Category Archives: Kumbo

Titles and Cult Membership in Nso (Part 9)

If you missed part 1 to 3 you can get them part 1 here , part 2 here, part 3 here , part 4 here , part 5 here , part 6 here , part 7 here and part 8 here :

There has been a lot of talk lately about the rapid degradation and modernization of Nso’ culture. Some have postulated that this has been caused by the cheapening of the cults and the admission of foreigners to master our occultist secrets and thereby gain too much power and influence in the Nso’ Kingdom both within and outside the Palace Court. Some have pinpointed to specific examples of individual influences of these recent immigrants (still considered foreigners) in our Palaces and cult groups, and claimed it as the root cause of this degradation.
Looking back at Nso’ history we can note that immigration and the structured absorption of immigrants has been the greatest strength of Nso’ culture over the last 600 years. The reaction from those who consider themselves authentic Nso’ has as expected always been resistive to the integration and empowering of new comers. This is what happened when newbees like Ndzәәndzәv and Taaŋkùm were catapulted to the number two and three spots in the land while old Mntaár Lords like those of the original Mbiiŋgiy lineage were relegated to Tárnto’ status. It was even new comers like Tsenla’, Do’ Ruun and Do’ Ŋgvәn that became recognized as Mntaár Lords while some original Mntaár Lords could only be promoted to Faáy Won Jemer ve Fòn with their moribund Taa-Mbàn cult.

Such rapid promotion of the newcomers often led to serious resentment that at times resulted in assassinations like that of Faáy Sov (Foinso’) in the 1840s.
In this debate some have even questioned whether someone of Berber origin (Mbororo or Fulani) could be a senior ranking member of a Nso’ cult or even the Paramount Fòn of Nso’. When we look back at history we realize it may already have happened given the Nso’ Kingdom’s very efficient policy of assimilation and acculturation by at times forced intermarriage. It is very possible that a Mntaár Lord could have married a Berber woman whose daughter, grand-daughter or great-grand-daughter became the Fòn’s wife (wiyntoh) and produced the next King, afterall the only requirement was that the future King’s mother should be from the Mntaár lineage. Recent Fòns’ matrilineal lineages have been traced to Kitukela-Ndzeng, Dzekwa, Meluf, Nturkui-Kikaikelaki and Sangfir-Mbam. Given the integrated nature of the families in these communities with the Fulanis and Mbororos in the last few centuries, can we be so certain that none of these Fòns have Berber blood through their matrilineal lineages?
Pushing the argument further, we have many vibrant Mntaár sons in the diasporas like Wo Ngomrin and his siblings. If one of these young men marries someone of European or Asian descent who later produces a daughter or grand-daughter who becomes a wiyntoh, isn’t it conceivable that we could have a kimbang (white) Fòn? As Africans, thanks to Kenya we are proud to have an Obama in the American White House, so may be we should accept the possibility that decades from today a Cherokee (American Indian) King could proudly say: “My son ‘Ŋkarjume Thasungke Witko Nso’bani (Ŋkarjume Crazy Horse Nso’bani) is the Paramount King of the Powerful Tikar Kingdom of Nso’ in the African Savannah grass fields”.
From the analysis we just made in this essay we posit that these apparent degradations cited above are just symptoms of a deeper desease that is eating into Nso’culture in this modern era, a disease that must be cured if the culture is to survive. In this last section we examine this disease and propose some remedies for it, in a bid to save Nso’ culture from eventual collapse.
The problems affecting Nso’culture are four-fold:
 The collapse of the system that maintained our traditional institutions (from the Palace through the cults to our individual lineages) structurally, morally and financially.
 The relative ease of induction into the cults which has led to an avalanche of unworthy Men of Title being admitted into the inner fold, with full powers and influence in the Palace Court.
 The collapse of the required mandatory period of training and apprenticeship for cult members as well as members of the inner Palace Court.
 The collapse of the system of checks and balances that has led to corruption within the Ŋwéròŋ and Ŋgírì cults as well as the inner Palace Court.
All these problems can be corrected if we can just go back to what used to obtain in the old days and modernize it appropriately as we propose below.
Some of the skirmishes that have been encountered lately with the Mntaár Lords and their associated lineages which recently exploded in the Do’ Ŋgvәn Crisis of 2010 can be remedied by allowing the Mntaár lineages to belong to the Ŋwéròŋ cult, since most of them are free commoners. If this is accepted we can then allow the leading Three Aboriginal Mntaár Lords to belong to both Ŋwéròŋ and Ŋgírì cults as is the case with the other Seven Lords of the Court (Vibay ve Samba).
We propose that the conditions for admission into the Ŋwéròŋ and Ŋgírì cults should be severely revalued upwards. In 1970 it used to cost (in goats, fowls, palm wine, salt, oil, firewood, constuction and roofing materials, etc.) about 150,000FCFA (One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Francs CFA) to become a Sheèy wo Ngang Ŋwéròŋ or Sheèy wo Ngang Ŋgírì. If we compound this amount at an average 3.0% – 5.0% annual inflation rate (conservative estimate here) and add the 50% devaluation of the FCFA this amount is about 1,650,000FCFA (One Million Six Hundred and Fifty Thousand Francs CFA) today. If we tell any Tukov Kimbinin who wants to become a Sheèy wo Ngang today that it would cost him 1.5 Million FCFA to do it, he would think twice before accepting that tan, kibam or bar that he is trying to buy from a Sheèy or Taafu in the dark corners for 10,000FCFA. Tukov Kimbinin will even say NO if the Fòn calls him and tries to give him a title. It would also stop the Sheèy and Taafu from distributing titles indiscriminately.
Titles are a prerogative of the Fòn (even aSheèy who are kishers of lineages must be approved by the Fòn), so the traditional institutions must make sure that only the Fòn can award a title.
Such an amount will be very helpful in that it would provide enough for the other cult members to feast on and enough would be left over to distribute to Kibam ke Fòn, Kibam ke Vikiyntoh and Kibam ke Ŋwéròŋ and/or Kibam ke Ŋgírì. It will also be enough to provide for the upkeep and upgrade of all Palace institutions.
In addition, the cults will be ridden of unworthy candidates if they apply the same upgrades to their initiation and rank promotion fees.
The amount will be upgraded commensurately for aFaáy and aShúufaáy. For the inherited titles, the new Title Holders will use the opportunity to bring their families together to contribute for the enstoolment. Part of these family contributions will also go to the upgrade and upkeep of the new Title Holder’s compound, thus preserving a vital part of the Nso’ culture that is also falling apart (the lineage, clan and sub-clan compounds).

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Titles and Cult Membership in Nso (Part 8)

If you missed part 1 to 3 you can get them part 1 here , part 2 here, part 3 here , part 4 here , part 5 here , part 6 here and part 7 here:

Sometime in the mid 1930s, the Ŋwéròŋ-Ŋgírì truce was shattered. During a mortuary ceremony at Ki’ Kingomen by the Ŋwéròŋ cult, members of the Ŋgírì cult appeared even though they were not invited and seized the drinks that were reserved for Ŋwéròŋ cults members (ki bi la Ŋgírì ngwaah bo wu no bvee king – who even invited Ŋgírì to this party before they made this mess). The Ki’ clan was able to calm nerves and the ensuing scuffle was brought under control. Shúufaáy Ndzәәndzәv was expected to reprimand the Ŋgírì group for this affront on Ŋwéròŋ and he did not. Fòn Ŋgà’ Bì’ Fòn I (1910-1947) was livid, especially because the princes who led this affront on Ŋwéròŋ were the principal contestants to his sitting on the throne and dared to boast that Ki’ Kingomen was the beginning of their power grab with the throne as their ultimate target.

Fòn Ŋgà’ Bì’ Fòn I (1910-1947) demanded an explanation from Shúufaáy Ndzәәndzәv that Shúufaáy refused to provide. In addition instead of reporting to the Palace Court to see the Fòn as was required that week, Shúufaáy Ndzәәndzәv went to the Ŋgírì compound. This was the last straw. The Fòn then went back to Ŋwéròŋ and ordered an attack on Ŋgírì. A major Ŋwéròŋ-Ŋgírì clash ensued and Ŋwéròŋ burned the Ŋgírì compound to the ground and banned Ŋgírì from the Nso’ Palace. Tensions were high and Shúufaáy Ndzәәndzәv in the following dry season did not perform sacrifices for the millet harvest (jang saar). The Fòn and Ŋwéròŋ had enough of Shúufaáy Ndzәәndzәv’s obstinate tirades.

The Fòn openly invoked the occultist powers to smite Shúufaáy Ndzәәndzәv. The spirits obliged and Shúufaáy Ndzәәndzәv (Nsairun) died in September 1935. The Ndzәәndzәv lineage never forgave the Fòn for the death of their young Shúufaáy and this incident festered on to the 1956 Ndzәәndzәv Crisis (settled in 1968).

It took another Shúufaáy Ndzәәndzәv (Shaafee) and the next decade before peace was re-established and the Ŋgírì cults were re-instated. The members of the Ŋgírì cult accepted their subordinate status to Ŋwéròŋ, continued their existence as a fraternity of princes and everything progressed peacefully until 1947 when another progressive prince Sheèy Wan Nto’ Mbinkar Mbiŋlo was enthroned as the King Fòn Sehm III (1947-1972). Ŋgírì saw the opportunity and attempted to regain their old glory and power under Fòn Mapri (1907-1910). Unlike his predecessor Fòn Sehm III (1947-1972) was very tactful in handling the Ŋwéròŋ-Ŋgírì conflict. He gradually increased Ŋgírì’s power and influence without alienating Ŋwéròŋ, but the rivalry still boiled to the surface after a decade of apparent peace.
The festering Ŋwéròŋ-Ŋgírì dispute may have claimed another casualty, this time dismaying the whole Kingdom. On December 24th, 1956, a mysterious fire started at the Ŋwéròŋ compound section of the Palace and quickly engulfed the whole Palace in flames. Even though the Ŋwéròŋ people could not prove it, they accused the Ŋgírì cults of burning their compound in retaliation for the 1935 destruction of the Ŋgírì compound. Ŋgírì vehemently denied the charges especially given that the retaliatory effort had caused the destruction of the whole Palace except the Ŋgírì compound which was a little removed from the rest of the Palace structures.

Fòn Sehm III (1947-1972) was however quietly elated by the destruction of the Palace. In fact he named the first son who was born into the extended Royal Family after this incident Beri Ngaa Ton (thanks to the arsonist). Fòn Sehm III (1947-1972) saw this as an opportunity to reconstruct a modern Palace and he ordered his whole Kingdom to build him a befitting Palace comparable to the Bamoun Palace in Foumban. The Nso’ people took the challenge and the great Nso’ Palace Reconstruction Project (which is still ongoing today) was started. The Reconstruction Project took attention away from petty squabbles and kept the Ŋwéròŋ-Ŋgírì conflict at bay for another decade.
Like Ŋwéròŋ’s Yeŋwéròŋ (mother of Ŋwéròŋ ) cult, Ŋgírì also had a Yeŋgírì (mother of Ŋgírì) cult, with the difference that the Yeŋgírì cult was just occultist (shiv) without a display masquerade like Yeŋwéròŋ had. In 1967 things changed. The Yeŋgírì cult decided to create their display masquerade. The inaugural ceremony chosen for the masqerade was the death celebration of Shúufaáy Kooŋgir, a senior Lord of Sacrifice (Kibay ke Dùy ke Ntaŋri). Ŋwéròŋ was enraged by this development and lodged a complaint with the King Fòn Sehm III (1947-1972) but the Fòn refused to intervene.

Ŋwéròŋ diplomatically convinced one of Shúufaáy Kooŋgir’s sons that if they allowed the Yeŋgírì masquerade to display during their father’s funeral all the male children of the lineage would die mysteriously. Shúufaáy’s son, Mr. Anthony Suila (Baa Anthony Gwar Ŋgírì – Baa Anthony the Ŋgírì slayer) warned Ŋgírì not to display the Yeŋgírì masquerade but they were determined to do it. So when the Yeŋgírì masquerade attempted to display, Baa Gwar Ŋgírì swung to action with a machete and threatened to behead the Yeŋgírì masquerade. In the commotion that followed Yeŋgírì was saved in extremis and Ŋgírì left the Kooŋgir compound in broad daylight (all cults travel only at night) and retired to the palace in disgraceful disarray. This was sacrilegious, with Ŋgírì cult members raging mad and Ŋwéròŋ laughing all the way back to their quarters. This not withstanding Yeŋgírì was saved and has survived with a display masquerade to this day. The Ŋgírì members did not forgive Ŋwéròŋ for this humiliation that has remained in Nso’ folklore with Baa Gwar Ŋgírì as the ultimate vilain. This incident kept the Ŋwéròŋ-Ŋgírì squabbles alive for the next four decades.
Fòn Sehm III (1947-1972) was able to contain the Ŋwéròŋ-Ŋgírì rivalry till the end of his reign. Before he joined the ancestors however he did something remarkable. In negotiation with the Bamouns, he agreed to absorb all Bamoun Ŋgírì and Ŋwéròŋ cults with their occultist accoutrements when the Bamoun acknowledged to him that they no longer had the wherewithal to preserve this Tikar culture. The Ŋwéròŋ cult refused to accept any new Bamoun occultism except what was going to enhance their Kinghaayasi, Jwiŋwéròŋ and Yeŋwéròŋ cults, and threatened to retaliate if the Fòn gave anything further to the Ŋgírì cults. Fòn Sehm III (1947-1972) ignored Ŋwéròŋ and started the upgrade of Ŋgírì with additional Bamoun occultism, but died and left the task to be completed by his successor Fòn Ŋgà’ Bì’ Fòn II (1972-1983).
In 1972 a new King Fòn Ŋgà’ Bì’ Fòn II (1972-1983) was crowned. To complete the task left to him by his predecessor Fòn Sehm III (1947-1972), he first had to prove to Ŋwéròŋ and Manjoŋ (the war society) that he was the overall Paramount and that his word and his decisions were final. In 1975, without consultation Fòn Ŋgà’ Bì’ Fòn II (1972-1983) returned Bamoun King Nsaŋgou’s (1863-1889) cap-and-crown that was captured in the 1885-1889 Nso’-Bamoun war when King Nsaŋgou (1863-1889) was beheaded. When Ŋwéròŋ and Manjoŋ objected the Fòn informed them that it was the price to be paid to keep the Bamoun Ŋgírì and Ŋwéròŋ cult artifacts that his predecessor Fòn Sehm III (1947-1972) had accepted. He also informed Ŋwéròŋ that he was about to complete the handing of the five (5) Bamoun cults/masquerades that Ŋwéròŋ had refused to keep [Moo (Taa Maandzә), Nchiy Kibah (Yeye Boy), Moomvem (Mbiy a Bami), Shiŋwar Ndzә and Rifem] to the Ŋgírì group. Despite Ŋwéròŋ’s vehement objections, he did and re-opened old wounds. The Ŋwéròŋ-Ŋgírì feud was re-ignited with a new ferocity worst than that of the previous four decades.
On December 26th, 1976 during a dual death celebration, Ŋwéròŋ and Ŋgírì did everything in their power to coordinate the outing displays of their masquerades to avoid any face-to-face encounters of their masquerades in the open public court at the Palace square. But trouble had been brewing for more than a year and there were trouble makers eager to start a fight on both sides. The Ŋgírì group’s Wanmabu masquerade came out to display when the Ŋwéròŋ group’s Kibaraŋko masquerade was still out. The two masquerades met in open square and a confrontation ensued. The Kibaraŋko masquerade hit the Wanmabu masquerade with its club (kimbuh) so hard that Wanmabu almost fell. In retaliation Wanmabu hit Kibaraŋko’s huge head so hard that it almost fell off. To the Ŋwéròŋ members this was beyond sacrilegious. An open fight broke out in the Palace square. If you were a Ŋgírì member you looked for the nearest Ŋwéròŋ member you could beat and punched the living daylight out of him, and vice versa for the Ŋwéròŋ members. It was open mayhem.
After making sure that Kibaraŋko had safely retreated to the Ŋwéròŋ compound, the Ŋwéròŋ young men decided that the best way to end this feud for good was to capture Ŋgírì’s Wanmabu as a Ŋwéròŋ kintan (captive Ŋwéròŋ hopper). Wanmabu sensed the danger. Since Wanmabu’s path back to Ŋgírì’s compound was blocked, Wanmabu ran to the Queens’ and Wives’ quarters (Vikiynto’ Ŋsan). The Fòn’s wives were openly hostile to Wanmabu because in their view Ŋgírì started the fight (“aa du fe? bo yo ke ven vindzeh vin aa?” – where are you going? didn’t you guys start this fight?). The Vikiynto’ went after Wanmabu with their clubs (mbangsi). Wanmabu ran for its dear life. Since Wanmabu knew the Ŋwéròŋ young men were after him and all his paths had been blocked he headed straight for the inner Court of the Palace (Taa Kibu). Unfortunately for Wanmabu the Fòn was not in. However, luckily for it the Nso’ people respect the Royal Stool (Kava) even more than they respect the King (Fòn). So, Wanmabu dove under the Kava, held it firmly with both hands and remained there. There was nothing the Ŋwéròŋ boys could do. They just stood there and waited because they knew Wanmabu would have to leave for the Ŋgírì compound at some point. The frustrated Ŋwéròŋ boys however did not wait quietly. They taunted Wanmabu with words like “kinga ke shiv vikiy ki mo ki ke ki pen shu. ver yi yen mo aa yi goh sar Kava” (cowardly women’s masquerade that wears lipstick makeup. we shall see how you will remain under the Royal Stool). Wanmabu held its ground and remained under the Kava, patiently waiting to be rescued.
Unbeknown to the Ŋwéròŋ fellows someone notified Shúufaáy Ndzәәndzәv and senior Ŋwéròŋ leaders about what was happening. When these elders got to the Palace all hell broke loose. In a matter of minutes a new set of about fifty (50) hooded Ŋwéròŋ (Vilumsi) came out with whips and dispersed the crowds from the Palace square including the Ŋwéròŋ boys who were in the inner Palace Court waiting for Wanmabu to leave the Kava. Shúufaáy Ndzәәndzәv and Faáy Faanjaŋ escorted Wanmabu back to the Ŋgírì compound. Yes, the grownups were around and calm returned to the Palace.
When things returned to normal on that day, half a dozen individuals were sent to the hospital. When the Fòn came back to the Palace and learned of the events that had occured, he was infuriated. He summoned both Ŋwéròŋ and Ŋgírì to the Palace Court and imposed huge fines on them. Even Shúufaáy Ndzәәndzәv and Faáy Faanjaŋ were fined for their failure to prevent the incident and for the amount of time it took them to quell the mayhem. After the fines were paid some sanity returned to both Ŋwéròŋ and Ŋgírì for at least two decades.
Even though things were quiet, the playboy Ŋgírì masquerade Wanmabu continued provoking Ŋwéròŋ cult members every time it came out to display. There was a huge tall tree in the middle of the Palace Square (Maandzә Ngay). Whenever Wanmabu came out, it would climb on this tree and spy on activities in the Ŋwéròŋ compound. Young Ŋwéròŋ boys used to retreat behind the safety of the Ŋwéròŋ walls and attempt to shoot Wanmabu down from the tree with their catapults, but this did not deter Wanmabu at all. The Ŋwéròŋ hierarchy complained to the Fòn who decided not to take any action in stopping Wanmabu. Ŋwéròŋ took matters into their own hands and applied a deadly chemical concoction to the tree in the dead of night. The beautiful tree died and to everyone’s sorrow lost its foliage and dried up. The Fòn had no choice but to cut it down, depriving Wanmabu of his favorite perch thus calming the Ŋwéròŋ-Ŋgírì fued for a few more years.
In 1993 the Paramount Kingdom of Nso’ got a new young and vibrant King Fòn Sehm Mbiŋlo I (1993-Present). The Ŋgírì cult decided it was time to reassert their powers anew and in 1994/1995 after giving the new Fòn a two year reprieve, the Ŋwéròŋ-Ŋgírì truce was once again broken. This time around Ŋgírì’s Yeŋgírì cult decided that their members were going to wear the same regalia like Ŋwéròŋ’s Yeŋwéròŋ cult when their Yeŋgírì masquerade came out for public displays. They decided that Yeŋgírì cult members were going to wear “mboor” the plant leaf that Yeŋwéròŋ cult members adorned their headgear with. Now, in the unwritten constitution of the Nso’ dynasty it can be traced to as far back as 1727 (when the lost Prince Yiir was discovered by Shúufaáy Ndzәәndzәv and brought back to be made King) that it was agreed that only princes that were recognized as Kings and were allowed to sit on the throne were allowed to wear the “mboor” leaf in the company of the senior Yeŋwéròŋ cult members. No other prince (except the King) was allowed to adorn their head with this leaf. So if the Yeŋgírì cult decided that their members were going to wear the “mboor”, then any princes that were Yeŋgírì cult members that decided to wear the “mboor” leaf on their heads were surreptitiously trying to usurp the throne. In order to prevent an uprising, the Fòn stepped in and forbade his brother princes from wearing the “mboor” leaf. The Cameroons administration was asked to intervene and forbid any Yeŋgírì cult member from wearing the “mboor” leaf to ensure that peace reigned in Bui Division.
Ŋwéròŋ thought they had cornered the Yeŋgírì cult members, but they were wrong. A few plant leaves do look like the “mboor” leaf. One of them is the medicinal bean-seed-like plant called “shinjaang”. The Yeŋgírì cult members found solace in “shinjaang”. So, the next time the Yeŋgírì cult masquerade came out to display, the cult members adorned “shinjaang” leaves on their heads. Of course the Bui Divisional Administration was watching. Once they confronted the Ŋgírì folks the answer was simple (this one no be “mboor” sa, na “shinjaang” – this one is not the “mboor” leaf sir, this is a “shinjaang” leaf). The Bui Administration was furious because they could not differentiate “mboor” from “shinjaang”. In the Administration’s view if it looked like “mboor”, quacked like “mboor” and walked like “mboor”, it was “mboor”. So, the Bui Administration banned the Ŋgírì cult from adorning anything that looked like “mboor” on their heads. The new Fòn agreed with the administration and peace returned.
An elaborate ceremony was organized to celebrate what everybody thought was the end of the Ŋwéròŋ-Ŋgírì feud. The Ŋwéròŋ and Ŋgírì Shigwàála’ masquerades actually came out together and embraced each other in public and everyone sang “hallelujah”. But unfortunately it was not meant to be. The Ŋwéròŋ-Ŋgírì feud was just held in abeyance for another decade.
A few minor incidents occurred (like the snatching of Kibaraŋko’s club (mbuh) by the Ŋgírì members or the confiscation of Wanmabu’s spears (kongsi) by the Ŋwéròŋ members or the Yeŋwéròŋ-Yeŋgírì-Kibaraŋko encounter during the burial of Shúufaáy Taaŋkùm in 2004). These were pretty minor and did not disturb public peace. In 2008 when Fòn Sehm Mbiŋlo I (1993-Present) decided to celebrate the Kingdom’s cultural week, the Ŋwéròŋ-Ŋgírì clash resurfaced during the ceremonial sacrifice in Kovvifәm. Ŋwéròŋ’s Kibaraŋko and Ŋgírì’s Wanmabu masquerades met face-to-face at the Kovvifәm public square but the confrontation was not as bad as the December 1976 Palace incident. Everyone heaved a sigh of relief. However, this encounter was just a precursor. The worst was still to come.
During the closing ceremonies a few days later, Kibaraŋko and Wanmabu came face-to-face again at the Kimbo public square, half a mile north of the Palace. Sparks flew. The worst would have happened (and December 1976 would have been child’s play) were it not for the timely intervention of senior Ŋwéròŋ and Ŋgírì cult leaders. Kibaraŋko and Wanmabu postponed their deadly dance to the Palace square (Maandzә Ngay) 30 minutes later. It was amazing theatre. The King Fòn Sehm Mbiŋlo I (1993-Present) had to come out personally to quell the situation. The Fòn was livid. Ŋwéròŋ and Ŋgírì were summoned to the Court and this time the fines and sanctions were draconian. Four senior Ŋwéròŋ members and three senior Ŋgírì members were banned from both cults and the Palace vicinity for life. The Nso’ community woke up and was aghast that popular figures like Sheèy Taafuh Tarzan of Taaŋkùm (Ŋgírì), retired officer Engelbert Mbulai (Ŋwéròŋ) and Paa Little Man (late) of Ve Baah Rong (Ŋwéròŋ ) had been rusticated from the palace for good.
If any lessons were learned here, it is hoped the Ŋwéròŋ-Ŋgírì feud will finally come to an end. Fòn Sehm Mbiŋlo I (1993-Present) and Ŋwéròŋ were hash in the punishment they meted out to the agitators of the last incident, but it is hoped the punishment was enough to deter any future recurrence. The fact that this time around it was not only the Shigwàála’ she Ŋgírì and Shigwàála’ she Ŋwéròŋ masquerades but also Wanmabu and Kibaraŋko masquerades that came out to celebrate the end of Ŋwéròŋ-Ŋgírì hostilities is hopefully a sign that we have seen an end to this centuries old feud. Let peace reign.

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Did the PM Refer to Mark & Ivo ?

The PM ended his tour in the North West today in Kumbo at the council Hall starting with Nkambe this morning. In Nkambe, he urged the religious leader to play a major role for the schools to reopen. In Kumbo he wondered how two people who have never ruled a village could rule a country.

The PM Yang kept Nkambe people thinking out loud when he challenged the Religious authorities to fit a date for schools to resume. This contradicted the announcement made several times over the CRTV, the GCE Board and by the Minister of Secondary Education etc on the effective start of school last Tuesday 7th if they are yet to resume.

In kumbo, the population came out unlike the ghost town announcement that circulated online. The people of Nso now referred to as warriors defiled all odds to face the bullet on the chest by coming out to face the PM face to face.

Unfortunately for them, they were never given the chance to err their grievances as only 5 people were allowed to speak at the Hall. These speakers referred to as CPDM members are said to have spoken in terms of speech reading. The SDF MPs and Mayors who sat infront of the PM and at the Front seats despite having their hands raised through out were never picked.

The MP for Kumbo Hon. Banadzem Joseph and the Kumbo council Mayor Mr. Njong Donatus were more disappointed as the population as their voices were not given the chance, neither was the Mayor given the chance to welcome the PM.

In The PM’s speech, he wondered how people could listen to two young guys who sit abroad and have never ruled a village could rule a country. He said one was in the Belgium while the other in USA; he was referring to Mark Bara and Tapang Ivo respectively who have used the social media to maintain the ghost town and strike successfully.

The PM hailed the Bui people for their intelligence and challenged them to send their children to school to maintain and promote the continuation of this talent. He reiterated that the internet could not be returned so soon and that it was cut off to investigate those spreading false information. that there demilitarization could not take effect and that those arrested could not be released until judged and things came to normal.

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Titles and Cult Membership in Nso (Part 7)

If you missed part 1 to 3 you can get them part 1 here , part 2 here, part 3 here , part 4 here , part 5 here and part 6 here:

During the Nso’-Bamoun war of 1885-1889 the Nso’ army (Manjoŋ) ransacked the Foumban Palace and looted both Ŋwéròŋ and Ŋgírì cults occultism (shiv), as well as artifacts and masquerades. After the war the loot was used to enhance especially the Ŋwéròŋ cults of Kinghaayasi and Jwiŋwéròŋ. The reigning Paramount King Fòn Sehm II (1875-1907) then decided to use the remaining loot to re-introduce the Ŋgírì cults to Nso’ land, with the strong backing of Shúufaáy Ndzәәndzәv. As was to be expected Ŋwéròŋ and Shúufaáy Taaŋkùm (who re-introduced Ŋwéròŋ to Nso’ society) were incensed by this re-introduction of the Ŋgírì cults. Fòn Sehm II (1875-1907) and Shúufaáy Ndzәәndzәv refused to back down. However, to pacify Ŋwéròŋ and Shúufaáy Taaŋkùm they agreed to limit Ŋgírì’s power substantially. According to their agreement Ŋgírì was never going to assume any of the Judicial, Administrative or Regulatory roles that were then under Ŋwéròŋ’s authority. Ŋgírì was limited to the role of Palace fraternity for the boys (princes). This did not sit very well with some senior princes who were barred by virtue of their princely birth from belonging to the Ŋwéròŋ cults.
As expected, when one of the disgruntled princes who was a senior member of the severely limited and hamstringed Ŋgírì cults became King he decided to give the Ŋgírì cults more power. This happened in 1907 when a senior Ŋgírì cult member became the King Fòn Mapri (1907-1910). Of course Ŋwéròŋ and Shúufaáy Taaŋkùm objected to this augmentation of Ŋgírì’s power. In fact Shúufaáy Taaŋkùm was so incensed that Fòn Mapri (1907-1910) was breaking the agreements they had with his predecessor that he opposed Fòn Mapri (1907-1910) in public. Fòn Mapri (1907-1910) could not digest this affront to his authority and ordered Shúufaáy Taaŋkùm to be killed. Shúufaáy Taaŋkùm was assassinated within the Palace grounds in 1909 and his staff was sent back to his people (the Taaŋkùm people still sing Laala about the incident to this day). The assassination of Shúufaáy Taaŋkùm was the last straw for Ŋwéròŋ which had tolerated quite a few killings from Fòn Mapri (1907-1910) who was purging the Royal family of all his potential rivals. Ŋwéròŋ decided that Fòn Mapri (1907 -1910) needed to be taken to the execution site in Kisée (near Mbuluv) and executed (laar – made to disappear). However before Ŋwéròŋ could put their plan into action another opportunity presented itself. Fòn Mapri (1907-1910) was ordered to Bamenda station to pay submissive tribute to the German colonial Governor. Ŋwéròŋ plotted Fòn Mapri’s (1907-1910) assassination at Vikuùtsәn when the Fòn was on his way to Bamenda in 1910. To this day in Nso’ folklore Fòn Mapri (1907-1910) is referred to as Kinforkir ke Vikuùtsәn (the one who died prematurely at Vikuùtsәn) and is recorded as the second casualty of the Ŋwéròŋ-Ŋgírì squabbles after Shúufaáy Taaŋkùm (Tsәmaloŋ).
To bring back peace to the Palace, Fòn Mapri’s (1907-1910) successor Fòn Ŋgà’ Bì’ Fòn I (1910-1947) rescinded the increased Ŋgírì powers that Fòn Mapri (1910-1947) had ordered and returned to the 1890 agreements between Ŋwéròŋ, Shúufaáy Ndzәәndzәv, Shúufaáy Taaŋkùm and Fòn Sehm II (1875-1907) that led to the re-instatement of the Ŋgírì cults. There were still however some recalcitrant princes who were unwilling to relinquish the new Ŋgírì powers and return the cults group to a mere fraternity. Surprisingly in the background within the court, these recalcitrant princes had the full support of Shúufaáy Ndzәәndzәv who was still nursing his own grudges against Fòn Ŋgà’ Bì’ Fòn I (1910-1947). So, more trouble was brewing for Ŋwéròŋ and Ŋgírì in the background and it was not going to take long before it exploded in the open.
Despite their tense relationship, Ŋwéròŋ and Ŋgírì collaborated fully in matters that threatened their mutual interests. In 1912, Catholic missionaries arrived the Paramount Kingdom of Nso’ and the Fòn graciously received them and gave them a huge piece of land at Shisong, for their church and hospital. Ŋwéròŋ and Ŋgírì were not thrilled with this largesse from the Fòn towards the misssionaries. Ŋwéròŋ and Ŋgírì both saw these new comers (like the German soldiers) as a threat to their power and influence. Despite the Fòn’s explanation that the missionaries were not a threat, Ŋwéròŋ and Ŋgírì maintained their position especially after their meetings with Mfoome Ba’ and Nfoome Gham (leaders of the Manjoŋ war society) had convinced them that the missionaries were Germans who hailed from the same place as the German soldiers that had defeated Manjoŋ and killed the Fòn in 1907.
In a meeting with Ŋwéròŋ, Ŋgírì, Maŋjoŋ and the Councillors (Vibay), the Fòn came to a compromise and agreed that the missionaries should be confined to Shisong and not allowed to venture anywhere else. Luckily for the Nso’ traditionalists, Germany lost World War I and the activities of the missionaries were abruptly halted as all German missionaries were ordered out of The Cameroons. However, that suspension of missionary activities did not last for long because the Germans were replaced by French missionaries and evangelization resumed. The Christians even became more daring and expanded their activities to Kimbo where they built a church at Mbìvtinmbaŋ, less than a quarter of a mile from the Palace. Ŋwéròŋ and Ŋgírì could not stand the insult from the Christians any longer. They told the Fòn that they were going to burn the church down if he did not order the catechist Paul Taŋgwa (Ba’njav) to take his catechumens back to Shisong as had initially been agreed. The Fòn refused to oblige and Ŋwéròŋ and Ŋgírì acted, and burned the whole church compound including the surrounding houses to the ground.
The ring leaders of the conspiracy to burn the church were Faáy Faanjaŋ (Ŋwéròŋ and Ŋgírì), Mfoome Ba’ (Manjoŋ and Ŋgírì), Mfoome Gham (Manjoŋ and Ŋwéròŋ), Sheey Tavtin of Mbiiŋgiy (Tav Ŋwéròŋ) and Faáy Bambùy (Tav Ŋgírì – not yet elevated to Shúufaáy in 1920). The catechist and his flock immediately reported the incident to the Fòn who was livid because he feared retaliation from the colonial administration in Bamenda. The Christians reported that it was Ŋwéròŋ under the leadership of Faáy Faanjaŋ that burned the church. The Fòn immediately summoned Faáy Faanjaŋ to the Court. When the other conspirators heard that Faáy Faanjaŋ had been summoned to the Palace, they all showed up in a delegation of more than twenty(20). Seeing the contingent and knowing what had happened to his predecessor Fòn Mapri (1907-1910), Fòn Ŋgà’ Bì’ Fòn I (1910-1947) must have been frightened. The Fòn asked the Christians if they could identify the Faáy Faanjaŋ that was standing before them as the culprit that torched the church building. They all said that the arsonist was a hooded Ŋwéròŋ (Kilumsi), but that they were convinced it was Faáy Faanjaŋ who was inside the mask. The Fòn then told them that since they could not identify the culprit, there was nothing he could do apart
from send all the suspects to the Colonial Administration for punishment and then help them rebuild their church.
After the Christians left the Fòn convinced his Councilors, especially Shúufaáy Ndzәәndzәv that the church had to be rebuilt. He reminded them of the disgraceful treatment the Germans had mitted to them a few years earlier after the Nso’-German war, and asked if they wanted a repeat. They all replied in the negative and he assisted the Christians to rebuild their church with no objections from any Councilor. Twelve culprits (including the above ring leaders) were sent to jail for two months and ordered to pay heavy fines. Even though he never converted to Christianity, Fòn Ŋgà’ Bì’ Fòn I (1910-1947) was absolutely convinced according to his closest confidants that Christianity and the development it brought was good for his Kingdom.
Despite this brief incident of comity, the Ŋwéròŋ-Ŋgírì truce was short-lived.

Compiled & shared by Shey Tatah Sevidzem

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An Open Letter from Fr Gerald Jumbam to Mr Boh Herbert

An Open Letter from Fr Gerald Jumbam to Mr Boh Herbert on the Plight of the People of the Southern Cameroons.

Dear Mr. Boh Herbert,
I write you because you know it, you have it and you get it. I write you because you talk sense and you, like many, have suffered as a result of you stance. I write you because you have dared the structures of evil back home even in those dark early 1990s. I write you because you are the cream of investigative and genuine journalism in our native land. You have been the spokesman of our troubles and woes in recent times. Now it will be preposterous and officious in me to put myself forward as champion of anything in this struggle, but I know I have space on it because my family has suffered as a result since 1990. My father has been president of SCNC at the heart of the most hazardous portions of Southern Cameroon, Kumbo. My father was in exile in Nigeria in 1998. He left us for two years and we in the family suffered persecution. He was imprisoned last year in the Bamenda military prison, a man in his Seventies, and only came out by the mercies of the intervention of Christian Cardinal Tumi. His life is not safe at this moment as we pray for him. I am priest, but I know what is happening because I have been privileged to be groomed by a man who has been near these things for a very long time, a man who has suffered for our people. Yet my father is my father. I am me and I have my own way.
The Southern Cameroon struggle has proven to be a three-cornered battle. In one corner are those of the restoration of independent stance who posit that there is only one way to end the sufferings of our people and it is to go deep down to roots, to where the rain started beating us. Another corner features the restoration of the federal system and are those who contend that while we request the restoration of autonomy from La Republique du Cameroun, we should keep on with them. Finally, the last corner belongs to a variety of New Deal affiliates who reject the idea of restoration, refuse to believe the past and are content with the status quo and its unitary state (and I lump here even those who mouth federalism of a 10 or 4 state). I like to categorize these things so as to pass my message which is that of maximum vigilance.
The first corner mentioned above are those living in history and therefore are not opportunists. The second corner are those who are hanging on history and still believe in change of heart as regards our Eastern brothers. The last corner are those whose partaking of the menu of the ‘one-and-indivisible Cameroon’ have truncated their thinking and given them the passport for surreptitious betrayal. The first are those of the Akwanga line. The second are of Ivo Tapang. And the third are those within the bounds of Ni John Fru Ndi. These three are players – and they play the game among themselves so well and sometimes it is difficult to know it. But from their fruits we know them. Questions about this categorization are welcome, as I know they are.
Out of these three lines, are two others that I want to identify in a special way and which I feel are those who touch on moral conscience and therefore represent the soul of this struggle. The first is the corner of those whose outspokenness has proven to be more engaging than any of the groups mentioned above in the plight of the Southern Cameroons. To me they are those whose keenness and alertness has reeked the Biya government to recent frustration and to near extinction. They have the weapon that all others lack. They are the men and women of conscience who do not want to bargain their sense of right and wrong and are careless about their life and are direct in their request for the Southern Cameroon’s share in this space in Africa. They are of the Joseph Wirba, Tassang Wilfred and Mancho Bibixy brand. The second in this special line are those who have sold their consciences, taken huge sums and are ready to Judas-Iscariot the subjugated people of Southern Cameroon. They are of the Atanga Nji and the Musonge brand. To me, this framework is a helpful backdrop against which to read the Southern Cameroon’s predicament and further discussion on this issue.
Respecters of No Persons
We remember with love how in the aftermath of the arrest of Consortium leaders, Ivo Tapang and Mark Barah enkindled fire in the facebook and assisted focus. But where is Tassang Wilfred? He worked with Agbor Balla and in recent months, they have been that veritable voice of the voiceless, daring and doing and taking risks for us in our native land. Life is not just in the internet – there is another bigger life out there with the masses and the hoi polloi and until you are there you do not know where the shoe bites. So, let it never be said anywhere that Tassang Wilfred is distanced and relegated to nothingness by facebook champions. Among our leaders he is the one who has dared the lion, entered into the very jaws of hell and came out. He needs our highest respect – even in exile.
Many Jews of Saint Peter’s day thought that God preferred them, that God loved them more than the Samaritans and the pagans. It is this spirit that has created slavery, apartheid, colonialism, jingoism, annexation, marginalization, chauvinism, anti-Semitism, anti-Islam, tribalism etc. God is too big to reduce himself to these oddities. And Peter articulates Jesus’ sentiments: “The truth I have now come to realize is that God does not have favorites, but that anybody of any nationality who fears God and does what is right is acceptable to him” (Acts 10:34-38). La Republique likes to set up dangerous ladders, introduce hierarchies and compartmentalize life. Not with the Southern Cameroon spirit. When I read this message I call to mind the excellent leadership, back home of Agbo Balla Felix, Tassang Wilfred, Fontem Neba, Eyambe Elias Ebai, Bobga Harmony, Che Joseph “MAWUM”, of the CONSORTIUM in the Southern Cameroons. God is like civilian deaths in violent war, he fears no one and has no favorites. Their Consortium has been this too. God has extended his hand to our nation through these heroes of modern Southern Cameroons. To all the voiceless, those victims who for fifty-five years their destination has been the slaughterhouse: FEAR NO ONE, NO HUMAN BEING. The anger of the voiceless is dangerous. Consortium stay on course. You have been the conscience of West Cameroon in your role as mouthpiece of annexed peoples. You tell Pharaoh he is playing into the hands of Hell. One great thing you have shown is an indomitable fighting spirit. And there is the other thing you have carried along – overwhelming numbers. It is these victims and masses that give you power – so don’t be afraid. But we love your strategies – we will win bigly if you keep on with Jesus, with Gandhi, with Jefferson, with Martin Luther King Jr, with Jua, with Mukong, with Gorji Dinka, with Bate Besong, with Epie Ngome, with Ayah, with Fonlon. Agbo and Fontem are still with us even when behind bars. ZERO TOLERANCE – but no violence. Like God – in this divine mission of our burgeoning state – we are no respecters of persons. Look up, only to Him.
Seize the Day
Well now. What should I say about the current national mood? A year does comes once, so does opportunity. It’s hard to be cheerful in 2017 when the hopes of a once hopeful people have been trimmed out of existence. When the optimism nest egg has rapidly disappeared. Southern Cameroon. Well I have no idea about what shall happen next, whether the man at the helm of Cameroun is right or not. If yesterday he is to take tomorrow’s place, then there are dangerous days ahead. Times like these do occur at ‘hinge movements’ of history, when God keeps the promise of victory for the oppressed, even when it is the kiss of death! And I do believe that times like these are right times. We can’t calculate what comes tomorrow. We don’t have a barometer to measure up the political temperature. How should we approach Restoration in times like these? Our condition offers us three Pillars of Fire:
1. WATCH YOUR STEP. Here we seek the advice of Saint Paul: “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise” (Ephesians 5:15). Each time we take great steps, let us slow down to get God involved: “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).
2. REDEEM THE TIME. By ‘time’ here, I mean opportunity. Let Saint Paul once more inform us: “Making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16).
3. DO GOD’S WILL. I just want to do His will. I am ready for the teeth of the wolf and the claw of the loin, if that means doing God’s will. Saint Paul again: “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is” (Ephesians 5:17).
God is father of faith and owner of truth, so let us SEIZE THE DAY.
For An All Anglophone Conference (AAC) in the Diaspora
Let us begin to think of a neutral ground, a neutral country, abroad that shall bring all Southern Cameroonians from all the four corners of the world. It will best happen either in the USA or in Europe. Once decided, let us take it up and seriously.
Let us be warned. There are dangers to this cause. They have a right to their stance but they are to be told who they are. They are an infiltration of the business men and women who share immediate borders with us and their task is to destroy this revolution. I prefer an outspoken Beti man whose support for Biya and his cohorts is clear as daylight to the green snakes and brown frogs that are destroying the strike action from within and luring powerful Southern Cameroonians like Ni John Fru Ndi to speak from two sides of the mouth. There never was a device of the enemy so cleverly framed and with such semblance of genuineness. It is a blackmail that is as distant to truth as the night is to daylight. Truth be told: our problem is and will never be Paul Biya. Our trouble is the body politics, structures of political evil in La Republique created and masterminded by their elites and businessmen whose dubious activities since 1961 have rendered us helpless and blocked our progress as a people.
A Failed Fatherland
Again and again hard work has been applied in military and civil dispensations to emasculate the fighting spirit of the Bamenda-Buea-man with a military occupation all over the territory that is evocative only of Adolf Hitler’s, on Polish soil. The dark days of Hitler’s militarism on foreign soil has visited us. While the rest of humanity is quickly protecting its citizens and decriminalising state crime and massive censorship, and allowing their people room for self-determination to determine what is good for them, Cameroon is taking brutal steps and cunning to placate the world.
Here is a nation that has been signature to international and continental papers and pacts which champion the good news of freedom of expression. And yet the restrictions on the mouths of its inhabitants on what to say and what not to say has been shameful enough to delegitimize the whole national edifice. They have crucified a whole State of the ‘country’ and condemned them to mere anonymity in internet and cyber matters. This in the 21st century is unacceptable! We know how the kleptocracy that rules this country has subjugated our people to nothingness in their eyes. But let me sound this warning: that if we deprive the people we despise their freedom to speak we do not believe in it altogether. Should we still remind humans in the 21st century that the combat for the right to lawfully assembly, protest, and strike have long been won by the blood of political martyrs the world over? Should we still remind the dynasts of thieving politics that it is wrong to refuse its citizens the right to say no? Should we still remind ourselves we are living not only in post-independent Machiavellianism, but that we have gone so low and back to colonial systems of mass dehumanization and disgrace?
This century has seen a stabbing on a number of beautiful words often emptying the time-honored meanings and giving in to some sheer balderdash. Love became lust, metaphor became a lie, truth became an error. Another such terminology, really missing in this array of contemporary word predicament, is self-determination. To many today self-determination has come to mean terrorism, radicalism and even sometime fundamentalism. Honestly, this corruption of the word self-determination is a disaster almost at the level of the loss of the customary significance of truth in media houses. Political leaders in Cameroon are at their best when they create their own rules of political make-believe based on imposing stupidity to foster cruel thinking. After all, they are products of the same jaded invention. And I see Tchiroma’s political career ending in baskets of tears. Only the other day, and to my personal disquiet, the same man invades the media room with jaded mouthfuls of threatening talk to a constituted people, without any shame, to call a peace loving emollient Southern Cameroon terrorists. He should learn that we know more than he knows about his pharisaic politics of a wasted career. Those politicians who talk one language and mean the other thing, who speak from one side of the mouth while allowing the devil the other part of a reeking opinionated cavity should be warned that the unpolluted voice of the people shall thrash them when the moral ultimate ‘last-fight’ catches fire.
The word ‘Cameroon’ is not Bakossi, is not Bakweri, is not Kom, is not Bali, is not Bayanghi, is not Nso. It is a Portuguese concoction done to cart away minerals and humans for plantations and business in PORTUGAL. So it is ridiculous as an Africanist even to assume this name. For when we talk this claptrap of a one and indivisible Cameroon what are we defending? We are a people and that is bigger than shrimps. And therefore, a ‘one and indivisible Cameroon’ may not accurately be fiction but it is a hollow goliath, claiming muscle it does not have in the face of evident collapse, deception and shocking falsehood. The country has fabricated lies from and to its own heart, demolishing from the very first year of its inception to the present, the edifice of its own existence with wild constitutions, fake referendum and laughable presidential decrees.
You Reap what you Sow
There is so much talk among the political class of La Republique du Cameroun to the effect that the Southern Cameroonians are irritatingly problematic. I say they are not. Instead they are the most conscious, the most gifted and the most dynamic. Their greatest gift is that they get it. They know. They sense it. They are capable. They are capable of having their hearts broken by the abuse and rape of a student by a soldier who is suppose to protect her. They are capable of having their hearts broken when a young dynamic lawyer is imprisoned and tried with all sorts of lies by a government that is supposed to teach honesty. They are capable of breaking their hearts when an authoritarian machinery is produced to break their collective will and impede the running of their human spirit.
What they are not facing is the consequence of what they have applied for years in a tyranny so untamed. Cameroon needs to stop being foolhardy and confess its foundation is flawed. In a country where it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for an Anglophone to be minister of justice, finance or defense; in a country where they have made election results, appointments and employment the equivalent of an initiation into a Ngumba house; in a nation where, over the course of fifty-five years, the political mafia has courted the worst of our elites through this man-know-man selection scheme: it should be known that, with this brutality run wild, this normalization of apartheid republique, we have reached the farthest point of the road to apocalyptic calamity and there is no going back again to this infectious vomit.
The proverbial tale of the highly overvalued farmer should be well-known to the ordinary Southern Cameroonian. Looking for what to help puff up his overblown ego as to feel he is the best of his companions, he goes around telling those who would care to listen that he has cultivated the farm more than everyone else, forgetting the unbreakable law of life: you reap what you sow. Thus, the farmer discloses he planted fifty suckers of plantains but made so much noise about his large farm of three hundred. Unfortunately, he would hide the truth only for a period. When the reckoning time of the unbreakable law to ‘reap what you sow’ tolls, fifty plantain sukcers would not skyrocket overnight to three hundred. This slightly belittling little saying is also infuriatingly true. When it comes to Cameroon history, there is nothing – nothing – to beat price. In fact, the discreditable attempt of the farmer to deceive himself is what has affected the core part of this country for over fifty five years. We want to reap a – one and indivisible – Cameroon we did not sow. It is shameful, it is disgraceful that a people can mislead themselves to live a lie for all over this length of time.
The Grain of Bobe Ngom Jua
History reminds us of two mighty reasons why we of the Southern Cameroons found ourselves in this chaotic condition. That reason is the exaggeratedly lamb-like leadership of Foncha and the opportunism of Muna, exhibited in the early Sixties and Seventies and Eighties before the preying lions of Ahidjo and Biya. Courage and commonweal were vital from the very beginning, but were found wanting. The tender shoots of the grain of the bold Bobe Ngom Jua were nipped from the bud. Let the up and coming generation know this, that the statesmanlike qualities of Augustine Jua represented the cream of the manhood Southern Cameroon is in need of for their statehood. The youth must go to school on Bobe Ngom Jua! The ancestral spirit of Bobe Ngom Jua should be invoked severally like the litany of saints in Catholic liturgy, in the ears of all freedom fighters of our motherland. On the other hand, let us not judge our forbears (Foncha and Muna) that we be not judged. Let us learn from the errors of the past – that in leadership, the welfare of the public and the courage to stand all are crucial.
I like my dreams to scare me. And if your dreams don’t frighten you then you have no dreams. Leadership is: accept what you are given, grant what you have, get to the ropes when the blows are many, stay cool and quiet when there is trouble, but release fire when you have gathered strength, get the tyrant on the throat when opportunity comes. For 55 years now, East Cameroon leadership has pitted Foncha against Endeley, Muna against Jua, and vice versa and set fighting cocks and dogs against one another. NEVER AGAIN! Buea tells Bamenda in these days of destiny, ‘take hold of my hand, my beloved, they have striven to separate us, but we are back. Close your eyes once more and believe in me. We must come close and believe in ourselves again. Let us remember Foncha and Endeley in 1954, united against Nigeria’s games. Today is undersized La Republique, we shall hold hands and step out as our fathers did in the late Nineteen-fifties.
At this hour, God, give us leadership. A time like this needs Jualike courage, Litumbelike wisdom, Gorji Dinkalike brainpower, Wirbalike intrepidity, Tassanglike steadfastness, Agborlike redemptive suffering, Fonlonlike integrity, Bate Besonglike erudition, Mukonglike stubborn simplicity. Lord we yearn for nothing but victory. You are granting us these things and we are seeing. Keep them focused and add more leaders to their ranks. Leaders who ‘know the way, go the way and show the way’.
God is our Stay
I have consulted no one to write this letter. I have done it out of the voice I feel is in me from my Maker. God consulted no one to create me; He consulted no one to grant me that conscience. So when from the silence of my heart I speak, I am representing God even if I am not dogma or pope.
Life sometimes is colored with toxins from backstabbing, tale-bearing, and betrayals. Let us not do it alone. And the trouble is fear. Those who fear and expect miracles are living in a fool’s paradise. God’s miracles work in the terrain of impossibility. The brave and fearless can do the impossible. Only they manufacture miracles. They are employees in the factory of the Lord. When courage steps in, God is at work. The true disposition of a freedom fighter is that of comforting and confrontation. Comforting when you meet other people in the mud. Comforting when misery struggles before you in the faces of subjugated and dejected peoples. Confrontation when your own life is in the mud and you have to get up and clean up. Confrontation when thousands of powerless lives are under the threat of tyranny. God is God because he is bigger than any name. He is bigger than any dream, bigger than any giant. As we journey with the forces of our ancestors and their spirits, let us affirm we will trust God. Let us stand tall with Him because ‘the giant in front of you is never bigger than the God inside you’.
Thank you big brother.
Dum spiro spero
It’s been,
Fr. Gerald Jumbam

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