Main content

A Place Called Wahala

Every year the War Cemetery Memorial of Wahala / Chra in Togo (West Africa) hosts the 11th November Remembrance Day Ceremony in memory of the First World War and of the African colonial soldiers who died here in August 1914. The first German surrender in WWI was signed on the soil of the Reich's cherished “model colony” shortly after the Battle of Chra. It marked the end of German “Togoland”. But Wahala's history and its name point to another painful past.

In 1903 the German colonial administration set up a "correctional settlement" by the Chra river where people considered to be an obstacle to colonial order were obliged to settle. Kabiye, Losso, Konkomba, Gurma, Mossi, Kotokoli, Akposso, Moba and others were taken from their native land which was often hundreds of miles away, in the north of the colony.

Wahala / Chra: a place where the voice of the ancients resonates with present day pictures.