Announcing the disappearance of the Fon in Nso

As Nso joins the Bamouns to mourn their Fon Sultan Njoya , read this:

Procedures of announcing the #Disappearance of a #Nso #Fon in Nso’ land

Fon Mbinglo

In the Nso Fondom, the disappearance of a Fon is announced with Ngem Wong. If the sun sets in the night as was the case with the last two Nso Fons, Ngah Bi’fon II (1972-1983) and Ngah Bi’fon III (1983-1993), a messenger is sent out as early in the morning as possible to announce the sad news round the town. That is always the first announcement about the sunset. As the population assemble in the Palace, Shigwaala shé Nwerong takes off for Nkar to announce the death to the Nkar Fondom. Other Messengers are sent to other Fondoms for the same purpose.

The #Sultan of Foumban is equally informed, who does everything possible to be present. This was the case with the arrival of Sultan Ibrahim Mbombo Njoya, who by 10a.m on September 6, 1993, arrived Ntoh Nso to temporarily take over control of issues in the Nso palace while awaiting the new Sun to rise. This was not however the case in 1972. By then, Nso and Bamoun still had issues to settle over the Nsangu matter, which was only resolve in 1975.

Once the message goes round everyone takes off their caps before going to the Palace. Once assembled, preparations for the burial goes on while the “set sun” is laid in state in the “ngaiy kibvèh” where entry is restricted to initiated members, aTaawong, aYiywong, aTaantoh and Vibai vé Kpu’.

At the Fèm, which is the royal cemetery, the Duiy are busy preparing the fèm for eventual “hiding” (kirè ké liti) of the Fon.

The Ncheelav are excluded completely from any mortuary activity relating to royalty. On the other hand, they are completely in control at sunrise.

When preparations are done and the remains is to be transferred from the ngaiy kibveh to the Fèm for hiding, all ncheelav turn their backs away from the procession to the fèm. Some prefer to enter and hide from temptation in the Nwerong sanctum.

While the hiding is going on, background dispositions are made for eventual succession. This extends to later in the day because the Nso Mntar who had been sent to the four corners of Nso to divine the heir imminent are awaited with their results before a choice is made.

Meanwhile the Fonmakers must have alerted Nwerong on the potential successors.

When finally the new Sun rises Nwerong then resounds to announce the good news.

Nwerong equally takes the lead to ma’ kpu’.

This write-up is meant to clarify the misconception that Nwerong announces the setting of the Sun in the Nso Fondom. Nwerong, rather, announces to other friendly and sisterly fondoms. Nchiselav are sent to the different directions of the Division and beyond to announce on behalf of Nwerong the news.

The picture shows the mourning of Fon Sehm III (Mbinglo) in 1972.

Fonyuy E. Bulami

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