Dr Godfrey Tangwa (Rotcod Gobata) Renaissance man, philosophy professor, actor and newspaper columnist, Godfrey Tangwa aka Rotcod Gobata touches a wide array of subjects. Always entertaining and eminently readable. Visit for frequent updates.
Fonlon-Nichols Award Website of the Literary Award established to honor the memory of BERNARD FONLON, the great Cameroonian teacher, writer, poet, and philosopher, who passionately defended human rights in an often oppressive political atmosphere.
George Ngwane George Ngwane is a prominent author, activist and intellectual.
Jacob Nguni irtuoso guitarist, writer and humorist. Former lead guitarist of Rocafil, led by Prince Nico Mbarga.
Martin Jumbam The refreshingly, unique, incisive and generally hilarous writings about the foibles of African society and politics by former Cameroon Life Magazine columnist Martin Jumbam.
Nowa Omoigui Professor of Medicine and interventional cardiologist, Nowa Omoigui is also one of the foremost experts and scholars on the history of the Nigerian Military and the Nigerian Civil War. This site contains many of his writings and comments on military subjects and history.
Postwatch (Cameroon) A UMI (United Media Incorporated) publication. Specializing in well researched investigative reports, it focuses on the Cameroonian scene, particular issues of interest to the former British Southern Cameroons.
R. E. Ekosso Rosemary Ekosso, a Cameroonian novelist and blogger who lives and works in Cambodia.
The Ilongo Sphere Novelist and poet Ilongo Fritz Ngalle, long concealed his artist's wings behind the firm exterior of a University administrator and guidance counsellor. No longer. Enjoy his unique poems and glimpses of upcoming novels and short stories.
The Post Online (Cameroon) PostNewsLine is an interactive feature of 'The Post', an important newspaper published out of Buea, Cameroons.
Victor Mbarika ICT Weblog Victor Wacham Agwe Mbarika is one of Africa's foremost experts on Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Dr. Mbarika's research interests are in the areas of information infrastructure diffusion in developing countries and multimedia learning.
Watch France Purpose of this advocacy site: To aggregate all available information about French terror, exploitation and manipulation of Africa
Title: Bakwirian Tales of the Bush Author(s): Renaud Paulian Source: Folklore, Vol. 51, No. 3 (Sep., 1940), pp. 213-219
THE folklore of primitive tribes, and especially that part of the folklore bearing upon animal life, is always of interest. During a recent stay in the Cameroons, as Zoologist of a French Scientific Expedition sent by the Paris Museum of Natural History, I had the opportunity of getting first-hand stories of animal life as they are taught in the Bakwirian tribes. The Bakwiris, a tribe closely allied to the Dualas, and inhabiting the southern part of the Cameroon under British Mandate, around Buea and Mt. Cameroon, though they are nominally, for the most part, christianized, have kept many of the "liowa" (i.e. taboo) stories about animals of the bush.
Life is series of stock-takings. No matter our lot, we all sit back once in a while, relax and indulge in the bitter-sweet activity of chewing the cud, so to speak. For me, personal stock-taking helps me to get my spiritual, political, social and cultural bearings. It gives me the pleasure of looking back at the path I have trodden, an opportunity to take stock of my present circumstances and decide the paths to follow next. Humphrey Mosenge, greeting Ahmadou Ahidjo, Cameroon's first President, during a match between the Southwest province and Littoral in the 1970s.
I recently passed a major milestone in my life: attainment of tenure or a lifetime appointment as an academic at one of America’s finest universities, the University of Iowa. This is an excellent time to take-stock. As an African who was born in Buea (Gbea), Cameroon, I grew up in a communitarian environment where many friends and relatives encouraged me and supported me over the years. However, one person who is neither a family member nor a friend of mine, inspired me and gave me the drive to overcome obstacles that I was to face in life. This person is Humphrey Mosenge, mid-field player for Prisons Social Club of Buea in the 1970s and early 1980s.
CameroonPostline.com -- Humphrey Tande Mosenge is the new and third class chief of Small Soppo – Wonganga village in Buea Subdivision. He was enthroned following the traditions of the Bakweri people and the laws governing the institution of chieftaincy in Cameroon on Saturday, February 25 in Wonganga. Chief Tande Mosenge leading traditional rulers into his palace
According to Prefectoral Order No: 502/2009 backed by the September 4, 2008 consultative talks that were carried out in Wonganga village, Mosenge was confirmed as the Chief-elect on December 9, 2009 by the then Senior Divisional Officer, SDO for Fako Division, Jules Marcelin Djaga.
Born out of the quadruple heritage of her pre-colonial existence, her clash with German civilisation, her contact with British colonialism and her birth to the Federal Republic of Cameroon, Buea’s trajectory in the comity of cities has been fraught with sharp bends, steep hills and smooth paths. Residence of the Commissioner of British Southern Cameroons in Buea (c) National Archives UK
As an administrative metropolis in the years of yore, Buea hoisted the green, red and yellow flag with the two golden stars shedding the light on a union of two states that was founded on equality and co-existence. It was then that Buea carved her niche as a political capital which hosted the shakers and movers of West Cameroon politics.
[There are several versions of this story. This is the version told by the elders in Zhopho Mokongo (Great Soppo), Buea]
Narrated by Mola Lyombe Eko
There was a very pretty girl, Molonga. Her skin was like burnished ebony, her eyes, long neck, and walk reminded everyone of a graceful antelope. The news of her stunning beauty was spread far and wide by the birds. Suitors came from all the Mokpe villages from Mwangai to Mokunda, from Wonadikombo to Wonakanda. She had one defect, she was proud. She refused to marry any of the men who wanted her hand in marriage. No one was good enough for her.
By Edwin Ardener (in Nigeria No. 60, pp. 31-8, 1959)
The Bakweri are a small tribe of some 16,000 people who live on the slopes of the Cameroon Mountain. They are quiet and reserved and are not widely known outside the Southern Cameroons despite the fact that both the Premier of the Southern Cameroons, Dr. E. M. L. Endeley, and the capital, Buea, are Bakweri.
Not many non Bakweri have the opportunity of witnessing their ceremonies, and it is rarely indeed that the participants will allow photographs to be taken. As members of the Elephant Society Mr. Mbwaye and I were in a privileged position.
From the November 2010 issue of Perspectives on History
Martin Zachary Njeuma (April 9, 1940–April 28, 2010) was born in Buea, Cameroon, to Isaac Mase Njeuma and Ma Sophie Mondinde. He was the first of two sons in a family that eventually included 10 siblings. He earned his BA degree (with honors) in history in 1964 from the University of Ghana. He then studied French at the University of Paris from 1965–66. He obtained his PhD in African history in 1969 from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) of the University of London.
Njeuma returned to Cameroon in 1970 and worked as director of the National Archives in Buea. He later was recruited to the University of Yaoundé where he built his career, eventually becoming a full professor (1981), head of the history department, and dean of the faculty of letters and human sciences. He retired in 1995.
Bakwerirama is making available the Gospel of Luke in Bakweri. The book is part of a gigantic project, started about a decade ago, to translate the entire Bible into the Bakweri or Mokpe language.
According to Reverend Genty Eyole Njie Ndeley of the Cameroon Baptist Convention, the project was initiated by Nyango Ann Mojoko Musonge who chose Mola Humphrey Ekeme Monono to serve as project coordinator.
Inaddition to Reverend Ndeley, the other volunteer translators are Rev. Henry Yume Amabibi of the Free Methodist Church; Rev. Paul Ewome of the Full Gospel Church; Mola Mola Mokoto Mo Njie, a Bakweri language broadcaster at CRTV Buea; and Mola Protus Efange Esuka. Mola Lyonga La Ngoisa is the architect of the Mokpwe phonology used in the Bible.
The purpose of this write up is to analyse the nature of wars, as well as the organisation and methods of conflict resolution among the Bakweris. It also examines the extent to which colonial administrative policies, along with Christianity, education, end of slave trade and the advent of modern civilization have reduced the probability of wars in Fako Division.
The cause of wars among most traditional societies in Africa have been centered on vengeance and competition for special resources such as farming lands, labour (slaves) hunting grounds, women and mineral wealth such as gold, and more or less with the sophistication of political organisation. Among the Bakweris, the main causes of wars (Njuma as they are known) are generally linked to:
Although the official dish of the Bakweri is Kwakoko and Mosaka (Palm nut) soup, the Bakweri have a number of other tradtional dishes that they have made their own by cooking or spicing them up with the leaves, seeds and other elements from the lush vegetation of the Mount Fako region. Here is a list of some of those spices:
Manjuweli: The leaf of a small plant of the same family as "Mbongo" and "Indoko ja mokpe":(alligator pepper). Used mostly in Mosaka especilly in those days when the mosaka was generally cooked with "ekosel'a ngoa"(young pig) the leaf is haversted and washed, and wrapped around the pieces of meat or fish to be used in the "Mosaka".
Here is a very rare 126 year-old document-- an except from the memoirs of George Thomson, a Baptist missionary from Scotland, who arrived the Cameroon coast in 1871-- that tells us a lot about Victoria, its people and their diverse origins.
Thompson ultimately settled in what was then known as the "Republic of Victoria" and later became the chief magistrate of the Republic's Supreme Court. In a letter to his wife dated 16th Dec. 1873, he describes the ethnological makeup of Victoria...
By CARL J. BENDER*Culled from Religious and Ethical Beliefs of African Negroes: Duala and Wakweliland. Kansas: Halderman-Julius Company, 1925]
The Wakweli, like the Duala and other African Negro tribes, are a religious people. The more one makes himself acquainted with their religious beliefs, customs and usages, the more he realizes how much the individual as well as the collective body of the people are dominated by, and kept in the ban of, religion.
One of the highlights of the Fako America 15th annual convention in Chicago, USA, was the award of plaques of excellence to a number of individuals for their contribution towards the advancement of Fako division and its inhabitants. Dr. William Nganje receiving the 2009 Best Journal Article Award from the Food Distribution Research Society in Broomfield, Colorado
One of the recipients was Dr. William Nganje, an Associate Professor at the MSMA – W.P. Carey School of Business, at Arizona State University (ASU), who was recognized for his role in assisting Fako and Cameroonian students in the United States throughout his teaching and research career.
Another Radio icon has died leaving Buea in shock, her fans in grief and tears.
Njome Becky Ndive, the famous matriarch of "The Debate" on CRTV national television, hasquit the scene. Becky Ndive, as she was popularly known, gave up the ghost at about 11 pm on July 12, 2009 in the Buea Regional Hospital Annex after a protracted ailment.
She retired from the CRTV in 2005, had since then been living in Buea shuttling between her Great Soppo home and her mother's house in neighbouring Ekona. Becky leaves behind many offsprings amongst whom Oscar (eldest son and military officer), Miriam (in the USA ) and Suzan in Buea. These three, she had in her first marriage with the then Prime Minister of West Cameroon, Dr Emmanuel Endeley.
By Mabi Azefor Fominyen (Originally published on Mabi's World)
I barely dried my tears following Michael Jackson's death only to learn about Becky Ndive's passing on!
So I thought: what a cruel world we live in ! Is it so cruel that some "STARS "can no longer bear but pass on to a world beyond? Otherwise, how can Auntie Becky ( like she was fondly called) die when she was always so full of life?
She would weep for others and sympathise with many! She would visit you if you were sick! She would cheer you up if you were feeling low! She would joke even when no one expected her to.
She would tell you to 'keep up the good work and be there for listeners and viewers' She would make you feel proud of yourself in a 'house' where others hardly did same!
Within minutes of the announcement that Barack Obama had won the US presidential elections on that historic November night in 2008, Tata Kinge, one of Fako’s most creative artists, immediately went to work to write a song in honor of America's first-ever black president. The result was a scintillating traditional melody whose video was formally launched in Chicago during the July 2009 Fako America convention. Sit back and enjoy this masterpiece from the foot of Mount Fako.
To order Tata Kinge's video collection and new double album contact Stephen Effange at:
The former pioneer editor-in-chief, MINAJ Broadcast International, Nigeria ,now senior lecturer, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Buea, Cameroon, Funge Diffang has called on Fako elites in the Diaspora to throw their weight behind a Fako based cultural artist Tata-Kinge. The university don explained that the artist has exceptional talents that can be exploited to sell the Bakweri culture beyond Cameroon. According to the acting Head of Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Tata-Kinge is endowed with talents that enabled him to transform a typical traditional dance chacha of the Bakweris into a hot piece that has taken over the stage of most night clubs and parties organised in Cameroon.
it is with great sorrow that Bakwerirama announces the death of Mrs. Kate Idowu nee Steane whom we profiled late last year. Family sources say that Auntie Kate as she was fondly called, died in Limbe, Cameroon, on the evening of January 2nd 2009. According to one of her grand nieces,
Auntie/Grandma was born in 1919 and would have been 90 years old in September but the Good Lord brought her into this year and took her away into his loving and peaceful arms. We thank him for a life well-lived, especially at the service of others... We are blessed with all the wonderful memories of our auntie/grandma and wherever your Auntie Kate’s cookery book is, dig it out in memory of her. May her soul rest in perfect peace.
Bakwerirama extends its heartfelt sympathies to the Steane, Endeley, Martin and Idowu families.
Mrs. Kate Ebenye Idowu née Steane is known by family, friends, colleagues, pupils and in fact, everybody, as Aunty Kate.
She is one of the daughters of Charles Nako and Djara Steane, both of blessed memory,and is resident in Clerks Quarters, Buea, Fako Division. She was born in September 1919 in Victoria (now Limbe) and is still going strong at the ripe age of 89 years.
The Mbando was created by our ancestors a long time ago as a place where the villagers or designated elders could come to call unto "The gods" for guidance and support in times of crises such as: famine, war, diseases and unexplained deaths, and even in joyous occasions such as the "wesuwa"(wrestling), the "male"(elelphant dance) "the liwangi la fako (mountain race). It is generally located in a strategic area of the village, but does not neccessarily look like a shrine, thus one may pass by and not even notice.
In Buea Town For instance, the Mbando which serves its environs as well, is located at the "yombomba tree" (not sure of its name in English) in "Wonya-emongo", just south of the wrestling field.
This is a very simple explanation intended to create awareness regarding the significance of the Mbando. Mola Mbua Ndoko, should be able to fill in any gaps.
This is the traditional Bakweri "mat house" or ndaw'a ngonja. We propose working on a project to photograph and film the process of building such a house from scratch, including collection of building materials. These days, most whakpe new construction consists of modern buildings with cement blocks and corrugated aluminium roofs. Construction of ndaw'a ngonja is now a dying art.
Culled from: Idowu, K.E. Auntie Kate’s Cookery Book (3rd Edition). London; McMillan, 1985
We ask readers to provide us with a short biography and picture of the renowned domestic science teacher and community leader, Mrs Kate Idowu (Auntie Kate). Future Auntie Kates are also invited to contribute recipes. Contact authors of the site.
The story below is a Bakweri folktale culled from a collection of proverbs, fables, riddles, etc., put together by Carl Bender during his first stay in Buea between 1899 and 1919. These were later published in 1921 in a 122-page book written in German and Bakweri and titled: “Die Volksdichtung der Wakweli: Sprichworter, Fabeln, Marchen, Parabeln, Ratsel, und Lieder” [Folklore of the Wakweli: proverbs, fables, tales, parables, riddles and songs.]
The English translation of the story is by Mola Lyombe Eko
AFRICAN JUNGLE TALES originally collected and retold by C.J. Bender Haldeman-Julius Company, 1919
Again, we invite your comments on this story. Do you know a different version or interpretation?
The Leopard and the Goat were friends. One day they went out camping together. They built themselves a hut in a secluded spot in the jungle, where they could live and do just as they pleased.
After they had everything in shape, the Leopard went hunting. He met with unusual good luck and returned with much game. On this they lived for a number of days.
Then it was the Goat's turn to furnish supplies. But instead of going after the game himself he went to a hunter and bought what he wanted in the line of food. He also bought a leopard-skin which the hunter offered for sale.
When he reached home, the Goat hid the leopard-skin back of the hut, but the meat he took along inside.
AFRICAphonie (with an OSIWA support) Presents Kuva Likenye, a historical Documentary. Directed by Kome Epule Mathias. Editor: Njukeng George Njukeng. Script Consultant: Dibussi Tande. Narrator Muema Meombo. Executive Producer: George Ngwane.
For details on how to obtain a copy of the documentary, contact:
George Ngwane Executive Director AFRICAphonie Tel: 77 66 84 79 E-mail: gngwane@ yahoo.com or Africaphonie2000@ yahoo.co.uk
Information from A. S. Njoh (In Africa, Vol. 8 no. 4 of October 1935; 547-48.)
Witches are people believed to possess invisible powers, that nobody can explain, to do harm to others. This power is said to be in the heart of one so accused and it is not quite certain whether he knows of it himself. To prove that one is a witch or wizard the root of a certain herb (pwave) is mixed with water in a bowl and given to one to drink it. If he does not vomit he is said to be a witch, but if he does he is not a witch.
It is believed that the witches go about looking at all men in the town, and those they think will rise above them they try to find a way to quarrel with so that can destroy either them or their property
This and other stories that are going to be posted here in the coming months were collected, retold and published by Rev Carl Bender in 1919 under the title: "African Jungle Tales". Many of of us listened to some of version of these same stories as children. Bender clearly wrote for an American or European audience, and although his writing is on the whole sympathetic and very progressive, some of today's reader might consider some of the language dated by today's standards. We would like readers to comment and "reAfricanize" the stories. A lot of folk tales had accompanying songs. If you remember the wordings of the songs, please post them too.
The Woodpecker and the Weaver-Bird one day went on a hike together. When they saw that they could not reach their destination the same day any more, the Woodpecker suggested that they build huts for themselves in which they could put up for the night.
"All right," said the Weaver. And they went to work.
Ntemfac A.N. Ofege. Namondo (Child of the Water Spirits). Langaa Publishers. November, 2007. 360 pages (Paperback). Available from Amazon.com($24.95) and African Books Collective(£19.95)
Ntemfac A.N. Ofege forays into the customs and traditions of the Bakweri people, the often unfathomable dwellers of the lands below the Fako Mountain (Mount Cameroon to put together a story that is beautiful in content, flowing in style, enthralling in meanders, fetching in intrigue and ethereal in plot. The plot of this book is bustling, fascinating and lingering. This page-turner keeps the reader wondering what next.
Buea (A 10 minute video clip) Directed by Isaac Menyoli Produced by Samuel Sielen Edited by Samuel Sielen for AE3 Architects Raw footage from Dorst Dedia Works and Home Box Video
Starting with over 8 hours of raw footage this sub-10 minute clip was assembled by selecting a variety of shots to create an immersing visual exploration of the market in the town of Buea in Cameroon, Africa. Video shot by Dorst Media Works.
AFRICAphonie (with an OSIWA support) Presents Kuva Likenye, a historical Documentary. Directed by Kome Epule Mathias. Editor: Njukeng George Njukeng. Script Consultant: Dibussi Tande. Narrator Muema Meombo. Executive Producer: George Ngwane.
A new Cameroonian documentary film titled “Kuva Likenye” has been produced. “Kuva Likenye” is a 30 minute documentary that profiles the heroic exploits of a mountain King called Kuva Likenye who mobilised an ill-trained ragtag army to stand up in arms against German exploitation of the Bakweri people culminating in the Bakweri-German wars of 1891 and 1894.
Alongside Kofi A. Annan, A. Namanga Ngongi to Lead AGRA’s Work To End Poverty and Hunger of Africa’s Small-Scale Farmers
Accra, Ghana (14 November 2007) — The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) today announced the naming of Dr. A. Namanga Ngongi as its first president. Ngongi is in Accra meeting with Ghanaian government officials, after which he will return to AGRA headquarters in Nairobi.
Ngongi began his career in the fields alongside farmers in his native Cameroon, where he worked as an agricultural officer helping farmers improve yield and diversify and market their crops. His career has spanned involvement in international organisations, and has included serving as Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and leading the peace-keeping mission in war-torn Congo for the United Nations.
“Dr. Ngongi’s leadership will strengthen AGRA’s efforts to help millions of small-scale farmers and their families end poverty,” said Kofi A. Annan, Chairman of the Board of AGRA and former Secretary-General of the United Nations.
By Lloney Monono (Originally published in The Sun)
"I am confident that students from this institution under the guidance of Dr. Jem Spectar will make a substantial and positive difference to the world" - Nobel Peace Prize Winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu (click here for video message)
Dr. Jem Spectar who hails from Buea at the foot of Mt. Fako, South West Cameroon, was on Friday 28th September installed as the 5th President of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown in the United States.
Friday's inauguration at the Pasquerilla Centre highlighted a week of festivities to welcome the new president and to mark the university's 80th birthday.
On April 13, 2003, Mola Martin Ngeka Luma, one of the most prominent and most venerated sons of Fako of our times, died in Douala after a protracted illness. His death brought to a close one of the most fascinating lives of our time; that of a little Bakweri kid who grew up in Nazi Germany with a Jewish family and later became a minister in the Government of Ahmadou Ahidjo in Cameroon.
According to Mola's biography as presented by his son Peter Luma at his funeral:
The Late Hon. Dr. M.N.LUMA was born on 10th September 1927 at Tongo. His father Nako LUMA died three months before he was born while his mother Sarah Ngombe died six months after his birth. Hon. Dr. Martin Ngeka LUMA was adopted later in his life by a childless German Family ,the Reinholds. In 1929 he was taken to Germany by his adopted parents.
Culled from “Belief and the Problem of Women” by Edwin Ardener (1975)
According to the Bakweri of Cameroon (in a male rescension): “MOTO, EWAKI and MOJILI were always quarrelling and agreed to decide by a test which of them was to remain in the town and which should go to the bush. All were to light fires in their houses in the morning and the person whose fire was still burning on their return from the farms in the evening was to be the favored one.
Moto, being more cunning than the others built a fire with big sticks properly arranged, whereas they only built with small dry sticks, and so his was the only fire that was still alight on their return in the evening. Thus Moto remained in the town and became Man. Ewaki and Eto went into the bush and became Ape and Mouse. Mojili was driven into the water and became a water spirit (This version was given in 1929 by Charles Steane, a Bakweri scholar to B. G. Stone).
Culled from: Edwin Ardener. Coastal Bantu of the Cameroons. (The Kpe-Mboko, Duala-Limba and Tanga-Yasa groups of the british and french trusteeships territories of the Cameroons). London, 1956. 116 pp.
Formerly it was the custom to hold a large supplementary rite (Eyu) for an important man [upon his death]. This would be performed as soon as possible after the normal rites, but might be delayed up to six months or perhaps a year.
When the decision to perform the ceremony was made, his heir would send word for all the dead man's relatives to meet together and fix their contributions of livestock (chiefly goats) to the celebration. Large numbers of these were necessary to make the eyu a big occasion.
By Lyombe Eko (originally published on Fakonet in 2001)
Mbosi o no titowe Mbo mbosi mbo Mbosi o no titowe Mbo mbosi mbo Ekuku lu'uwa Mbo, Mboszi mbo
This chant is part of Mokpe folklore and philosophy. It is the chant that a sick person or a person who needs help has to chant before he or she is seen by the doctor or soothsayer. In Mokpe folklore, the seer or soothsayer is the spider.
By CARL JACOB BENDER (Culled from Twenty Years Among African Negroes (Halderman-Julius Company, 1925)
The following excerpt is from one of the numerous publications on the Bakweri by Carl Bender, a German Missionary who settled on the Cameroon coast toward the end of the 19th century, and lived among the Bakweri for about 25 years. One cannot help but sadly agree with Mr. Bender’s century-old observation that pre-colonial Bakweri culture was dealt a fatal blow when it came in contact with European “civilization”. Read on: