeded.

Princess Yennenga is seen as the mother of the Mossi culture, and many statues and memorial marks of her can be seen in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. Parallels can be drawn between Princess Yennenga and heroines in various other cultures, for example Jean D’Arc and Athena.
Many versions exist of the 14th century legend of Yennenga. This is one of them.

King Nedegea of West Africa reigned over a wealthy kingdom. He had a young and lovely daughter, too. A cherished princess. She was permitted to lead her own troops because she was courageous and exceptionally skillful with spear and bow, as well as a better rider than both her brothers and many of the king’s warriors. She was already helping her dad battle the enemy who was attempting to steal the king’s riches at the age of 14.

Ville nouvelle de Yennenga

Drawing inspiration from the cultural local traditions of the region, the new town of Yennenga in Burkina Faso outlines an extraordinary, self-sufficient city, symbolically steeped in the history of its people.

Located 15 km south of the capital Ouagadougou, the project of the new town of Yennenga covers a vast, 600-hectare plain swept by the Sahelian climate. Named after a Burkinabe princess and the founding mother of one of the greatest peoples of Burkina Faso, the city is built around a symbolic center designed in the shape of the heroine's eye. The pupil in the town's center is designed as an iconic tower, a beacon readily visible across town.

Drawing on its ancestral culture, this culturally vibrant city will accommodate a fine arts center, several places of worship, a conference center and a stud farm, as a tribute to the country's equestrian tradition and in memory of Yennenga, the warrior princess. The project follows the terrain and adapts to the climatic conditions of the region. In the north, the tallest buildings reduce the impact of the Harmattan, a dry, dust-blowing wind. In the south, a sparser layout of houses allows the mild and humid monsoon winds to cool the city. The contemporary architectural designs are inspired by the traditional forms of Burkinabe housing.

Ecologically, Yennenga has been designed as a self-sufficient city that generates its own energy and produces the materials necessary for its operation. Control of winds, along with the use of solar energy and the recycling and reuse of water demonstrate this concern for energetic self-sufficiency and are the hallmarks of a “virtuous cycle” of design. The project includes numerous landscaping features that preserve and augment the density of the existing tree population. This new vegetation pattern and the bioclimatic comfort provided by flowering plants are essential for an optimum quality of life. The local species present at the site will be supplemented by a range of plant varieties adapted to the West African climate.


The association was founded under the name Charles Lwanga in 1947 by the Catholic clergyman Ambroise Ouédraogo, in a phase that was characterized by numerous associations in the French colony of Upper Volta, which was restored in the same year . The name of the association was chosen in memory of the Ugandan martyr Karl Lwanga . After Modèle Sport , Charles Lwanga was Ouagadougou's second officially registered club and therefore had to travel to Bobo-Dioulasso to host games , the economically important city in western Upper Volta, where the history of football in what is now Burkina Faso began in the mid-1930s took. In 1958 the club merged with the Racing Club founded by Raoul Gabriel Traoré to form Jeanne d'Arc (JAO). In the first game of a Upper Voltaic selection in April 1960 against Madagascar , four JAO players were in the squad: Fousséni Traoré, Ahmadou Bamba, Emmanuel Ouédraogo and Zingoudi Kaboré. At the suggestion of then President Titinga Pacere , the club was renamed the Yennenga Club , after the legendary Mossi Princess Yennenga , and was given its current name in 1988.

From 2002 to 2004 ASFA-Yennenga won the national championship three times in a row, and from 2009 to 2012 four times in a row. The greatest international success came in 1991 with reaching the quarter-finals in the African Cup Winners' Cup . In 2004, ASFA-Y only failed on penalties in the second round duel of the CAF Champions League against Ajax Cape Town . In all eleven other participations in continental competitions, the club failed at the latest in the first main round.

Former Presidents: Siaka Diakité, Noufou Ouédraogo, Titinga Pacere

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