This page, just like its "twin" ALMANAC Page, seeks to Present, Preserve and Archive the PROFILES of some of the Men & Women who made Anglophone Cameroon what it was in the 60s, 70s and Early 80s. It starts off from ENTRY #21, because the first 20 Entries are located on the ALMANAC Page of this same website, which can be accessed by clicking on the tab that bears its name on the Navigation Bar below to the right, or simply by clicking on this link: http://www.sakerpride.com/ALMANAC.html
LATE MR. E.A. MBIWAN
CAMEROON'S FIRST CHARTERED ELECTRICAL ENGINEER, PIONEER GENERAL MANAGER OF POWERCAM, BUSINESSMAN
With his wife and first two children Ebob & Acha (RIP) - New York, 1960
Receiving His Excellency The President of the Federal Republic of Cameroon, Mr. AHMADOU AHIDJO, at the Yoke Hydro Electricity Plant, as General Manager of POWERCAM
BIOGRAPHY OF LATE EBAICHUO AGBORTOKO MBIWAN (aka BLACKSTONE)
April 2 1925 - August 8 2011
He was born Godfrey Ebaichuo Agbortoko Mbiwan, to Pa Moritz Agbortoko Mbiwan, catechist, and Ma Dora Manyiegbe Mbiwan, housewife, on the 2nd of April 1925 in Besongabang, Manyu division.
He attended primary school at the Basel Mission Boy's School, Besongabang up to class four, and moved to Esusung – like so many others at the time – the only place then, where children could go to get up to class six.
In January 1941, he gained admission into Saint Joseph's College Sasse, (to which he walked from Besongbang), and left in 1943 for Government College, Ibadan, Nigeria, having completed the entire education cycle Sasse College provided at the time. He worked for a few months in Lagos upon completing from G. C. Ibadan, then obtained a Nigerian Government scholarship to study Electrical Engineering at the University College of North Wales, in the United Kingdom. Upon graduation, he worked in London and Manchester in the UK, and then returned to Nigeria where he worked with the SHELL-BP Petroleum Development Corporation in Owerri. The Corporation moved him from there first to the Islands of Trinidad and Tobago in the West Indies in 1959, then to the United States of America and then back to Nigeria, this time to Port Harcourt where the Company had its Head Quarters.
It was from here that he came to Cameroon on leave and met the late John Ngu Foncha right there in Besongabang. He was there on a visit to Pa Moritz Mbiwan who was a friend of his. This was the dawn of independence, and John Foncha was delighted to be introduced to a Cameroonian Electrical Engineer who could handle West Cameroon's Electricity Supply problems, instead of the French man the state was having to “import” from Douala for that purpose. And so it was that in 1962, Mr. E.A. Mbiwan obtained permission from SHELL OIL to abrogate his contract with them and answer the call for qualified Cameroonians in the Diaspora to return home and help build the emerging nation. He, it was, who set up the West Cameroon Electricity Corporation – POWERCAM, which people of a certain age know was brilliantly run with him at the helm as its first General Manager until 1968. In the course of his work, he acquired State-leased land on the west coast of Victoria, today's Limbe, and it is in agricultural exploitation of this land that he spent the greater part of his days. Many people – again of a certain age – will also remember him as the owner of the building which housed one of Victoria's best known hotels, the (original) Park Hotel Miramare in the Botanic garden, which currently hosts The ALCEF School, founded, owned and run by his daughter, Mrs. Ebob Mbiwan Tanyi.
He met and married – in 1957 – Miss Elizabeth Efeti Mbongo, a teacher, and over the next seven years, they had four children; three girls - Ebob Evenye Mbiwan (now Tanyi), Namondo (Didi) Kayongo Mbiwan (now Ndando), and Egbe Etonde Mbiwan (now Monjimbo), and one boy - Acha Mbiwan, who died in a car accident on January 1st 1981 a blow he just never quite recovered from.
Mr. Mbiwan always enjoyed a robust health; Except for surgery on his left knee which he had injured as a young man, and an occasional bout of malaria. However, just a few months before his passing, he developed symptoms of degenerative disc disease and then a week before he died, he complained of loss of appetite, of shortness of breath, and that the slightest physical exertion exhausted him unduly. At about 6:42 in the morning of Monday 8th August, he was found to have peacefully returned to his Maker, his heart having stopped beating between 3:00 and 5:00 am.
Eighty-six years and three months, that heart had beaten in this extra-ordinarily intelligent, wry-humoured, quite often irritable, extremely orderly, highly alert and very caring father, brother, uncle and grandfather.
Eighty-six years and three months during which he filled the lives of his family and loved ones with his presence.
May his soul rest in peace!
** A much more detailed and exhaustive PROFILE of Mr. MBIWAN is available on the YESTERYEAR Page of this website:
Born in 1929,in Mbatu village,to Dominic Tita Nkemnghe and Hostencia Malozeh, S.N. Tita started primary education in the Bamenda Government School in the 1930s but did most of his primary school in Government Primary School Bova as a result of being a house help for Pa Hans Njie Essame, teacher and headmaster in Bova in Buea town. He proceeded to the prestigious St Joseph’s College,Sasse in the early 40’s fol-lowing the completion of standard four. In 1950, he was posted as a teacher to Catholic School Njinikom after which he had a spell at the Bishop Shanahan Higher Teacher Training School at Onitsha, Nigeria. He returned to Cameroon to teach in Catholic School Mankon and in 1954, he was hired as a teacher in Sasse College. From 1955, he engaged in teaching activities in various pri-vate evening schools in Lagos, Nigeria and that gave him time to prepare and acquire his ACCS certificate. S. N.Tita then opened first the Ansara Secondary Evening School and then the Benevolent Higher School, all in Mushin, Lagos.
His job as a teacher led him into authoring and producing notes and subsequently textbooks for students and also to setting up his own printing press, Cameroon Press in Mushin, Lagos in 1958. A name he later changed to Nooremac Press by inverting the name Cameroon to avoid the spite of Nigerians who were anxious to see Southern Cameroon be part of Nigeria. Nooremac Press was reopened in Nkwen, Bamenda, upon his return to Cameroon in 1966 and the head office was subsequently transferred to Limbe which harboured the main book distribution networks. Whilst running Nooremac Press, he also enjoyed a stint as General Manager of Cameroon Printing and Publishing Company (Cameroon Times).
In the early 80’s, Pa S.N.Tita began taking part in active politics and this saw him flirt first with the CNU, which was changed to the CPDM and then with the SDF, and subsequently with LDF and AFP. When he retired most of his political efforts were directed towards the struggles of SCNC and it was very customary to see him being led to detention during or around October 1 periods.
Although living most of his life away from his birthplace, Pa S. N.Tita was very attached to his village. He hosted the Mbatu Family monthly meetings in Limbe for over 30 years and was one of the founding fathers of the Mbatu Cultural and Development Association (MBACUDA). Pa S. N.Tita has occupied various management positions in the administration of PNEU School Bota and has had kids in the school since its inception.
He was also a member and benefactor of the Holy Family Parish, New Town, who incidentally are neighbours to the Tita family resi-dence in Lumpsum. He has been a life long member of Sasse Old Boys Association and two months ago hosted the SOBA Limbe chapter meeting at his residence. Until his death, he was a patron of the Halleluiah Choir of the Presbyterian Church in Limbe. Words used to describe Pa S.N.Tita include: generous, strong, energetic, visionary, fighter, witty, indefatigable, wisdom, humble, hero, giant,great,simple,multilingual.This list could go on forever because Pa S. N.Tita was filled with life and enjoyed sharing, his life, fortune, experiences and love with the many people he came across in his very eventful life.
In retirement, S.N. Tita became an avid farmer producing crops like cassava, plantains, and pepper but his farming fame was made by the gigantic yams yields from his farm in Moliwe. Pa S. N.Tita passed away on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at the Regional Hospital Limbe after 10 days in the hospital despite the utmost care, concern and atten-tion from his family, the medical staff of the hospital and the region.S.N.Tita was married to a handful of wives and leaves behind several children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, friends, former students and well wishers to mourn him.
(**Submitted to SakerPride by his son, Dr. Julius Che Tita. Please Click on the icon below to view his Funeral Booklet in its entirety.
With Chief Namme, Mr. Akanegbu & Dr. Fuoching (RIP)
With his CAMEROON TIMES Newspaper colleague Mr. Gwellem (left)
The first premises of his Printing Press (NOOREMAC) in Nkwen, Bamenda
Manuscripts of his famous S.N. Tita Textbooks for Primary Schools.
I don't know about the 60s and 80s, but I am pretty sure that if you attended an English-Speaking Primary School in the 70s, be it East or West of The Mungo, you owned or were taught from a Text Book written by Mr. S.N. TITA. My copies of the RURAL SCIENCE, HISTORY & GEOGRAPHY books came to me as hand-me-downs from my older siblings which was not a problem at all, particularly when it came to the "CIVICS/CURRENT EVENTS" side of things, given that "Cabinet Reshuffles" were a relatively rare occurrence then, and any names printed in the book in any given year were very likely to still be in government 5 years down the road. Victor Ayissi Mvodo, Felix Tonye Mbog, William Eteki Mboumoua, Ibrahim Mbombo Njoya, Felix Sabbal Lecco, Emmanuel Tabi Egbe, Simon Achidi Achu, Henry Namata Elangwe, Joseph Chongwain Awunti ... Those are all names that have come 'rolling' straight out of my head as I sit here typing and it is really striking me only now that we were taught all 3 names of each official - First, Middle and Last, usually in THAT order - Solomon Tandeng Muna, John Ngu Foncha, Augustine Ngom Jua ... Interesting. When I was putting together the "elements" that went into the space further up on this page dedicated to the books and supplies that marked the average 60s & 70s Primary/Secondary School child's life, I did try - UNSUCCESSFULLY, to find pictures of Mr. S.N. TITA's books because they were definitely a "STAPLE" back in the day and his name was certainly a household name. Earlier this week, to my greatest delight - and sorrow, I got acquainted with his son, Dr. JULIUS CHE TITA, who informed me that his illustrious Father had passed away back in December of 2011! He was kind enough to share a copy of the Funeral/Commemorative Booklet that was published to mark his demise. Below is an excerpt from it, followed by an ICON through which the ENTIRE Booklet can be accessed. QUITE A TREASURE and WORTHY TRIBUTE to A MAN whose Life & Writings are an integral part of the History of (PRIMARY) EDUCATION in Anglophone Cameroon. MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE!
LATE MR. E.A. EKITI
EDUCATOR, FECAFOOT OFFICIAL,
ECONOMIC & SOCIAL COUNCIL (ECOSOC) MEMBER ...
Mr. EUGENE AWAH EKITI
25th October 1921 - 22nd February 2000
Pa Eugene Awah Ekiti famously known by the name “Daddy Cool” was born on the 25th of October 1921 at Nkiko-Elung, Bangem Sub-Division of Kupe Muanenguba Division of the South West Region.
He attended the Douala Vernacular School at Nkiko up to the age of 9 years.
He got into the then Basel Mission English Primary School at Nyasoso where he attended Standard One.
After a successful completion of standard four in 1935, he got into the Basel Mission Lower Middle School in Esosong and obtained his First School Leaving Certificate 2 years later.
Between 1940 – 1942, he obtained the Teachers’ Grade Three Certificate course in Government Teacher Training Center Kake Kumba.
In 1944, he furthered his professional certification by completing the requirements of a Higher Elementary Certificate course in Uyo, Eastern Nigeria.
In 1947, he went on to complete the Rural Education Course in Noore Plantation Ibadan where he obtained the Senior Teachers’ Certificate (Teachers’ Grade One Certificate) in 1948.
Between 1955 – 1956, he completed an Associate Certificate Course from the Institute of Education of the University of Bristol, England.
Some of the positions he held coupled with work experience range from teaching as a Probationary teacher in the then Easom Mission School, Dikume Balue in 1938 – 1939. Also, in 1943, he taught as a Grade Three Certificated Teacher at the then Basel Mission School, Victoria, now Limbe. From 1945 to 1946, he taught as a Higher Elementary Certificated Teacher (Grade Two) in the Basel Mission School, Nyasoso. It was at during this period he met Miss Agnes Ella Ntoko who later became is lovely wife.
From January 1948 to September 1958, he taught as a Tutor at the Basel Mission Teacher Training Centre, Batibo where he occupied the posts of Senior Tutor, Vice Principal and Principal respectively, notwithstanding the post of Manager of Batibo Practicing School from 1956 to 1958.
Between 1959 and 1962, he was appointed Assistant Supervisor of Basel Mission Schools with residence in Bali, Bamenda, North West Province.
From 1963 to 1986, he held the post of Presbyterian Education Secretary making him the first Cameroonian to hold that post along with Rev. Father Sullivan and Rev. Ben Lawrence as Catholic and Baptist Mission Education Secretaries respectively to run the then Voluntary Authority Education Agency in the South-Western Cameroon and in June 1977, was appointed Legal Substitute for Protestant Education Agency in Cameroon before he finally retired from service in 1986.
Pa Ekiti participated in voluntary activities such as Scout Master, Assistant Treasurer and President of Buea Mountain Club, Vice President and President of the then West Cameroon Football League, President of the Cameroon Football Federation for the South-West Province from its inception till 1986 when he retired from service, Member of the Central Committee of FECAFOOT and Second Vice President of Cameroon Olympic Committee until his retirement not withstanding service in various Church Committees.
Pa Ekiti was an all-round citizen with insights from various job descriptions other than his professional aspirations namely, being a member of the West Cameroon Public Service Commission from 1966 – 1972 when the commission was scrapped, from 1973 to its re-organization in 1974, he was a member of the West Cameroon Marketing Board of Directors, in 1973 was appointed Assessor to the Court of Appeal, Buea. From 1975 till death, he was a member of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), appointed Assessor of the Provincial Social Insurance Inspection Dispute Commission. As Vice President of Cameroon Olympic Committee in 1980, was a member of the Cameroon Delegation to the Olympic Games in Moscow. In 1982, as a member of the Economic and Social Council, he was one of those who accompanied the Cameroon Head of State, El Hadj Ahmadou Ahidjo to Canada. Also in 1973 and 1979, he accompanied the Cameroon Champion Team to Kinshasha Zaire and Nairobi in Kenya respectively. Was a member of the team accompanying the Indomitable Lions to Swaziland in 1993. From April 1982 until death was the President-General of the Nkiko Development Committee which realized a Pipe Borne Water Project to the village and later took on a Health Post Project which became effective later on in 2011. He was President of the Muangoe Cultural and Development Organization (MCDO) Fako and was a Patron of several Local Organizations in the Church and other Sections.
He was a recipient of the following decorations;
•Cameroon Merit 3rd Class awarded in 1965
•Cameroon Sporting Medal 2nd Class 1972
•Knight of the the Cameroon Order of Valor awarded in 1978
•Officer of the Cameroon Order of Valor awarded in 1978
•Certificate of Meritorious Service to the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon (PCC) awarded in 1986
He also received the Honorary award of a Graduation Certificate in recognition of excellence in Educational Administration, co-signed by the Dean of the Faculty of Theology, Kumba and the Et. Rev. Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon in December 1997.
Pa Ekiti was not just a senior citizen of great caliber but was a family man. He was formerly married to Mrs. Agnes Ella Ntoko who is also of blessed memory. Their wedding took place at Tombel on the 19th December 1948 in the Basel Mission Church Tombel and this was conducted by the late Rev. Pastor Manfred Nkumbe then of the Basel Mission Seminary, Nyassoso. Many Bakossi saw printed wedding cards for the first time which many referred to as communion cards. Both church service and entertainment ceremonies were actively animated by a brass band hired from Victoria by late Emmanuel Nnoko Nzange also of blessed memory.
In his married life to former Miss Agnes Ella Ntoko, they both had six children, two of whom passed away at birth and the other four were the following;
i.Mrs. Patience EBOTE MUSONGE nee Ekiti
ii.Mr. Charles LOBE EKITI, now of blessed memory. He died on the 6th of March 1994 at the young age of about 43 years. This sudden death was a very bitter pill to swallow.
iii.Mrs. Evelyn NJANJO MARTIN nee Ekiti
iv.Mr. ERNEST MANGA EKITI
He also left behind ten grandchildren;
Children of Patience EBOTE EKITI and Mr. Isaac JACKAI MUSONGE
i.Dr. Joffi-Ella Effoe nee Musonge
ii.Mr. Kingue Mbenje Musonge
iii.Mr. Ekiti Awahsume Musonge
Children of Charles LOBE EKITI and Seraphine KUABAN
iv.Denis Awah Ekiti
v.Agnes Senze Ikollo Ndoumbe nee Ekiti
vi.Alexander Kwewe Ekiti
Children of Evelyn NJANJO MARTIN nee EKITI and Mr. Carmichael Esukise Martin (of blessed memory)
vii.Ella Nene Esukise Chuwa nee Martin
viii.Etonde Ekedi Esukise Martin
ix.Esukise Esukise Martin
x.Ekiti Esukise Martin
Grandson Number xi, JADEN LOBE EKITI, son of Ernest MANGA EKITI and Mrs. Anna Burnley Ekiti, was born after his demise.
Mr. E.A. EKITI in Basel, Switzerland.
A year before his passing.
Mr. & Mrs. EKITI
The EKITI Family in the early 70s.
With his 2 sons, Late Charles Ekiti (right), and Manga Ekiti (left)
With Governor Enow Tanjong & FECAFOOT Officials
With Governor Yakum Ntaw.
With Presbyterian Church Staff - Buea Synod Office
3 Education Secretaries - Catholic, Baptist & Presbyterian, with Minister of Education Bidias A Ngon
At Presbyterian Church Day.
With Ministry of Education Officials.
With 2nd Daughter, Evelyn Ekiti Martin
Doting Grand Pa with 1st Grand Daughter, Dr. Joffi Musonge Effoe
** Information & Pictures submitted to SakerPride by his first daughter, Mrs. Patience Ebote Musonge nee EKITI,
to which I definitely would like to add the fact that a Google Search for "Eugene Awah Ekiti" revealed that he is one of the 4 writers of the "Evans English Primary Course for West Cameroon", (1971), the other 3 authors being Ernest Kofele Martin, John Gagg, and Joyce Rowland
Professor Bernard Nsokika Fonlon, M.A., Ph.D., (Nui) Dip. Ed. (Oxon), was born on November 19 1924 in Kumbo, Nso, North West Region of Cameroon.
He studied at Christ the King College in Nigeria, then entered the Bigard Memorial Seminary, intending to go into the priesthood and even though he did not eventually choose that vocation, he remained a fervent life long Roman Catholic. He taught at St. Joseph's College, Sasse in Buea, and decided thereafter to pursue an intensive top notch academic career, earning degrees from the University of Ireland, from Sorbonne, and from Oxford University, specializing in literature.
In 1961, he was secretary in the office of the prime minister of Southern Cameroons, then worked for the President until 1964. Dr. Fonlon was then elected to the Federal Parliament, where he stayed until 1970, and served in the cabinet, first as deputy minister of foreign affairs, then as minister of transport, later posts and telecommunication, then health and social welfare.
Dr. Fonlon left government service in 1971 for the University of Yaoundé, where he taught literature, rising to become head of the Department of Negro-African Literature and publishing a number of works. He retired in 1984, and died while on a trip to Canada on August 26 1986.
A leading intellectual of Cameroon endowed with a vast Greco-Latin, Anglo-Saxon, as well as Christian and African culture, and a man of diverse abilities, Fonlon was characterized as the Cameroonian Socrates. He was a major promoter of bilingualism, as reflected in the journal ABBIA: Cameroon Cultural Review that he founded in the early 1960s.
He rose from humble origins to become one of Cameroon’s most famous sons. He was a scholar, a poet, a politician, a philosopher, a man of action and a man of courage. He was never too busy to see someone who was troubled, never too tired to take up the case of the oppressed or the downtrodden. He was a man who could communicate, with style, in half a dozen world languages but who could also use Pidgin English if it meant putting his listeners at ease. He was a man who moved in opulent circles but who collected for himself not money but the hearts of those who got to know him.
He had no children of his own, not having married all his life but he certainly had countless "adoptive" children - of all Races, Creeds and Tribes, live under his roof and benefit from his legendary largesse.
A lot of superlatives - all well deserved, have been used to describe Dr. Bernard Fonlon, but, aside from his academic exploits, what endeared him to many was more the humor, the courtesy and the gentleness that were an integral part of what he said and did. Dr. Bernard Fonlon may not have left a worldly legacy to his family, to his friends or to his country, but he left so much more: He left ideas that will stand the test of time, and ideals that will continue to challenge future generations.
I particularly also remember him fondly as the host of the early '70s, hour long, Sunday Evening Program on Radio Cameroon - Yaounde, called CLASSICAL HOUR, in which he not just presented the Music of The Masters, but also displayed a very extensive knowledge of the works and lives of the world's finest composers like Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Tchaikovsky, Chopin and Handel whose piece "WATER MUSIC", served as the Program's Introductory "jingle", and certainly was one of Late Mr. E.A. MBIWAN's favorites.
(Please Click On Play Button To Listen To It!)
**Biographical information culled from a variety of internet sources, primarily:
Members of The Southern Cameroons delegation to London during the 1958 Constitutional Conference. From left to right are Mr. Paul Engo, Hon. A.N.Jua, Hon. P. Aiyuk, Hon. N.N. Mbile, Barrister E. K. Mensah and P.M. Kale.
Elizabeth Bessem Manga better known by her "Nom d'Artiste", BEBE MANGA, was born on November 27 1948. In fact, the illusrtrious daughter of TINTO village in MANYU Division is the first of the 20 artists, (Cameroon's Best), featured in the "FLEURS MUSICALES DU CAMEROUN" Magazine that accompanied a set of 3 SOCADRA-produced Vinyl Albums that saw the light of day in 1981, as the brain child or initiative of then President El Hadj Ahmadou Ahidjo, under the auspices of then Minister of Information & Culture, Mr. Guillaume Bwele. Actually, here, paraphrased and slightly modified to include certain details, is what the English version of the Page 4 excerpt in the aforementioned Magazine says about her:
In a way, it is thanks to BEBE MANGA that Cameroonian music has become better known the world over. This young artist began recording in 1980 and leapt to the top of the Hit Parade with a number called "AMIO", originally written in 1962 by EBANDA MANFRED, with very rhythmic backing by NELLE EYOUM both of whom were members of the vintage LOS CAMAROES band which served, arguably, as the cradle of Cameroonian Pop Music. This song in Douala has since become an exceptional International Success.
BEBE MANGA comes from a family of Civil Servants and she is a self-taught artist. She taught herself to sing and to play the piano but her prodigious talent quickly earned her recognition from a most demanding and discerning public.
Not only did BEBE MANGA sing 2 of the songs on this 29 Song-rich Fleurs Musicales Project and do a Duet with Manu Dibango; she "delivered" the VOCALS, alongside Sissy Dipoko & Florence Titty. Must also mention here that she earned the prestigious MARACAS D'OR Award from SACEM for the "AMIO" song and that it has to be one of the most copied, adapted, re-produced and re-arranged songs of the 20th Century!!
In the last two decades, it has been replayed in different languages by musicians in Europe, the Caribbean, Latin and North America, and Africa, among them André Astasié, Henri Salvador, star of the French song in 1982, Manu Dibango in 1993, Monique Seka, Nayanka Bell, Fred Paul, Passi and Biso na Biso in 2000, Papa Wemba and Angelique Kidjo, Jacky Biho, Naima, and more recently and importantly, by "African Connection" with Denise and Bloco in 2004 which was France's 2004 Summer Hit and Gold Plate Record.
Bebe Manga made her debut in the then "Bar Americain" in Douala in 1979 while on a night out with some friends. The story has it that her friends impressed on the manager of the club that she had a good voice and could sing. Her singing so impressed the Club's manager that he hired her on the spot! Her Musical career took off from there, taking her first to Libreville, Gabon, and then to Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, and then Paris, France. The obviously well-traveled Bebe Manga has performed extensively in Africa: Gabon, Senegal, Mali, Zaire, Togo, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire , Congo Brazzaville , Benin, Morocco, etc...In the Caribbean Islands (Guadeloupe, Haiti, Martinique,) as well as in Colombia, in the United States, in France, and even in Japan in 1983.
Later on, in the late 90's, she catapulted another not-so-well-known Douala song, "MOTA BENAMA" by yet another Cameroonian Artist, CHARLES LEMBE, which laments over the situation of children suffering around the world, to the forefront, giving it world class status and recognition. Her talent was rewarded and celebrated at the Top D'Or 2005 in Abidjan, when she was voted one of the best African artists of all time. She also featured on Manu Dibango's "Manu Safari" album, and partnered with other talented artists like Tom Yoms on several hits. Some of her other songs, (some of which) now feature in an online "BEST OF BEBE MANGA" COMPILATION, (see link below), are: A LOBA, (my absolute favorite), BELE SOMBO, (a close second), Djiya kamba, Alice Agbor, Esele mba, Jemea longo, Muna Muto, Eyiegele Ding and Zipte Men.
Bébé Manga died on 1 July 2011 on the way to hospital after suffering a heart attack at her home in Douala, at age 63, but THANK GOD her MELODIOUS VOICE remains with us.The Limbe Municipal Stadium phase of her Funeral Celebrations was attended by the likes of Roger Milla, Sam Fan Thomas, Nkotti François, and Henri Njoh.
Know how there are some Voices that some might consider "GOOD" and others "BAD", and yet other Voices that are easily mistaken for someone else'?? Hers was, - actually IS, certainly NOT that kind. Talk about a UNIQUE, DISTINCT & UNPARALLELED "VOIX LIMPIDE"!! God Rest Her Talented Soul!
PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW & ENJOY a sampling of her songs:
... AND, since this amateur knoweth not of any Hi-Tech "CUT-SHORTS", here are my 3 BEBE MANGA FAVORITES, from my 20 year old, Bought-For-5-Kolo-From-A-Bonanjo-Sauveteur, "FLEURS MUSICALES DU CAMEROUN" Vinyl "33 TOURS" ALBUM (as in, RECORD), Converted to CD Format, then Imported into ITUNES, and then finally CONVERTED into MP3 FORMAT ... (Where's the PANADOL, ah beg!! This had better work; Mbale!!)
With MANU DIBANGO
With Mme GERMAINE AHIDJO
With MONIQUE SEKA
With ALPHA BLONDY (right)
In Monrovia, Liberia with Liberia's President, Mrs. SIRLEAF & her assistant, M. Jean-Marcel NGOUA
Please Click On Play Button To Listen To The Tune Of The National Anthem.
AN INTERESTING "TWIST" TO THE BEBE MANGA REPORTAGE!
Back in 1988, some 20 students graduated from the ADVANCED SCHOOL OF TRANSLATORS and INTERPRETERS, (ASTI), as part of the second batch of what was, at the time, the only school that existed on the BUEA UNIVERSITY campus. I was part of that sterling group of astute Translators and Interpreters, and so was a certain JEAN MARCEL NGOUA, whose warmth and friendly disposition earned him the nickname "ASSO". Needless to say, the degree of his "ASSO-ship" was more intense because he was married to my CCAST Bambili classmate & friend, Gladys Ndikum (who had become Mme Ngoua in '85)! Jean Marcel has been "into the arts" for as long as I have known him, but with a career as a translator, it was something he delved into occasionally only, as a some kind of "side kick". My surprise therefore knew no bounds when, in the course of putting together the article above on DIVA BEBE MANGA, I stumbled upon a whole bunch of pictures showing the artistic partnership between the 2! Here's one such picture, (there are 2 others posted in the article above), while the picture on the right is from our first year at ASTI, back in 1986!
I was even more PLEASANTLY surprised, THRILLED actually, to get the following email and attachments from him today, after he he read Bebe Manga's PROFILE above:
Sent:Mon 10/21/13 9:40 PM
To: Egbe Monjimbo
Hey Sis! This is wonderful ..........we need our history and you are just Great doing this for people to remember......More grease to your elbows and COURAGE. ... I have downloaded a song called "TO BEBE MANGA" that I wrote and sang for her in my solo album called "My Feelings" , with other lovely songs....hope you'll enjoy and love them. A live performance with her on stage at the French Cultural Centre in Yaounde on September 2010 is posted on YOUTUBE.
God bless you
Well, I just watched the video on YOUTUBE, which left me teary-eyed especially since the DUET is a touching rendition of "NJILO NJILO" in homage to MYRIAM MAKEBA - who'd passed away 2 years prior, in 2008. Next, I downloaded and listened to Jean Marcel's own Tribute Song to Bebe Manga, and then to "ALIMA" a song he composed and "delivered" himself. Its lively beat and the fact that it is rendered in Spanish, English and French - (the guy's a TRANSLATOR after all), sure chased the "blues" away PRONTO! LOVE it, and have every intention of playing it for the listening - and DANCING pleasure of the students of the World Languages Department at MCHS High School, dès demain! Wouldn't be fair if I left y'all out, would it? Don't think so!
Here, then are the VIDEO and the other 2 Songs; ENJOY!
MORE POWER TO YOU, "ASSO"! J’en suis très fière!!
L to R: Egbe Etonde Mbiwan (now Monjimbo), Ngah-Ngolo Marie Bernadette, Ngoua Jean Marcel & Betrice Mbessa Engoudou!!
J.M. NGOUA sings with LIZA NGWA.
who is the Artistic Director Cameroon's "Ballet National". Both are Members of the very impressive BLACK ROOTS group that BEBE MANGA mentions in the YOUTUBE Video.
Isaac Nyoki Malafa was born in Victoria, (now Limbe), to Pa Penuel Godleaf Malafa from Ewongo Village near the Wotutu-Bojongo Road and a descendant of the Wodemba family (Wodemba Malafa ma Ngonja), and to Mama Helen Efosi Malafa nee Efange from Soppo Wonganga.
Young Isaac grew up in Kumba, attending the Kumba Government School in 1932, where he met another young man called Mr. N.N. MBILE who later became a well known politician. This school ended at Standard 4 so Isaac moved on and enrolled in Government School Buea, (Upper Farms), with Mr. EKANEM as Headmaster, and Late Papa Ndumbe MBENE as his teacher. In 1939, he gained admission into Saint Joseph's College, Sasse, and amongst his school mates wereMr. Stephen Ndeley MOKOSSO, Prof. Anoma NGU, Mr. Richard Eko MOTINDA and one James J. CHEBBI, alias JJC/Shinning Face, who became a very good friend of his. In 1941, Isaac Nyoki Malafa obtained the Secondary School Leaving Certificate, and gained admission into the Baptist Academy in Lagos, where he was reunited with his friend JJC-Shinning Face. In 1943, he obtained the Cambridge School Certificate. Later, he also took another course that landed him a job at the Nigerian Secretariat, as a Clerk and while on the job, he took a a promotion exam that elevated him to the position of Personal Assistant. His extraordinary performance was so well appreciated that he was offered the opportunity to apply for a position with the Cameroon Civil Service, and he was posted to Buea, with the Department of Social Welfare.
The determined hard worker he was, later led him to several different positions in the CDC (Cameroon Development Corporation)
- In 1952, he was Assistant Personnel Manager in Bota.
- In 1961, he obtained a Diploma in Personnel Management from the School of Economics and Political science in London.
- 1964-1970: Assistant General Manager (1st Cameroonian to occupy the post)
- 1964-1983: Administrative and Personnel Controller.
He retired from the CDC in 1983
In the course of his professional life, he traveled extensively, taking courses and attending seminars and conferences the world over. He led the Cameroon Employers' Delegation to the ILO regional Conference in Ghana, attended a workshop on training techniques in the University of Nairobi-Kenya and in Addis Ababa-Ethiopia, and participated in Leadership Study Projects in Swaziland, to name just these few.
He also held numerous posts of responsibility, such as:
Member of the Federal Public Service Council, Director of Cameroon Bank (for a year), Board Member of the National Social Insurance Board and Vice-Chairman of The Fako Tourism Board.
He was also recompensed for his diligence with several decorations: National Order of Valor (June 1962), Order of Merit First Class, (1966), and Grand Cordon of Cameroon Merit, (1972). He was awarded an Honorary Citizen of The City of Indianapolis Certificate, along with another Certificate in appreciation of his "Unselfish Service in International Relations".
Mr. Isaac Nyoki Malafa enjoyed politics and his political career started back in the 50s, his contemporaries being Mr. Fred MBWAYE, Chief Ndotto NAMME, and Mr. Lifio CARR, all of whom joined the KNDP. Upon the advent of the CNU in 1966, Mr. I.N. Malafa became Vice-President of the CNU for Victoria Sub-Division, with Chief NAMME as President. He was elected Councilor in 1977 and Deputy Mayor, thereafter. In 1984, he represented the Mayors at the Sister Cities Festival in Seattle, Washington.
As a dedicated Member of Mizpah Baptist Church, New Town-Limbe whose website lists him as one of the Founding Members of its Men's Fellowship in the 70s, he represented Cameroon at the Baptist World Alliance Congress of Baptist Men in Tokyo (Japan) and in Indianapolis (U.S.A.) He was President of the CBC Men's Department for over a decade, and was also appointed a Trustee for the CBC. The inception of the Baptist Men's World Day of Prayer was his initiated by him.
As a Sportsman, he was well known in Table Tennis circles for his "left hand strikes". He was President of the South West Provincial Committee for Table Tennis from 1974 to 1991. In his leisure time, he played table tennis at the Middle farms Recreational Hall with the local kids who were always excited to engage him.
Another one of Mr. I. N. Malafa's passions was farming. He grew palms in Batoke and Bakingili and supplied palm nuts to the Mondoni Oil Mill every quarter. He also grew a variety of fruits in Ewongo, the dominant one being the Guava, due to his love of guava juice. He also reared cows ("Maturu" Cows), for which he won first prize in 1978 during that year's Animal Breeding Competition.
As a family man, he was well loved! He married the love of his life, Ursula Mather MBENE, a trained Midwife and Seamstress, and they were blessed with 5 children: Efosi Malafa Mokeba (RIP), Pwote, Ewoma, Limunga and Efange Malafa; 4 grand children: Nyoki, Amai Namondo and Bella Limunga Mokeba, and Veronica Manyaka Malafa; and a great grand son, Kenneth Ewoma Abangma. he also raised and mentored lots of other children, nieces, nephews, in-laws, children of family friends and practically anyone he could help.
He did have a sense of humor which sparked when in the company of cherished friends like Mr. NANA and most certainly late Chief IKOME whom he loved to tease - and be teased right back by!
He is still very much missed!
(**Submitted to SakerPride on behalf of his family by Ursula Enjema Mbene-Nollan)
LATE MR. C.B.B. VEGA
ACCOUNTANT - G.M. OF CAMEROON AIR TRANSPORT (CAT)
LATE MR. CONSTANTINUS BONIFACE BANYE VEGA
July 15th 1928- July 16th 1997
Mr. Vega was born in Bamenda, on July 15 1928. He attended St. Joseph's College Sasse and taught math there before he went to University of Ibadan for further studies. He later met Miss Angela Nasah, a Teachers Training College Soppo student. The two got married in Sasse in 1952, with Late Mr. Mondoa as the best man. Out of the union came the following children in chronological order:
Mrs. Maureen Nkwanyuo nee Vega
Mrs. Pamela Kanon nee Vega
Ms. Wendeline Ngong nee Vega
Mr. Nicky Vega (RIP - He passed away on Monday, December 9 2013)
Mrs. Harriette Kimbouri nee Vega
Mr. Kenneth Vega
While Mrs. Angela Vega went on to become the first Director of Social Services in SONARA Limbe from 1981 to 1991 when she retired, Mr. C.B.B. Vega went on to occupy a number of positions through out his career:
He first worked as an accountant with Cameroon Air Transport, (CAT) in 1963, rose to became its Assistant GM, and then was appointed General Manager in 1968 when the British General Manager, Captain Ford went back to England. CAT practically consisted of the BOTA AIR STRIP and its headquarters was located in the Middle Farms - Bota area. CAT was forced into liquidation in 1972 and merged with EAST CAMEROON AIRLINES which became CAMEROON AIRLINES. Mr. Vega, though instrumental in the birth of Cameroon Airlines, was not a part of the company when it actually came into existence. He joined POWERCAM, (later SONEL), in the mid 70's as an Administrative Officer, a position he held until his retirement in 1986.
He was also The Commissioner of The Boy Scout Movement in the South West Province in the mid 80's until his health took a turn for the worse in 1996. He passed away a day after his 69th birthday, on July 16 1997, in Limbe.
(**Information and Pictures submitted to SakerPride by his daughter, Mrs. Harriette Vega-Kimbouri)
MR. WILLIAM EBOBI MONANGAI
L to R: Mr. Jerry Burnley, ??, ??, Hon Lifio Carr in white "agbada", ??, Mr. W.N.Tayui, Dr. Barla, Mr.I. N Malafa, Sango Younge?, ??, ??, Mr. Effoe.
At Botanical Gardens with a group of Japanese Businessmen visiting Cameroon to share their expertise in the field of agriculture.
Mr. Oben, Mr.Itoe in black suit between the Japanese men, and Mr. I.N. Malafa on far right.
Mr. WILLIAM EBOBI MONANGAI
Born November 14 1932
Visionary. Entrepreneur. Husband. Father. Friend
Mr. Monangai, known to many as Papa Monangai or Mola Monangai and to all his children and close relatives simply as Alo, was born on November 14, 1932 in Bokwaongo Membea Buea subdivision Fako Division Southwest province, Republic of Cameroon. He was the elder of two children born to John Mokoma Monangai and Cecilia Lyengu Etonde Monangai Nee Efungani of Bova Village Buea.
Ebobi Monangai started his elementary education at the Basel Mission in Bokwaongo as the only government English primary school was too far for him to walk to. He stayed at Basel Mission till he was 10 and old enough to navigate the long distance to the Government Primary School in Buea Station alone. After completing standard six at Government Primary School in 1950, he then embarked on a journey to further his studies at St. Paul's Commercial College in Aba, Nigeria from 1951 to 1954, graduating with a stage II certificate with the Royal Society of arts of London. He had to curtail his studies due to ill health and returned to Cameroon in 1955. His first employment was as a clerk with Victoria Federated Council. He moved through the ranks into positions of higher responsibility then eventually held the position of Secretary Treasurer at the Victoria Council. The Victoria council then, was an amalgamation of the Buea, Victoria, Tiko and Muyuka Councils under the supervision of the Divisional Officer. In 1958, he got married to Catherine Namondo Maondo née Effange, on the Centennial celebration of Victoria. Together they have five children.
After four years working as a civil servant, he took a vacation during Christmas to visit his classmates in Aba, Nigeria. They all, without exception, had gone into business and were doing extremely well, living lifestyles that he had not even begun to dream of. This became his inspiration to leave the civil service and implement what he had learned in business school. Thus occurred the birth of the illustrious businessman we have all come to know and admire. In 1960, a year after his eye opening vacation to Nigeria, to the dismay of his friends, colleagues and family, he quit his job and went into business for himself. Real estate was his first foray into business. He started by building row houses which he rented to civil servants and Radio Buea employees. These became the foundation on which grew his real estate holdings, which eventually became known as Monangai Quarters in Likoko-Membea and Naanga-Membea. He then expanded his business into public transportation wherein he owned and operated a fleet of cars and vans (buses) and trucks, under the brand name “SIMPLICITY”. His transportation fleet was the mainstay for reliable transportation for college students going from Buea to Bamenda and Kumba to Muyuka not to mention, Tiko and Victoria [Limbe]. Because of his transportation businesses, Mr. Monangai joined SETRACAUCAM, the transportation union. This union oversees operations of the national motor-parks in the country. He soon got elected as branch president, then subsequently as provincial president and eventually as one of the national Vice Presidents in Yaounde. In this capacity, he was privileged to travel the entire country and made many lifelong friendships he cherishes to this day. In the height of his businesses, he employed upwards of 50 people at any given time on a full time basis and many more on a seasonal basis dictated by the projects he was working on. Many of them stayed with him for decades till retirement.
Mr. Monangai played football - the real football - aka soccer, for the benefit of the grand children in the diaspora. His love of the game led him to become a member of the Prisons Social Football Club wherein he was elected president for three consecutive years. From here he got elected the SW Province representative of the national central football committee, FECAFOOT, and subsequently VP of the organization in the SW Province.
From his station and abundant blessings, he made educating children and giving opportunities to others a lifelong mission. Besides affording his own children the chance at higher education, he educated all his sister's kids, his cousins and in-laws and many others who he was not personally related to. He has also been instrumental in granting financial documents and sponsorship to many to study abroad. He has funded and supported elementary education in many parts of the SW province. He is an avid reader and loves a good debate. He has never held any political office nor has he any political aspirations past or present, and has no party affiliation but has supported different candidates on their individual merits. Mr. Monangai became a baptized Christian in 1995 with the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon. As he would tell it, it's taken a big dose of God’s Grace, lots of luck, hard work, a spine of steel, and a willingness to take a chance, make some miscalculations along the way, and never giving up to be in the position he is today. The secret to his success was in wanting to be of service and to improve his community. He recognized what was a huge need and worked to provide the services to fulfill them.
We thank The Lord for his continued good health and sound mind.
(**Submitted to SakerPride by his daughter-in-law, Gwendolyn Etondi Ndive Monangai - November 2013)
3 generations of Monangai Men!
Mr. Monangai, grandson Kevin & son William (Willie)
Father & Son.
Sons: John, Emmanuel, William (Willie) & Martin Monangai
HONORABLE LUCAS MBO NDAMUKONG
July 22 1922 - September 24 1991
Honorable Lucas Mbo Ndamukong was born to Pa Tezoh Ndamukong and Ma Christina Enjei Ndamukong on July 22 1922. In 1930 he started his education at a vernacular school in Bome and moved, 2 years later to a missionary school in Besonabang, Mamfe. Later the same year, on the 10th of August 1932, to be precise, he moved to Bali, having gained entry into Infants 1. Because of his brilliant academic performance, he was promoted to Standard 1 in December. He then moved to the Basel Mission School in Mbengwi. In 1936, he wrote and passed the entrance exam into Standard 5, and in 1938, he completed and passed the Standard 6 Examination. In 1939, he was employed as a probationary teacher at the RCM School in Mankon.
When Mr. L.M. Ndamukong left the RCM School, he gained employment at the Basel Mission School, Bafut, where he taught as a part time teacher until 1942. In 1943, he decided to further his education and got admitted into the Teacher Training Center in Kumba.
Upon completing his training, he was posted to Njenka (Bali) where he would later serve as Headmaster until 1955 when he resigned and joined The Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC), becoming Headmaster of CDC School Tombel in 1956. In a bid to further his education and get a better grasp of the work at CDC, he enrolled in the Agriculture School in Bambui in 1957, after which he got hired as Headmaster at the CDC School in Ekona.
n 1961, Mr. L.M. Ndamukong ran for and won the Parliamentary Elections into the West Cameroon House of Assembly where he served with dignity and integrity, qualities which made him stand out, and which, coupled with his CDC experience, led Prime Minister John Ngu Foncha to appoint him as Secretary of State for Natural Resources in 1962.
Im 1963, there was a big push to improve literacy in West Cameroon and the social welfare of citizens was one of the government's top priorities and Honorable Ndamukong with his solid background in the field of education, got appointed to the post of Secretary of State for Education and Welfare.
In April of 1967, Prime Minister Augustine Ngom Jua appointed him Secretary of State for Local Government, a position which he held until the "silent coup" by the Ahidjo regime that ousted the elected government of Prime Minister A.N. Jua. Hon. L.M. Ndamukong declined a cabinet offer from New Prime Minister S.T. Muna, remaining an ordinary member of the House, returning to continue, on January 18 1968 as a Member of the Cameroon Legislature.
He would later return home to Batibo, where he continued to serve his community in many capacities, including:
- Municipal Administrator for the Batibo Rural Council
- Vice-President of the Cameroon Credit Union League
- Chairman of the Batibo Subdivision Rotary Association
- Chairman of the Batibo Sub divisional Health Committee
- Chairman of the Presbyterian High School (PHS) Batibo Parent Teachers Association (PTA)
- Chairman of the Batibo Cultural and Development Association.
Honorable L.M. Ndamukong passed away on September 24 1991, leaving behind 4 wives, many children and grandchildren, as well as a host of friends and other family members to mourn his demise.
LATE HONORABLE L.M. NDAMUKONG
SECRETARY OF STATE FOR NATURAL RESOURCES (1962)
SECRETARY OF STATE FOR EDUCATION AND SOCIAL WELFARE (1965)
**Culled from his December 28 2013 Memorial Celebration Program, which was submitted to SakerPride by his daughter, Mrs. Comfort Ndamukong Ndingwan.
LATE MR. PAUL SINJU
(aka PAUL BAMILEKE)
BUSINESS TYCOON - MAYOR OF TIKO
Mr. Paul Sinju, (far left), with his Tiko "buddies"
Mr. Henry Motutu, Mr. P. M. Elad, Mr. Gabriel Simo, & Mr. Arrey - 5th, 6th & 8th from left respectively.
LATE Mr. PAUL SINJU HANKOU, aka PAUL BAMILEKE
BUSINESS TYCOON – MAYOR OF TIKO
1929 - February 12 2007
Paul Sinju Hankou was born 4th of 11 children in Balengou, Western Province.
The story of how he wound up in Tiko is quite an interesting one: His aunt, Wanji Susannah, got married to a certain Antoine Kawa, a businessman who had ventured out into the South West Province. The latter decided to take 10 year old Paul with him so he could help his wife (young Paul’s aunt) run errands and babysit.
Life was certainly far from easy as he had very little means, compounded by the fact that his aunt and her husband did not send him to school. His yearning for education however spurred him to “attend school” by peeking through classroom windows to “eavesdrop” on the lessons the teachers were dispensing to their “legit” students.
Against all odds, the astute Businessman started his business when he was just 12 years old in retail, selling clothing, and by the time he was 22 years old, spurred on and encouraged by British-born businessman Mr. John Holt, he moved into the wholesale business, and became a millionaire.
Paul Bamileke was no ordinary man. He made his money through hard work and his journey took him all the way up from his humble beginnings, to the office of Mayor making him a household name not just in Tiko but throughout the Southwest Province and well beyond.
He was a mayor in Tiko for 10 years: from 1985 to 1995 and was known to use his own money to pay Tiko Council Workers. He was also well known for his keen sense of humor, his abhorrence of laziness and his fervent dislike of discrimination and any form of tribalism. His home was open to anyone that needed help, and he is known to have provided bank statements for practically any Tiko child that wanted to study abroad. Mr. Paul Sinju, arguably the richest man in the locality and well beyond, owned a chain of businesses in and out of Tiko. He was also President of CPDM Tiko Subsection.
He brought electricity to his village of origin, Balengou, and helped build schools there.
He built the infamous Airport Hotel to commemorate the Reunification of Cameroon and it is to it that President Ahidjo retired, after his Mungo Bridge speech, for a lavish reception. Both President Ahidjo and Mr. John Ngu Foncha had a great rapport with him, and Foncha would often visit him in Tiko.
When news filtered out, on Monday, February 12 2007, that the philanthropist had breathed his last at the Regina Pacis Hospital in Mutengene at age 78, reportedly from heart failure, the consternation was widespread, as people gathered in clusters to remember the Man whose name had become synonymous with TIKO, for his joviality, affability, generosity, just plain large heart and avant garde Business Acumen.
The consistently 10% tithing Roman Catholic Paul Sinju, left behind five wives, 26 children, 28 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.
(**Written by SakerPride with information from his children Gabriel, George & Elizabeth SINJU)
Left: About to perform the Kick Off at a Soccer Game.
Center: Receiving President Paul Biya on a visit to the South-West Province
- LATE BARRISTER ANDY TAKO EDJUA (1935 - 2013)
- LATE Mr. BENEDICT MPA TARH (1935 - 2013)
- LATE Mr. AUSTIN O. BISONG (???? - 2003)
BARRISTER ANDREW TAKO EDJUA
February 21, 1935 - March 23, 2013
PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO READ HIS LIFE STORY:
Once upon a time, there lived a TRIO in Mamfe – Austin O. BISONG of Eyanchang, Benedict M. TARH of Kendem and Andy T. EDJUA of Bache. They all trained as teachers at St. Peter’s Bambui and G.T.T.C Kumba. Through private (home) tuition, except for Austin who attended CCAST Kumba (now Bambili), they obtained the G.C.E Advanced Level of London. However, they branched to different callings as a result of the necessities that availed themselves.
Austin read Education in Ghana and continued as a teacher; Ben, after serving as Private Secretary to Hon. E.T. Egbe studied in France and Reading (England) and retired as Provincial Delegate of Community Development. Andy read Law in Lagos and became a private practitioner.
Being advocates of exogamous marriage, and having a strong belief in cross-pollination, the TRIO took their wives from different places. Austin from Eyanchang in Mamfe Central Sub-Division took Margaret Ogabi from Kajifu-Akwaya Sub-Division, Ben from Kendem; Upper Banyang Sub-Division took Monica Enow from Kembong in Eyumojock Sub-Division while Andy from Bache in Akwaya took Mary Forbin from Fontem Sub-Division (now Lebialem Division). Their wives were also teachers (Monica opened and headed the first English Primary School in Yaounde which was affiliated to Government School Victoria for administrative purposes), but branched to different callings. Being of Catholic backgrounds their marriages were solemnized in Church and they lived happy, successful and prosperous marriage lives.
Austin and Andy were of township background. Whenever the TRIO went to Kendem, Ben brought tradition close. As food was being prepared, he could rush to the nearby stream with a cast-net and return immediately with fish to supplement the meal. He was an agile dancer and a good conductor of the popular dance BELLE SUMBU.
While Austin and Andy specialized in football and athletics, Ben was very good at in-door games and fishing.
My last encounter with Ben was on 15th December, 2012 at the residence of his in-law, Professor Julius Oben in Yaoundé. Ben had been sick for long.
Austin died some years ago and was followed by the wife.
Ben’s wife also died many years ago and now Ben has followed.
With their departure, I am the only one of the TRIO left. Like the lame child of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, now that I am lame, what story will I tell the younger generation?
Ben, you have played your part. Adieu, till we meet to part no more.
Andy T. Edjua The only survivor of the TRIO
Mr. BENEDICT MPA TARH
April 3, 1935 - Jan 15, 2013
PLEASE CLICK ON LINK BELOW TO READ HIS LIFE STORY:
This "THREE-IN-ONE" Entry is certainly UNIQUE, in the sense that it is the only one of its kind on both ALMANAC Pages of this website, and I believe I ought to take the time to explain how it came into being.
A couple of weeks ago, I posted the picture below on the YESTERYEARS page, along with this caption that was sent along with it:
"OCTOBER 1970 - LAGOS, NIGERIA Picture shows Veteran Journalists BOB FORBIN seated far right in the dark glasses, and HENRY FONYE seated far left, (with kontri cap). The others in the picture are Ms Becky Onana ; behind her, the late Dr. Pius Ngassa, Dr. Atanga Onana, and Lawyer Edjua (in lawyer's robe and wig)"
Well, realizing that chances were very high that this "Lawyer Edjua" was likely to be the recently deceased father of a friend of mine, London-based Lawyer TITUS EDJUA, I contacted him and had him take a look at the picture. He not only confirmed my "hunch", but went on to "reveal" a fact I suspect even the sender of the picture wasn't aware of, which is that, he was related not just to "the man in the lawyer's robe and wig", but also to "the man seated on the far right in the dark glasses" (Mr. Bob Forbin), who is, as it turns out, is his Mother's younger Brother! (Which makes the 2 men sitting next to each other in the picture, brothers-in-law!)
Much as I found this "tidbit" interesting, it is the really WORN picture above, (center), which he sent along with his response, that caught my attention. In that response, he explained that the picture featured his dad and two of his dad's closest friends, Mr. BISONG and Mr. Tarh, and then went to the add the following, which I found even more intriguing:
"Attached is a piece my Dad wrote for late Pa Tarh, one of his closest friends. I am told by all who attended Pa Tarh's burial that he spoke like a man who was also saying his own farewell. He asked and even invited the mourners to his own burial which he said was to follow soon. He returned home and his back pain got worse; He ended up in hospital and died – about a month after Pa Tarh's burial. The third of the trio is Pa Bisong – our Discipline Master in CCAST Bambili."
The first sentence of the EULOGY was enough to make me conclude that it deserved to be shared, given the fact that it is, in fact, the Combined - and intertwined LIFE STORY, in a nutshell of 3 individuals who made their mark in their respective fields and communities. A little rummaging around on the internet gave a little bit more information with regard to the dates and links I have posted above, and the only regret I have is that I wasn't able to find any additional information for the 3rd member of the "pack", the Late Mr. Bisong. In any case, here is the EULOGY, "dans son intégralité". May all 3 Souls Rest In Peace!
LATE Mr. ALEXANDER NGOMBA MOTANGA
Late Mr. ALEXANDER NGOMBA MOTANGA
GOVERNOR - DIRECTOR
21st March 1942 - 14th January 2012
Alexander Ngomba Motanga was born on the 21st of March 1942 in Boana (Buea) to Moses Meombo Motanga and Pauline Eposi Lifaka. In 1948, he was admitted into the vernacular section of the Basel Mission Boys School, Victoria, and started his Primary Education 2 years later.
In 1957, he gained admission into the prestigious Cameroon Protestant College (CPC) Bali, known then as Basel Mission College (BMC), as a beneficiary of the Nigerian Federal Government Scholarship of 40 Pounds a year. After obtaining the West African School Certificate (WASC) in 1961, he worked with the Standard Bank of West Africa in Victoria, and thereafter as an Accounts Clerk in the CDC Engineering Accounts Department, Middle Farms.
In 1964, he moved to POWERCAM, the West Cameroon Electricity Corporation, where he worked, first as an Accounts Clerk, then as the Personal Assistant to the General Manager.
In 1968, he was admitted into the National School of Administration and Magistracy (ENAM) from where he graduated, 5 years later, as a Civil Administrator. This was the dawn of a long and full career that spanned 10 years, from 1974 to 1984. During this period, he served as SENIOR DIVISIONAL OFFICER for the MEZAM, NDE, MENOUA and BAMBOUTOS Divisions.
On the 3rd of February 1984, he was appointed Governor of the North-West Province, and during his tenure, he had the privilege of organizing the BAMENDA AGRO-PASTORAL SHOW in December of that same year and hosting theLAST CNU (Cameroon National Union) Congress, which also turned out to be the very first CPDM (Cameroon People's Democratic Movement) Congress a year later, in March of 1985. Just 5 months later, in August 1985, he received the Late POPE JOHN PAUL II.
In 1987 he started what would be a 12 year long stay in the NATIONAL OIL REFINERY (SONARA), serving first as Director attached to the General Manager's Office, then as Director in Charge of Public Relations and Social Affairs, and finally, as Director of Administration and Human Resources.
In the field of politics, he was a militant of the CPDM Party and served as the Mokundange Sub-Section President in 1996, a post to which he was re-elected in 2002.
He was also an Author with 3 books to his credit: "A PRECIS OF MEMOIRS" - a collection of both positive and negative events that impacted his life, and "GOD'S COMMANDMENTS VERSUS MAN'S FREEDOM" & "FEED YOUR SPIRIT AND BODY", which were his reflections on religious matters.
Pa Ngomba Motanga enjoyed a robust life until the mid-'80s when he suddenly noticed, during a tennis match, that his vision was momentarily impaired. Thorough check ups yielded no conclusive diagnoses, yet his sight gradually and steadily deteriorated. In 1999, he lost his sight completely, which put an abrupt end to his career at SONARA, just 3 years shy of his scheduled retirement.
In his latter days, he got more committed to his Christian Faith, taking on lay preaching, mainly in the Batoke and New Town Presbyterian Congregations.
When he passed on in January of 2012, he left behind a wife (Mrs. Angele Motanga), his only surviving sibling, (Mayor Andrew Motanga), 12 children, (one of whom currently occupies the position of Director at SONARA and FOUR of whom are SAKERETTES: Edith Motanga Nana, Ella Motanga Pacheco, Alice Motanga Cheambe and Germaine Motanga-Nelson), as well as a host of grandchildren, relatives and friends to mourn him.
(*** Culled from his Funeral/Memorial Booklet which was submitted to SakerPride by his daughter-in-law, Mrs. Marja Etchi Motanga)
AS GOVERNOR ...
LATE HON. HENRY NAMATA ELANGWE
PHARMACIST - GOVERNMENT MINISTER - CHIEF
HRH CHIEF HENRY NAMATA ELANGWE (RIP)
28 NOVEMBER 1932 - 5 MARCH 2014
Born on November 28th 1932 to Pa Isaac Motuba and Iya Lydia Irue in the tiny but significant village of Kake, (the birthplace of teacher-training education in Cameroon), the young Namata Elangwe had the fire of ambition burning in his veins and it led him to great career heights and achievements. His humble parents could never have envisioned the trail he would blaze!
He attended the Government Practicing School, Kake and Government Primary School,Kumba from 1939-1946. Proceeding further afield to St. Joseph’s College, Sasse in 1947, he graduated in 1951. He then took on post-secondary training at the CDC Main Dispensary in Likomba, Tiko, before leaving for the Yaba School of Pharmacy, in Lagos, Nigeria in 1952. He graduated with a Degree in Pharmacy in 1955. He got married to Martha Abu Ndi and had seven children. He subsequently had three more children.
Starting off his spectacular career, he hung his “Golden Fleece” on the walls of the Pharmacy of the CDC Hospital, Ekona, as pioneer pharmacist. He worked to establish this vital hospital section before leaving to establish his own practice and opening the PREMIER Pharmacy in Kumba, the first privately owned pharmacy in the then West Cameroon.
While in private practice, he launched into active politics and was appointed Secretary of State for Finance and Deputy Prime Minister in the West Cameroon Government; a position he held up until the formation of the United Republic of Cameroon in 1972. The same year, the people of Kake 1 Bongwana, saw the potential for greatness now evident, and crowned him their Chief and the Paramount Chief of Bakundu, with the title Tatah Okiah wa Bakundu.
He served in the Political Bureau of the CNU from 1969 to 1980.
When the government of the second Republic was formed in 1972, he was appointed as the first Minister of the newly-created Ministry of Mines and Energy. Thus he was instrumental in the birthing and establishment of Cameroon’s oil production. He served as Liaison between Yaounde, Cape Limbo and CDC for the acquisition of land for the proposed National Refinery. Under his direction, SONARA Board was constituted and housed in the Limbe Chamber of Commerce in 1974. On November 20th 1977, the Kole Marine Well released the first flow of Cameroon’s “Black Gold!” Four days later, SONARA was in full operation and in February 1978, President Ahmadou Ahidjo inaugurated Cameroon’s premier refinery in Cape Limbo. Tatah Okiah thus became known as the “Father of the Petroleum Industry in Cameroon!”
He is credited, during his tenure of office with the establishment of several Socio-economic projects including SONEL, the SONG LOULOU and LAGDO Dams, the Urban and Rural Electrification and the National Water Company. His signature is also on the project that produced the first ever Geological Map of Cameroon. He also served on the Cameroon/Nigeria Land and Maritime Boundary Commissions during the presidencies of Generals Yakubu Gowon and Olusegun Obasanjo.
He led the delegation to the Bamenda Conference in 1985, when the CPDM was formed.
On March 20th 2004 he was appointed Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC) Board Chairman, a position he occupied until his death on March 5th 2014.
During his illustrious career, Tatah Okiah was highly decorated with State and traditional honors. He was Knight of the Order of Valor, Knight Commander of the Order of Valor and in 2012, Grand Officer of the National Order of Valor.
His Royal Highness Nga Bifon II conferred the title of “SHU FAI KUSA,” on him in the presence of Nso notables like Drs. Fonlon, Lantum, Omar Sendze and Paul Shadzeka.
He was beloved “Daddy” or “Tatah” to his children, and widely reputed to have a razor sharp brain in which he seemed to house an encyclopedia of Cameroon’s historical and cultural data. A conversation with Tatah was always an illuminating experience. He dropped “rare pearls” as he went along and if one listened attentively while spoke, one would leave with the satisfaction of having been on a successful Treasure Hunt.
To his Clansmen, he was OKIAH (The Untouchable), the one they all turned to for advice and help.
To his local community, he was “Chief” a royal Sounding Board.
MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE!
His Children: Mrs. Eva Burnley, Mr. Mosima Elangwe, Mrs. Malingo Okie, Dr. Jeff Elangwe, Ms Moiti Elangwe, Mrs. Jemea Likambi, & Ms Bie Elangwe.
With his wife, Late Mrs. Martha Ndi Elangwe,who transitioned on December 11 2013, barely 3 months before his passing.
Mr. & Mrs. Elangwe with the first 5 of their 7 Children: Mosima, Eva, Jemea, Bie and Jeff.
(***Submitted to SAKERPRIDE by his daughter, Mrs. Eva Choka Elangwe Burnley.)