Category Archives: Inspiration

Cameroon: Nso: Titles in the Paramount Fondom of Nso (part 4) Yah

If you missed part one to three on Nso Titles, do not worry, you can still read part 1 here; part 2 here; and part 3 here;

II-3. YAH

There are many categories of Yahs, almost all of whom derived directly from the palace in earlier years. Of late, beginning with Ngah Bifon I (1910-1947) Yahships have been awarded to certain important lineages without regard to direct derivation from the royal lineage.

Yah Yefons

The highest-ranking Yah is Yah Yefon (Fengay or Queen Mother). She is the third ranking personality in the land (after Shufai Ndzendzev and Shufai Taankum) by status, administrative and religious function.

Upon assuming the throne the Fon appoints a Yah Yefon from among his female  children or  his sisters if his birth mother is no longer alive. Yah Yefon is treated like a Fon in all aspects except in special greeting (“bun”). She represents Yee Nso (Ngon Nso), the founder of the Nso dynasty.

The present Yah Yefons that are still alive today are; (At the time this article was written)

Yah Yefon Sehm Mbinglo I

Yah Yefon Ngah Bifon III

Yah Yefon Ngah Bifon II (Yah Adela Nsaidzeka Meyeh)

Yah Yefon Sehm III (Yah Rose Wirnkar)

Yah Yefon Ngah Bifon I (Yah wo Faa)

Yah Yefon Mapri (Yah wo Nso La)

The next Yah in rank is the Yah Yeewong  (mother of Nso). She is the second representative of  Yee Nso (Ngon Nso), the founder of the Nso dynasty.

When Ngon Nso died around 1421, her son Leh who assumed the throne created the title of Yeewong and Yefon to be combinable and held by a single individual. The two titles were later on separated with Yefon holding the higher title (very silently) and Yah Yeewong the next (very publicly) with  a rank equal to Fai Taawong who is also appointed by the new Fon at the same time as Yeewong.

 A few Yah Yewongs that are still alive today are:

Yah Yeewong Sehm Mbinglo I (Yewong wo Ntoh Nso)

Yah Yeewong Ngah Bifon III

Yah Yeewong Ngah Bifon II

Yah Yeewong Ngah Bifon I (Yeewong wo Kim Kikaikom)

Yah Yeewong Sehm II (Yeewong wo Jem)

Most Yahs of status in Nso today are descendants (inherited) of former Yah Yefons and Yah Yeewongs.

A few notable examples of these reigning Yahs are:

Yah wo Kai Jakiri (Successor of Yeewong wo Nturkui)

Yah wo Abakwa Jakiri (Successor of Yeewong wo Kih Kiyan)

Yah wo Mile 3 Bamenda (Successor of Yeewong wo Roo-Kong)

The next rank of  Yahs is based within the palace household, Yah Nkonin and Yah Yeela (leaders of the Fon’s senior wives – Kfem se Fon). They act as managers of the Fon’s household. These two Yahs must be of Mtaar origin. They also organize the Fon’s farm work in collaboration with the Yeesums.

Every Shufaiship of high standing and with historical underpinnings can also have a Yah. A famous Yah in this category is Yah wo Taankum. It is still unclear why some of the big Shufaiships are allowed to create secondary Yahships but the lineages themselves do not have a Yah of the main lineage compound.

The last category of Yahs are those that are crowned by the Fon in collaboration with the Shufais or Fais. The process of naming and enthroning a Yah is very involved. The Fon cannot name a Yah without approval from the Yah’s lineage or extended family. The Yah needs to do the very public “kibunfon” and a grand “kitar yiy” for the family and the public at large to recognize her as a Yah of standing. Recent examples include the “kibunfon” carried out by Yah wo Shusum (Sov), and Yah wo Mbassy in Nso Palace.

Researched Shey Stephen Shemlon (PHD)

Complied and edited by Shey Tatah Sevidzem

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Reactions to Bishops letter (Very Mixed feelings from West Cameroonians)

The Bishops letter dated 29th April on the current Anglophone crisis has sparked mixed feelings as many believe they still do not understand the problem but playing the moral part on the crisis without understanding the situation. The Bishops are bent on promoting Decentralization and social Dialogue yet ignoring the release of those arrested and demilitarization of the regions yet calling for schools to resume. Many have read this letter and have the following to say:

The Bishops of Cameroon have spoken well, like the respected men of God that they are. They have provided a succinct diagnosis of the problem and rightly noted that it has evolved from a trade union issue to a political, administrative to constitutional issue. We all know that this escalation of the problem is due to the bad faith, excessive violence, murder, mayhem, and disdain of the government. The bishops offer a way out of the crisis that I think is reasonable: a dialogue that concerns the institutional form of the state, and reinforces the separation of powers between the executive, the judiciary, and the legislative. Biya needs to get that off the ground, They also want the state to “decide the destiny of the detainees according to appropriate judicial procedure.”

With all due respect to the men of God, I think they fail to understand the nature of the Biya regime. Biya is has only one way of communication and governance–rule by decree. In 35 years in power, he has not demonstrated a culture of dialogue or compromise. He engages only in monologues. The word dialogue does not exist in Biya’s vocabulary. How can the bishops expect Anglophone civilian political detainees who are charged with death penalty offenses to receive justice in a military tribunal? I fear that the bishops of Cameroon did not read the message the Holy Father, Pope Francis gave to President Biya when he visited the vatican last month. The Pope clearly told Biya to “respect human and minority rights” of Cameroonians! That is a clear reference to the atrocities perpetrated in the Northwest and Southwest regions. http://www.news.va/…/pope-francis-receives-president-of… The Bishops want dialogue between the parties. That is a good thing. There is just one small problem. Who is going to dialogue with the government when the Anglophone leaders are in jail? The Bishops need to tell Paul Biya one Latin phrase: habeas corpus! Release all the Anglophone political detainees. They have to remind him what the Pope told him, namely, that he has to respect human and minority rights in Cameroon. Left to itself, the Anglophone problem is slowly spinning out of control before our very eyes. The bishops of Cameroon mean well, but their message may be too little, too late to move Paul Biya. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Lyombe Eko Prof. at Texas Tech University but hails from Buea.

Aboh Anjah Martin questions if the Bishops have the legitimate write to call off the strike;

“Did this bishops organize any strike in Cameroon if no then why is it that they are those trying to call off the strike?”

Mark Bara laments on the letter stating that; “You must have read a certain Communique coming from the Bishops Episcopal conference signed by Bishop Samuel Kleda. They are calling for resumption of schools, end of ghost towns etc. In fact, the wordings of the Bishops sounded exactly like the CPDM government prepared text delivered to them in a holy masked because it failed the test woefully. In fact, we can grade it -5/20…I am by this short notice calling on Southern Cameroonians to reject the Bishops of Cameroon latest communique signed by Bishop Samuel Kleda. That Communique which fails to even call for the release of our people, it does not meet the aspirations of the Southern Cameroons people…The communique from Yaounde signed by Bishop Samuel Kleda is another form of tyranny and slavery. Enough.”

Ndzi Kibuh hammers that “Bishop kheda and his Episcopal council hate the TRUTH, the Bible says know the truth and the truth shall set you free”.

It is worrisome that Bishops with all respect will involve themselves in such dirty political game masterminded by the Biya regime. God is supreme no matter what.” Marie Sengue

“Bishops who do not realize the arrest of innocent citizens, Bishops who do not demand for fair treatment of all are culprits in disguise…” Lestrong WCam

“This is worth nothing… See who is talking about decentralization here? We don pass that stage…. Finally the francophone bishops are simply doing something else. They need to understand what SC needs” Don Papi

I expected u start by urging Biya to release those who can dialogue nonsense.if you want to use God’s name be honest and call a spade a spade” Gillian Lemma

Total nonsense.see Bishops playing politics. at what time are they calling parents to send their children to school.to go study what? At what time?Has the school year not ended or they are talking of next year?they are threatened by the case against them?sorry they are out of topic” Enesto Akanga

Rubbish!!! The bishop that value country stability and financial motivation as school subsidies need to be recalled by God because he has missed the line of his calling already. No single francophone support the freedom of anglophones even their clergy!!! If you are my church leader, you must act in line with Christian norms or we disown you. That we have already done for any one who still wish to enter into covenant with injustice!!!” Grace Siefrank

Its a pity for Cameroon. Bishops are too carried away from the path of the people. What humanity do they want to protect with that crap. Shame to those Bishops”  Illoh Ikenge

Since the crises sparked off 6 months ago, I have been to Church on many occasions and have listen to Mass Intention with captions like:
– For Peace to reign in our beloved country Cameroon
– Asking God to grant peace in Cameroon etc….
Bidding prayers or Prayers of the faithful have also taken same suit and coining. I have NOT heard any Prayer in church supplicating for retributive and equitable Justice. Does this pretext challenges Pope Pius X’s (he himself a Conservative Roman Catholic) assertion that “where there injustice there is no hope of peace because peace is the work of justice”? Cameroon’s painful troubles are embedded in the number of gross unjust and hidden agendas inflicted on Southern Cameroonians for 55 years. Let us do Justice then peace will reign!
” Tangka Eric

Mbilam Samson Jumbam thinks that the letter does not reflect that written by the Bishops of Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province reiterating that; “The current Letter proves nothing but complacency of Francophone Bishops. How long have they taken to react to the Anglophone crises? The message is teleguided. After all, petrol bonds will flow

Shey Tatah Sevidzem

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Peter Esoka is 50 Years as a Journalist but was he jailed?

Today Peter Esoka was at Hello  Cameroon program brought by one of the journalists that admire him Mr Edwin Kindzeka, who met Peter in church and invited him to this program when he learnt that Peter Esoka the Veteran Journalist clocked 50 this year in the field.

In this panel, Peter shared his experience from the 60s when he joined the broadcasting industry, stating that at that time they only did rebroadcast from Nigeria as Cameroon especially Buea where he was reporting never had the resources and equipment. He stated that they reported mostly through imitating the journalists they admired and this probably might have been one of the reasons they went to the field. Although he never intended being a journalist, he was lured to the profession through a friend.

Although they never had professional training like we have today with students graduating with decrees in Communication and Journalism, they had internal training which compared to that time was far better. Far better in the sense that people should not do journalism as a career(to earn a living)alone but as something they like and are committed to it. He expressed the things he should have done better and the things that could be improved.

Peter for the first time cleared off a prejudice i had and which many still believe today, that because of his vocal reports, he was jailed to underground prison and that this even affected his eyes as he almost went blind. This false rumor and belief is still deeply rooted in the minds of many, who claim it was only President Biya who decided to release him.

Peter Esoka today denied these allegations, admitted he did work with President Amadou Ahidjo by reading his speeches in English likewise with President Biya but never was jailed by whoever. He only after 1972 relocated to the USA and returned when President was already in power. Goose pimples were seen all over me as i saw how naive i was and could believe a thing for close to 30 years without investigating  the truth. It took only today to get facts from the horse’s mouth.

Peter today now serves as the president of the communication commission a position he said was met with congratulations from the head of state recently. He has also faced challenges with the decisions of shutting down some media houses in which many believe that has been unfair in doing so. His job has been very challenging as to freedom of expression in the case of Cameroon.

Although Peter did not have a lot of women at the time he started, he later mentioned some that are still very active today in nation building although not in the journalism industry. He ended his panel by reenacting on the importance of journalism. Be truthful, honest and humble. He admitted that journalists could make mistakes but even at that, they should apologize sincerely when they do. He admits that at his time there was no social media but that any serious and committed journalist will fit even in today’s media architect.

One wonders how many journalists today especially in the crtv can truly and sincerely stand to state that they report what is true and facts. Many have been manipulated by the politicians and many have sold their consciences and help in the society that we have today. As we wish Peter Esoka a happy anniversary, we hope that journalists will take to this call for honesty and humility and help to better the society with facts and truths and maybe sincere analysis for the nation building and eradicate corruption and injustices. Journalists should be like the lawyers who stand as the voice of the voiceless.

Shey Tatah Sevidzem

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Did the court of First instance summon only the Bishops of Bamenda?

The allegations that three out of the 4 mainstream churches in the Anglophone region of Bamenda  summoned to court (Catholics, Presbyterians & Baptists) have been declared as mere rumors by the Presbyterian authorities as they argued that such a summon had not reached the moderator yet. “The Communication Secretary of the PCC, Rev Mokoko Mbue Thomas said it was only a rumor and told reporters that to the best of his knowledge the PCC Moderator has not been summoned except the said summon is still to reach them.” CIN

Nothing has been heard from the Baptist authorities but the Bishops of the catholic church have made the summon public, and it is even all alleged that the Archbishop announced in church Friday 14th during Friday service that he and his collaborators have been summoned before the court of first instance in Bamenda because of some “silly” allegations on the 21st of april 2017 and that Christians were welcome to accompany them who are also part of the accusations.

Bishops from Nso

Archbishop of Bamenda

 

Bishop of Kumbo

Here are the scanned copies of the Summon of the Roman Catholic Bishops in the Ecclesiastical Region of Bamenda . Some major points/accusations worth noting; the complaint accuses the church of not paying teachers hence affecting or depriving the state of enjoying taxes, want to win the sympathy of teachers and parents for collecting money and not paying teachers and most interestingly for me demands the church to pay 150 billion francs cfa for the damages while jailing the church leaders.

If the Catholics have to pay the price, what of other church authorities? CIN reports that “The PCC has 22 Secondary schools, 233 Primary and Nursery schools with 640 and 980 teachers respectively. All these schools have remained closed since the strike action began.” Does this mean that they have been paying their taxes and teachers and therefore should not appear before the court?

The Muslims have a good number of schools and teachers as well, but they have not been accused meanwhile schools have also been interrupted likewise the Baptist institutions. Shall the government look into their cases later after dealing with the Catholics? Could the Catholics alone have stopped the strike if they asked their schools to resume?

It should be noted that during the PM’s visit, the Catholics and other authorities promised to keep their premises open and that it was left on the parents to decide when to send their kids to schools, but the parents had opted for security of their kids than education.

After reading the summons and the counts, Gwaranko Mdzeka had this comment to make; “The government of this nation,just like any with of its ‘type’,is a specialist in diversion.the government must know like us all,that her failure to give subventions to private / confessional sectors of our educational system,has contributed also to the non payment of these teachers.has the government,now throwing the first stone paid the contract teachers she employs ? Has any one dragged them to court ? These are the last tricks of a ‘dying dog'”

The Church leaders have opted to write to the faithfuls and also asked them to accompany them to court.

Why should the church and religious leaders be used as “escape goats” for the failed school resumption? Who did not do his homework well. With the religious leaders called up to court, might change then events of things and this can again be another ploy to buy time for the struggle and carry out more arrests disrespecting the orders of the UN that has called for release and dialogue.

Shey Tatah Sevidzem.

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What is the Fate of the SDF chairman John Fru Ndi

There is not doubt that SDF maintains as the main leading opposition party in Cameroon with its party leader as the only opposition leader who has stood the test of time as far back as the early 90s. Today, the popularity of this charismatic leaders has experienced a drastic decline. Is he on his way down to ruins?  what could be the causes for the popularity loss of the party chairman.

When one looks at the iamge above, one will agree with this write that, no even, no political leader/event has ever pulled a crowd with one goal as the SDF did in the 90s with its party chair. When they won the elections in 1992 and refused to get to the parliament, many asserted this was the first major blunder of the chairman as they gradually gave the majority and influence to the ruling CPDM.

The chairman continued in his struggle and quest for leadership both as party chair and declaring his candidature for the position of the head of state up till date. His challengers especially in the pary have been either replaced or excommunicated from the vice presidents and group presidents/secretaries. This aspect exhibited by the chair earned him the title of a dictator not different from President Paul Biya.

During the 50th Anniversary of Independence and the celebration with the military in Bamenda when Fru Ndi came face to face with the President, things took a U-turn. Many concluded that the chairman was bought as he constantly visited the Unity palace, discussed with the president and skillfully stood against many demonstrations that planned in the name of peace. The Unity palace surely rewarded him handsomely.

The on going Anglophone crisis has been a big challenge for the SDF chairman, he has been unable to directly state where he belongs. Is he an Anglophone fighting for the Anglophones’ plight or a Cameroonian fighting for social Justice. Is he an opposition leader who wants to take over the command baton from Paul Biya or someone playing a double edge sword role to stand stand victorious on whoever wins. While the Anglophones are asking for a two state federation, he is asking for a four state. Where really does he belong?

The fact that SDF in the midst of the Anglophone crisis went ahead to admit  Sen Jean Tsomelou as the Secretary General of the party brought a lot of discontent amongst many Anglophones who easily tagged the chairman as a traitor. Although he defended that SDF stands for Federalism and not secession. Ewi Elvis on the 14th of January in the “We Love You Bamenda” forum tried as much as possible to explain the position of the chairman and SDF stating that people may often not understand the choices of the party, and that except that we want to conclude that SDF is an All Anglophone party, one should look at the position of Jean Tsomelou in the first place. He adds that Tsomelou as a senator defends the truth more than any in the party and that his role would be a boast to the Marginalization fight. Tsomelou stands as one who always advocate for a walk out when CPDM stands on useless reforms. He defended the demonstrations at the parliament and stood behind the SDF match in Buea. This explanation bought the sympathy of many like princess Nene who added that she was not an SDF member but reiterated that an opposition party could not be an Anglophone party. “The Chairman happens to be an anglophone and it is more advantageous for us to use him for the struggle, he should explain things better to the people, ” Princess Nene added.

It is true the chairman has been unable to state clearly where he belongs. When the struggle started, one could conclude that as an anglophone, he stood for the anglophones. He went to Governor many times and to the cells to get many of those arrested freed. He joined the match in Buea but the new year has brought the chairman under fire.

After the planned NEC meeting to excommunicate Hon. Wirba Joseph for his bravery on the National Assembly, Fru Ndi later lashed on his actions which expressed some acts of “jealousy” for a patriotic MP.  The letter Wirba later exposed which he wrote to his chairman addressing him as a father made many lose confidence in SDF chairman. His refusal to protect his son and went to the media to question him was a big blunder on the part of the chairman.

Today and sad enough, the one who stands to defend the SDF MP Hon. Wirba is paradoxically an MP from the south a CPDM militant Martin Oyono, one who has nothing to do with the Anglophone crisis but stands as an upright MP who wants to see true change in Cameroon. Right now as we write, he is being interviewed on CRTV as questioned why? He states clearly that someone has to do it and that those of them who represent the minds of the people and refuse to vote for the CPDM bad reforms are referred to as Radicals. He has taken the role that should have been played by the SDF chairman and his MPs to state clearly that he “Will Resist Attempts to Lift Immunity of Wirba Joseph”  said Hon. Martin Oyono

The clarion and challenge call by Oyono Martin has pierced a painful hole in the hearts of the SDF MP to obliged them take the opposite side against their chairman Fru Ndi. This solidarity if practiced all through might be the one that can put an end to the close to 30 years rule of Ni John Fru Ndi. The SDF MPs did not only in their 3rd position statement this time addressed to the Speaker of national Assembly, asked the speaker to provide and protect the immunity of Hon. Wirba to permit him return to the country and perform his duties as an MP.

According to a Press Conference held yesterday in Yaoundé Tuesday April 11, 2017, “Hon Jospeh Mbah Ndam, Vice President of SDF Parliamentary group urged House Speaker Cavaye Yege to ensure that Parliamentary Immunity of Hon.Wirba is not tampered with. He also read out that the House Speaker should protect the escapee and make sure that he returns home without being arrested.” CIN

The question is, If Hon. Wirba spoke the minds of the people and is being lashed by the SDF chairman, then on whose mind is the SDF representing now?

“Hon. Mbah Ndam flanked by other MPs including SDF National Vice President, Hon. Joshua Osih, reiterated their support for Wirba saying that he spoke their mind on the fateful day last November when he spoke on Anglophone marginalization.” CIN

With the SDF MPs asking for the return of Hon. Wirba to his position, does it mean that the call by the Anglophones for the SDF MPs to resign has fallen on deaf ears? Are they willing to fight for the people they represent? Is the interest of being an MP more important to that of liberating the people? If Hon. Wirba were to return home today, after asking the MPs to resign and leave the Glass house for the people, who will he return home as? MP? Freedom fighter? West Cameroon president?

With the SDF chairman asking of what use should the SDF hold elections when the anglophones are on strike, is giving the impression that he is either using the struggle to stay in power or is not willing to handover as the SDF chairperson. If the Anglophone crisis is so important to him, then why is he not able to heed to the call by the Anglophones by boycotting the events organized by the Regime in power. The chairman was spotted during the funeral in the West region of Chantal Biya’s mother, an event that was boycotted by the Presidential couple. How can one mourns more than the bereaved?

During the tour with the CAF cup, the same chairman despite all calls for boycott by the Anglophone leaders, Fru Ndi was again spotted at the podium, a repeat of his trip to the unity palace when the Lions were being received by the head of states. These actions and more have pushed many to conclude that Fru Ndi works as a CPDM agent in the anglophone zones. Is it time for him to go?

Only time will tell.

 

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