Tag Archives: school

Cameroon: Anglophone Education: Deplorable situation in Universities and Secondary schools

The Regime through the Ministry of Secondary Education is trying so hard to graduate and promote students with little or no knowledge of education. This situation has been termed by many “deplorable”.

Our informant had a tour in both the Buea and Bamenda campuses who quickly concluded that  the number of military men deplored on these academic institutions surpasses that of the students. In UBa he found out that students lace around without attending  classes but for few French students who could be considered attending some lectures. Those he called lacing the campus only mark their names and disappear.

The situation is similar in Buea as our reporter spoke to some students who expressed regrets and dissatisfaction. He spoke to some students and the first was a female who stated that she did not want to write any exams because she has not been studying but that his Dad insisting she wrote. She went further to say, “I don’t know a thing, i have forgotten everything even my matriculation number”, Rose Mary said. Another student contributed; “I don’t feel like preparing for it.I don’t have notes, I will just go write my name and leave the hall. I didn’t write any CAs”, Pamela added.

When asked on the preparedness of other students and  attendance in the campus, Rose Mary said, “The exams are just a waste of time, students don’t know what they  are writing,it’s like a joke,no one is taking it serious”. She went ahead to refer the situation of attendance as “pathetic”, stating that “Many students are in Molyko but no one is daring to go school”.

The informant proceeded to ask why the Vice Chancellor Nalova Lyonga will express satisfaction with attendance yet she called it pathetic and deplorable. “The worst is that students writing don’t know what they doing, everyone is complaining, they just mark their names and leave the halls, even lecturers are advising students not to write because it is like offering them worthless results”, Pamela added.

Rose Mary went ahead to say she watched on TV that there was a march against ghost and when the correspondent confirmed the images on CRTV, Rose Mary smiled and commented in a light manner; “Don’t tell me u still following crtv…I saw in the news two weeks ago that there was a peaceful walk here against ghost town but after that the ghost town is effective”

“The vice chancellor is doing everything possible to bring back students, now she’s begging us who have not been attending classes to come write exams  I don’t have my time table yet. but i know that i am writing a paper tomorrow”.

Earlier this afternoon, our informant spoke to another student on the experience at the campus today and he said; “It was not an easy experience, today was my first paper, the security was tight and i felt tense. While in class Professional photographers come in from all directions taking pictures as we write…I just wonder what took me to school and i can assure you it was my last time with such an experience.” Jonas said. He went ahead to state if not of the military men, the campus was as a deserted as a ghost.

When one paints a picture of what these students narrate and represent, one questions the type of results students expect. How can the Vice Chancellor force students to take a first semester exam at the end of the year? Of what worth shall the results reflect without knowledge?

The case is same of the Minister’s tour to insist that public exams like the GCE should take place when schools have been closed for close to 7 months. CRTV reports that 54,000 students are to partake in public exams alone from the NWR starting from the 15th of May. No private school has been opened for 7 Months and the few Government schools that were opened did not have classes, yet the GCE board insists on organizing exams for the 2017 year. How do they come up with such statistics? Ghost students?

Are these moves aimed at proving a point or fighting not to lose a school year? What will it benefit an exam without students that can stand to defend their certificates? A Blank school year would be better than a worthless certificate.

There is therefore no doubt that the situation is deplorable from the experience expressed by the students, from the fact that even the Archbishop of Douala on his Mission admitted that schools have been grounded, and most especially that students shall be writing in a militarized mode. This, and more is unheard of in any modern society. The regime should swallow its pride, admit its weaknesses to handle the situation, and seek for fresh dialogue and solution, which is granting the demands of the Anglophones that are legitimate.

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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Shall the Catholic University Institute of Buea (CUIB) betray or Unite?

Shall the Catholic University Institute of Buea (CUIB) led by its president Fr Nkeze George Jingwa be the Lone Private University at the University games in Bamenda? Rumor has it that they arrived yesterday already with a 90 man delegation.

Photo credit CUIB

The message that has been circulating online with a negative connotation given to its president Rev, Father Nkeze George Jingwa shall be analysed below based on the trend of events.

“The Private University of Rev Fr George Nkeze, which in the public eye passes for an institution of the Diocese of Buea is already in Bamenda with a delegation of about 90 students to take part in the Universe Games. They arrived Bamenda a today, a day earlier than the official time of arrival for the delegations of participants.”

photo credit CES Buea

Yes, the university games are scheduled from the 22nd to the 29th of April. Arriving on the 19th of April, 3-4 days before the event entails a whole lot of things, extra cost in both accommodation and feeding, extra cost in security measures but also give them room to rehearse on the ground ahead of the games. The church teaches more on assisting the needy, of what use shall an institution spend huge amounts to provide for 90 students and maybe their guardians for 4 days when this shall weigh later on the parents and students be it on the high paid fees or lack of school facilities to make education affordable for all? Could this be some kind of misdirected charity or a ploy to extort more money from the Government and the organizers? Whoever is paying for this should think of the doctors working in deplorable conditions, poorly equipped hospitals, lack of good roads etc.

“This arrival was planned early enough by Fr Nkeze to be sure that nothing disturbs his arrival, not even the trial of the Bishops of Bamenda and Kumbo. It looks like this is the only Private University in the Southern Cameroons that is going to participate in the games.”

CUIB for credit

Yes, there is no doubt that this year’s games shall be marked by the absence of private higher institutions in the NW and SW regions due to the strike that has been going on for 6 months. Even the Equinox TV reporting yesterday confirmed to have been on the field and confirmed that schools have not been going on in these regions, as such they can not participate in the games since they are closed. For CUIB to be reported as already landed in Bamenda, can be interpreted by many as not only the lone private school but as the school that has betrayed the Anglophone cause. This is not the first time Fr Nkeze is being linked to as betraying the Anglophone struggle. In the mid January 2017, the interim consortium attacked Fr Nkeze on this same issue which led to the Executive Assistant of the Institution Lynn Nanyongo Masua sending out a disclaimer that Fr Nkeze was in the USA and had not done anything as such.

CUIB

“Fr Nkeze does this with impunity always. He does not even bother that his Bishop has been booked by government. What does Fr George Nkeze want to teach the Diocese of Buea and the Universal Catholic Church? What is he up to?”

Why should Fr Nkeze bother when he is allegedly receiving assistance and support of the Regime? It is even said that the regime assisted in the transportation and security of students when upon return decided to continue to keep the school running. Fr Nkeze in February based on the Open letter to the Interim Consortium leaders that circulated challenged them and according to the message on his Facebook page by Walters kimah and i quote.

“Canon Law regulates the powers of a Diocesan Bishop. Can. 391 (1), “It is for the diocesan bishop to govern the particular church entrusted to him with legislative, executive and judicial power according to the norm of law.”

Can. 394(1) “A bishop is to foster various forms of the apostolate in the diocese and is to take care that in the entire diocese, or in its particular districts, all the works of the apostolate are coordinated under his direction…”

The Bishop is the proprietor of schools, colleges and universities within his jurisdiction, and everything is coordinated “under his direction.” The Bishops of the Ecclesiastical province just issued a letter telling the government they did not close any schools.”

If the Bishop is what he claims to defend, then why should Fr Nkeze choose to go to Bamenda to fulfill a government call to an event and ignore that of his boss which is mobilizing stuidents to appear before the Buea High court on the 24th of April. Does it mean that he prefers to run the school with the Government and not with the Bishop and the church?

The contradiction of Fr Nkeze’s actions again come in when he in the same letter states:

“The Anglophone struggle is against the government and elites who have and enjoy political power. It is against the forces of law and order and the police who militarize and brutalize our citizens. It is for a two-state Federation. It is for the release of all Anglophones locked up in jails with no due process. It is against CRTV that propagates lies, and it is for the restoration of the internet in our zone. The reason why I supported Dr. Agbor Nkongho was because he articulated these issues in the most succinct, clear and non-violent manner. He did not attack people even when they disagreed with him. He always repeated that he did not have the monopoly of knowledge and solicited advice to strengthen the struggle. He knew all anglophones did not support the struggle, but was ready to persist in his belief. That is why I joined this struggle. I contributed as an intellectual with my vast knowledge in political science and Law. I articulated the problems and solutions, but never advocating for Biya or the Betis who do not support us to be killed or harassed. This is the struggle I know and subscribed to. ”

Are his actions based on the fact that he should not be attacked because he disagreed with the idea of no schools to address the anglophone problem or that is his own way of standing with the struggle to get those released by working with the regime that has put all on captives?

Fr Nkeze therefore needs to be watched closely if one needs to look at the Fr Nkeze of 2015 22nd June when Median post Newspaper reported that he made a comment to the Cameroonian Youth on how to be Self reliant and Job creative and the Fr Nkeze of today.

“youths need to realise that the developmental goals are a vision, and that they must be at the centre because it concerns them. He urged government not to stop seeing the youths as a thread to their position or people always ready to go on strike but as people whose needs and views need to be taken into consideration since their future depends on how the government invest on them.  Discussions at this Youth Symposium were under the theme, “Emergence before 2035, myth or reality”; wherein, participants presented pictures of a Cameroon they want and are working for. The views ranging from a self-sustainable Cameroon, a Cameroon free from the pangs of bribery and corruption, a society of peace with accountable and reliable leaders, and a host of others.”

When Bishop Bushu of Buea wrote that the Priests of that Diocese have never accepted and received him, was Fr Nkeze amongst? Or is he amongst those spearheading this rejection and thus reasons for his actions?  What really is Fr Nkeze up? People do really change.

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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Titles and Cult Membership in Nso (Final :Part 10)

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 , part 8 here and part 9 here: This part ends with the references/bibliography of the whole paper.

VI-4. MANDATORY CULT MEMBERSHIP TRAINING
In the days of old it took many years for a newly inducted member to learn the rules and regulations of the cult. The training on the handling of the cult medicines and fetishes took decades. It took serious training to rise from one rank to the next within the cult house. It took decades before one could become a “samba wir”. This training and tutelage should be re-instated in all cults. If a cult member is unwilling to go through the training they should not be allowed to rise in rank or come out as an escort for the cult masquerade (their financial wherewithal not withstanding). How can such a member who has not learned to manipulate the cult’s occultist spirits and medicines, stroke the totem in the cult masquerade in any public arena?
If the new members were to go through the mandatory training they may also come to realize that if they advance to certain ranks in some cults their diet may be restricted at certain times during some rituals. For examples some cults may restrict their members to weeks of only eating “vikuou, mbaar, shinyaa and ntee – cocoyams, cocoyam leaf soup, eggplant soup and groundnut soup”, no meat products or any starchy foods. Any member who is ready to endure this for the rest of their lives may then want to advance to the ranks of “samba wir”.
When some of these potential senior cult members learn through their training that if they rise to given ranks or assume certain totem stroking functions in either the Yeŋwéròŋ or Yeŋgírì cults for example, they may be forbidden from being buried in a coffin (even a bamboo one) because their spirits could no longer be allowed to be imprisoned (in a coffin), they will consult their families and their other gods before seeking senior ranks in either Yeŋwéròŋ or Yeŋgírì cults.
What is happening today is tantamount to someone coming to a University, registering for classes, paying all their tuition and fees, and refusing to attend classes, but insisting that they should be given the Masters Degree or PhD anyway because they just do not have the time to study and/or attend classes and that by-the-way they have already paid all their tuition. Any University worthy of their name will throw such a person out.
The University model should be adopted at the level of the cults. Anyone who is unwilling to go throw the mandatory training should be thrown out of the cult. This will make sure that new comers will take the time to learn to become worthy members as was the case in the old days. With such a requirement, if the Fòn proposes a title to a visitor who is unwilling or unable to spend the time to learn the roots of Nso’ culture, that visitor can refuse the title and the Fòn will be sympathetic to their decision.
VI-5. MANDATORY CULT MEMBERSHIP OBLIGATIONS FOR LIFE
In the old days cult membership and titles came with lifetime obligations. In 1970 a Sheèy wo Ngang Ŋwéròŋ or Sheèy wo Ngang Ŋgírì contributed an average of 200 FCFA (Two Hundred Francs CFA) on a monthly basis for the upkeep of the cults and other Palace institutions when all their donations throughout the year were averaged. If this amount is compounded as above, it comes to about 2,150 FCFA (Two Thousands One Hundred and Fifty Francs CFA) today. If the system required a Sheèy to contribute 2,000FCFA, every Faáy to contribute 3,000FCFA and every Shúufaáy to contribute 5,000FCFA on a monthly basis, enough would be generated for the upkeep of all cults, all Palace institutions and all lineage, clan and sub-clan compounds.
Again all heriditary Title Holders who need the help would be assisted by their families to meet this obligation, especially given that their compound would also be helped by this contribution.
Many would think deeply when a Titled cult membership is proposed to them and examine whether they can meet this monthly lifetime obligation before accepting. Those who can not keep this obligation will not accept the Titled cult membership.
We also posit that if current Title Holders were given the choice of keeping their titles and meeting up to the monthly obligations or giving up the titles, some will give up their Titles and allow themselves to be “washed” voluntarily. Those who choose to keep the titles and refuse to keep up with the monthly obligtions should be involuntarily “washed”.
VI-6. CREATION OF AN EX-OFFICIO PALACE ADVISORY BOARD
We have proposed the re-introduction of various streams of income that used to get to the Palace in cash and in kind from various Men of Title. To manage these funds we propose the creation of an Ex-Officio Palace Advisory Board whose only role shall be financial oversight and related financial management. This Board will be responsible for setting up a Palace Office with a salaried Manager, Assistants and Secretaries to manage the streams of income enumerated herein and insure that they are disbursed and used efficiently.
The second role of the Advisory Board shall be to work with the Fòn, Vibay, Atárnto’, Ŋwéròŋ and Ŋgírì, to set up permanent income generating streams to make sure that for the next 500 years, the Nso’ Palace institutions are as autonomous as those of successful Kingdoms like those of the United Kingdom and other European Kingdoms.
Such an Advisory Board should be elected from among current and committed Titled cult members (ladies included) and should be given a mandate to complete their task within a specified period of time.

VII. CONCLUSION
It is our hope that this detailed analysis has provided a good insight into the inner working of the Nso’ Paramount Kingdom Palace and its institutions, the most important of which are male-dominated cults.
Hopefully our suggestions for the future will be followed so Nso’ culture can be modernized responsibly in a way that will ensure its survival for the next 500 years.
As time marches on, Nso’ culture will evolve. We pray that the Nso’ people should remain conservative and glued to their traditional norms as they advance and modernize their culture to suit the evolving times as their forefathers did for 600 years under circumstances that were more trying and more turbulent than the present.

VIII. REFERENCES

VIII-1. “An introduction to Nso’ Culture”, Vol. I, by Faáy Woo Lii Wong (Joseph Lafon), 2001 VIII-2.”Introduction to Nso’ History”, by William Banboye, 2001
VIII-3. “The Ndzәәndzәv Dispute: From its beginning to its ending”, by Faáy Woo Lii Wong (Joseph Lafon), 1999
VIII-4. “Nso’ Historical Timeline: An Illustrated and Annotated History of the Paramount Tikar Kingdom (Fòndom) of Bui in Northwestern Cameroons”, by Sheèy Shiyghan Stephen Shemlon, PhD, (to be published).
VIII-5. “The Core Culture of Nso’”, by Paul N. Mzeka, 1980.
VIII-6. “Sov! Sov! Our Glorious Heritage”, by Rev. Fondzefee Charles Tangwa, 2008.
VIII-7. “Dr. Bernard Nsokika Fonlon: An Intellectual In Politics”, by Prof. Daniel Noni Lantum, 1992.
VIII-8. “Fon Nso’ Sehm Ataar (1947 – 1972): Father of Nso’ Development”, by Prof. Daniel Noni Lantum, 2000.
VIII-9. “Royal Succession In The African Kingdom Of Nso’: A Study In Oral Historiography”, by Bongfen Chem-Langhëë and Verkijika G. Fanso, 2008.
VIII-10. “A History Of The Church In Kumbo Diocese (1912-1988)”, by Joseph Lafon (Faáy Lii Wong), 1988. VIII-11. ” Ŋgonnso’ Cultural Festival 2010 Magazine”, by NSODA, 2010.

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