Brimah

Brimah

The Brimah family is a very large migrant African family that began with the Sokoto Caliphate in Nigeria's Northern border state, Sokoto. They initially resided in Birnin Kebi, and then were a part of the Fulanis, who were invited to the Kwara state capital, Ilorin, to help the Ilorin Yoruba ward off the Oyo empire.

Exile from Ilorin

The Brimah family, along with the Gambari family and the now Alao family came as leaders with other Fulani warriors and fought off the Oyo army. Ilorin, its name meaning 'grind Iron', became part of the Northern empire, as theFulanis stayed and ruled Ilorin.

After the first Gambari Emir of Ilorin died, the family decided to become a monarchy, and transfer the title to the next in kin. The Brimah opposed this, and protested for an election system instead. An election was held, the Brimah candidate lost, and the Gambari son won. Brimah left with 13 family members on a self-imposed exile. His spiritualist had told him he should not stop on his journey until he got to a river he could not cross, so Brimah travelled the West African coast, through Benin, Togo and Ghana. In Accra, he reached the Atlantic Ocean, which he took to be the 'river too large to cross', and stayed. His first house near the Accra coast was on the current site of the Accra General Post Office. Brimah settled with his family and started trade in Ghana. The site of his business was named Cowlane because of Brimah's trade in cattle. Many of Brimah's descendants still live in the Cowlane area.

Ghana

His successful business ventures brought him high status in the Accra region of the Gold Coast. The Colonial government selected him as leader of all Muslims in Ghana (Zongo community). The current head of the Brimah family, Chief Abdul Aziz Brimah now holds that title.

Brimah's first wife in Accra was Fatima Peregrino, a first generation Brazilian in Accra, part of a local Brazilian community known as the Tabom people. The Tabom were former slaves in Brazil, some of them involved in the 1836 Muslim rebellion in Bahia, Brazil, known as "Malê revolt". The Brazilian authorities deported those found guilty of organising this rebellion from Brazil. Some of the deportees ended up in Nigeria, Benin Republic, Togo and Ghana. The first President of Togo, Sylvanus Olympio, was from such a family. Brimah had four wives, and all of his children from Fatima Peregrino adopted the last name Peregrino-Brimah.

His family brought the first pipe borne water in Ghana, and built the first story building. The Brimah family is spread all over the world.

Recent History

The current Chief, Chief Abdul Aziz Brimah, volunteered during WWII and fought in Burma, gratification was accorded him in the Memorial Gates Trust Foundation along with other men and women from India, Africa and the Caribbean who served in World War I and II.

He also was part of the protest with other WWII veterans that led to the liberation of Ghana from colonial rule, on March 6, 1957, making it the first African nation to gain independence from colonial rule and also becoming the flagbearer for African liberation from colonial rule.

References

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