The story dates back to the beginning of the 12th century in the Mossi’s Dagomba Kingdom – corresponding to the northern part of modern Ghana. Its capital was Gambaga. The King of Dagomba was called Nedega. Dagomba was a wealthy state and naturally its prosperity attracted the attention of neighbouring people. especially Malinkes, who lived further south. Nedega’s soldiers were brave and almost always won in any show of force. The King’s daughter, Yannenga, always helped him win the battles.
Yennenga was a beautiful young woman. Everyone loved her. She was also an extraordinary horse-woman. She rode horses much better than her brothers, and even better than the kingdom’s warriors. She was also a brave warrior, adept at using javelins, spears and bows. Source
Dear Hollywood: make this movie. Don’t cast Halle Berry. Or Tyler Perry.
But wait, being a supreme bad ass is not the only thing of interest about Yennega (also known as Yennenga the Svelte. SWAG HER THE FUCK OUT):
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.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. Nedega failed to be moved by this gesture and locked his daughter up. Source
Ok first off, Nedega. So rude. I imagine Nedega standing in front of that dead field of wheat with a hardcore “U MAD?” expression on his face. Regardless Yennenga was like…nah thats not going down. She was not content to only ride horses for the rest of her life.
Sorry, couldn’t help myself.
Also, seriously Hollywood. Action, family drama. This is GOLD.
But Yennenga had friends among the King’s guards. One night, one of the king’s horsemen helped her escape from the prison. Both rode long into the night and were later attacked by Malinkes warriors. Yennenga and her benefactor routed their attackers but the horseman paid for the victory with his life. Yennenga was now alone in the middle of the forest, far, far away from Gambaga.
Bravely she decided to ride further north. At one point in the journey she had to cross a river. Braving strong currents she and her horse managed to negotiate the river. She was exhausted from the effort and lay on the back of her horse when she saw a house. It belonged to Riale, a famous elephant hunter. Riale fell in love with Yennenga straight away. In time they had a son who came to be called Ouedraogo (male horse), a name used quite commonly by the Burkinabe now.
Epic solo journey: check. Massive fight scene: check. Noble death scene: check. Eventual romance and happy ending: CHECK.
I mean COME ON.
If you feel so inclined, please play casting director in the comments!