The Meaning Of Gbannah

The literal translation of the word Gbannah in the Mah dialect of Nimba County is Thunderbolt.  Almost all activities of modern civilization depend upon electricity as a source of energy and light. The people of Gbannah depend upon the Council of Gbannah Volunteers for resources that will improve their lifestyles and their standard of living.

Transcending the meaning of Gbannah to Development

COGVOL symbolizes the source of the light that brightens the communities in the region. With God's help, COGVOL is energized to make all dark places bright, and bring energy, strengthen development and vitality to all that are weak and helpless in Gbannah.

COGVOL's Thunderstorms over the people of Gbannah is termed "Showers of Blessings we need".  The Thunderstorm comes with two major visible blessings.  It brings light to enable people to see, and it brings rain to help our crops to grow and provide bountiful harvest and the rain supplies enough water for the people to drink, wash their clothes, help to feed their animals and enable them to take their bath and clean up.  With that rain, however, also comes the thunderstorm. Every year the earth experiences an average of 25 million lightening strikes during some100, 000 thunderstorms. That is more than a hundred lightning bolts per second. With the rain and its accompanying thunderstorm (Gbannah), we in Gbannah fear no drought.  Our crops are well and our soil is also fertile and ready for harvest.  Most of our people in Gbannah are farmers.  Thus, they are happy for and do welcome the rain.

It is in this spirit that COGVOL intends to bring opportunities to the people of Gbannah.  The resources from which COGVOL will draw its support may be few and meager, but the desire and the determination to support the Gbannah people is a steadfast determination. The organization will produce more than 25 million lightning strikes during some 100,000 thunderstorms (good will).

In this endeavor, there will be more than just a single lightning bolt.  If all the people living in the USA who originate from Gbannah join this cause, whether we are traveling through a single straight line or through twisted paths, we will accomplish our goals.

This shows that the Gbannah people are a people with warm heart.  They are kind, generous, friendly, accommodating and grateful.  The people from Gbannah are warm blooded people who stand in readiness to embrace all those who wish to partner with them in whatever ways they please.  Therefore, if you have some skills or some knowledge of technology and if you are a nurse, doctor, teacher, or whatever profession you are and wish to support Gbannah, we welcome you to come and join us to make Gbannah a home away from home and let us collectively let the lightening of Gbannah strikes now and always.   

Gbannah Economy at a Glance

Gbannah Clan, like many clans in Liberia, is one of the poorest clans in the country and its economy is extremely underdeveloped. Most of the people in Gbannah live on less than $1 USD a day. The clan is a crossroad to entrepreneurial businesses and commerce.  It also serves as a strong government center for political convocation. These two countenances make Gbannah Clan an economically sparkling phenomenon.

Before the civil war in Liberia, majority of the people in the Clan engaged in informal sector and subsistence farming in order to feed themselves, pay their children school fees and even sell some of the products to take care of other social and economic demands. Those who engaged in sugar cane farming for instance, produced cane juice (local Liberian rum) for local consumption and marketing to support their children. In terms of formal employment, a handful of the clan’s population was employed by owners of rubber farms along the main highway starting from Gbah Town to Cocopa Rubber plantation, bordering Gbannah and Lesonnoh Clans.

Cocopa Rubber Company is one of the largest rubber plantations in Liberia and provides the major employment opportunity in Gbannah Clan.  According to the official website of Cocopa Rubber Company, Cocopa plantation was founded in 1948 and its initial crops were Cocoa & Coffee (thus, the name Cocopa). In 1988, the company restructured its ownership composition and negotiated about 7,500 acres for rubber plantation. 

The Liberia Civil war destroyed much of Gbannah's economy, especially rubber, cocoa and coffee. In Cocopa, fighters belonging to the National Patriotic Front of Liberia overran and took away all valuable assets. Since then the Company’s reconstruction process has dragged because of a lack of investment capital. The company inability to raise investment capital led to a decision by the Liberia Government to nationalize the company with assertions that it would provide jobs and improve infrastructure for the local people. The Company’s site also shows that it currently employs over 1,000 employees and over 100 contractors.
Notwithstanding, Gbannah is working towards building its retail economy. Flumpa’s downtown retail area is growing and currently maintains shops and restaurants. Small business owners also sell various products around each town in Gbannah. The Clan has a general market day which is set on Wednesday of each week.  On this day, sellers and buyers convene in the general market to buy and sell goods and produce.

Even though there is no official statistics on the actual economic data of Gbannah Clan, its economy is believed to be much better than other clans in Nimba, but very poor as compared to other clans in  Liberia, Africa and other undeveloped or developing countries. There is also the observed impact of remittances (through Western Union and Money Gram) from Gbannah citizens who migrated abroad (especially to Western Europe and North America) on the Gbannah economy that is yet to be studied. However, Investors, Diaspora Liberians, and Non Governmental Organizations need to do more to help the people of Gbannah out of poverty.

A Brief History of Gbannah Clan

Gbannah Clan is one of the six original Clans which make up Saclepea-Mah County District in Nimba County in North-Eastern Liberia. The Clan is bounded by Bain Clan in the North, Garr Clan in the North East, Lao Clan in the North West, Lessonon Clan in the South West and wee Clan in the South, respectively.

The name of the clan, Gbannah, is said to have derived from the name of the founder of the very first town (Sehwe) of the Clan. He was Chief Gweih Gbanna-dolo, believed to have migrated from neighboring Guinea around 1880. Based on Gbannah Oral History narrated by Mr. Quoi Guandolo, a grandson of Chief Gweih Gbanna-dolo in an interview conducted by Dr. Gompah, it was Johnny Voker, a Provisional Paramount Chief of Saclepea Mah County District at the time who named the Clan Gbannah to make pronunciation easier for Westerners and tax collectors and to honor and remember Chief Gweih Gbanna-dolo. While the major limitation of this Oral History of Gbannah Clan is the fact that it is difficult to verify, Dr. J. Railey Gompah argues in his unpublished research article entitled, “Hometown History: An Oral History of the Towns of Gbannah Clan”, that the story narrated by Mr. Quoi Guandolo is credible because he, Quoi Guandolo, is someone who had first-hand information from his parents and grandfather. According to Dr. Gompah, Mr. Quoi Guandolo himself served as Town Chief of Flumpa Town and Clan Chief of Gbannah Clan, respectively, before his demise at age 110years in 2009. This short but important history of Gbannah serves as a pace setter for further research and indeed a research challenge to the present and succeeding generations of Gbannah Clan.

Note - Please send comment(s) and contribution(s) on the history of Gbannah Clan to our address provided on our Contact page.


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