By Ndagi Abdullahi
There is a general claim today that Tsudi the Nupe Founder came from Igala. The claim is that the father of Tsudi was an Igala king while his mother was Nupe. This claim that Tsudi the Nupe Founder came from Idah the Igala capital was popularized by the works of two European anthropologists, namely, Professor Leo Frobenius (1913) and Professor S.F. Nadel (1946).
Both Leo Frobenius and S.F. Nadel were told by their interpreters that the father of Tsudi the Nupe Founder was a Gara man. And because the only Gara that both Leo Frobenius and S.F. Nadel knew were the Igalas the two European professors wrongly presumed that the father of Tsudi was an Igala man.
Interestingly, Professor S.F. Nadel wrote in his Field Diaries that he was repeatedly told by the Nupe people that AtaGara was a Nupe Kingdom located around today’s Yauri-Zugurma enclave in northwestern KinNupe but he chose to follow his mentor Professor Leo Frobenius’ earlier mistake of saying AtaGara was Igala.
Unknown to Professor Leo Frobenius is the fact that in prehistoric times there was a Nupe kingdom called AtaGara which was located right here in Central KinNupe. The Nupe people of that now-extinct Nupe kingdom of AtaGara were known as the Gara.
In any case the Kano Chronicle categorically narrated that AtaGara was an ancient Nupe kingdom which was located around the very place where Bida is located today. The truth of the matter is that ancient Nupe settlements like Bida, Zungeru (Dunguru), Ogudu (in Kwara State), Oyo Ile (now in ruins in Kwara State), and others were each and every one founded as an AtaGara Nupe settlement in the past.
©from the book ‘The Ndǎkógbòya Goblet’ by Ndagi Abdullahi