The Newly installed chief of Friendship (Zo simli naa), Ife Bell has paid a courtesy call on the Northern Regional Minister, Hon. Alhaji Shani Alhassan Shaibu to formally introduce herself to him.
She succeeded her predecessor, Dr Susan J. Herlin, who was given this chieftaincy title (Zo simli naa I), on July 25, 1995, by the Chiefs and People of the Tamale Traditional Area to acknowledge the role she and others have played in promoting the sister city relationship between Tamale and Louisville in 1979. She became a symbol of this friendship, which has been growing ever since.
Dr Herlin at the time of her installation had no permanent residence in Tamale and consequently in 2001, she took up the challenge and championed the construction of a palace at Lamashegu, a suburb of Tamale. The building, an improved version of the traditional architectural round houses, serves not only as her home in Tamale, but also as the offices of Sister Cities of Tamale, the organisation that coordinates the relationship between Tamale and Louisville.
She worked hand-in-hand with stakeholders of the Sister-Cities of Tamale and Louisville to implement a number of development initiatives which have become her legacy in the Tamale community.
She initiated a scholarship programme which she instituted in 1999 to support brilliant but needy children in Tamale. Since then more than 300 students, half of whom are girls, have benefited from this scheme. Many of them enjoyed the scholarship from primary to the tertiary level, and are now graduates with gainful employment.
Through the sister city link, the University for Development Studies (UDS) has established a fruitful partnership with the University of Louisville in the area of medical and allied fields and a similar exchange programme was also forged between the Tamale Islamic Senior High School and the Kentucky County Day School in the United States.
She passed away in Louisville, United States of America, on May 21, 2014.
Ife Bell was enskinned by the Gukpe Na as the Chief of Friendship on Monday, 5 July, 2021. She expressed gratitude to the regional minister for the warm reception. She expressed her commitment to ensuring the continuity of the good works of her predecessor, and to strengthen the relationship between Tamale and Louisville.
The Northern Regional Minister, Hon. Alhaji Shani Alhassan, on behalf of the people of the region congratulated Ife Bell for her new chieftaincy title.
He stated that, Northern region is peaceful with conducive environment which has a lot of potentials in education, Agriculture, Investment opportunities and Cultural display and when much attention is given to those sectors would go a long way to develop the region. He therefore urges Zo Simli Na to take keen interest in those areas to influence investors in to the region.
He commended the leadership of Sister Cities Link for this initiative that leads to bringing Tamale and Louisville together as sister cities for development.