Saker Baptist College and its alumnae are well known for very many things but THE MUSIC is, UNDENIABLY what the institution and her graduates are BEST known for! Immerse yourself into "THE STORY OF HOW THE MUSIC BEGAN", and also treat your ears to a sampling of the music that the Ladies have produced over the years!!
I am not too sure how many people readily recognized the distinguished gentleman in the picture above. I am sure his face would be familiar, even if his name may not ring a bell. Why? Because he is the one who played the part of ROLLYFORBES, the high-spirited and lively "PA", (senior citizen), who often acted as the voice of reason on the renowned TV Series, AMEN,alongside the feisty DEACON FRYE, (played by SHERMAN HEMSLEY ), his gullible and naive daughter THELMA FRYE, (played by ANNA MARIA HAWSFORD ), who was head over heels in love with THE REVEREND REUBEN GREGORY, (played by CLIFTON DAVIS).
CAST OF "AMEN"
By now, you must be asking yourself the question: "WHAT, IN HEAVEN'S NAME, DOES ALL THIS HAVE TO DO WITH SAKER BAPTIST COLLEGE?"
Well, I'm glad you asked, because you are about to find out that, it is thanks to MAESTRO JESTER HAIRSTON, the Guillard-Trained Music Virtuoso for whom acting was only a "side kick", that Cameroonians as a whole, and all generations of Saker Girls, in particular, have known, sung and performed songs like:
- AMEN (See The Baby/Lying In A Manger/On Christmas Morning),
ALL OF THEM, songs which he either WROTE, COMPOSED, or ARRANGED HIMSELF!
If you read his biography, it would tell you that one of the things he did throughout his career was TRAVEL THE WORLD, (going even as far as Communist China), either with choral groups that he had assembled, or working with "local" groups that he would assemble "sur place" - on the spot. Well, guess what? He made one such trip to BUEA - CAMEROON, in 1965, and THANK GOD that Dear MA MUSOKO took her oldest daughter with her to watch the ELECTRIFYING PERFORMANCES! The Class of 1967 Damsel wasted no time in mastering the different parts of the songs, and then she brought them back with her to S.B.C., where she diligently taught them to "the girls", along with, We'll Soon Be Done WithTroubles And Trials, ( http://youtu.be/Iz16OxO4pVg ), whose tune and lyrics she learned off a vinyl record her mother had bought on a trip to the U.S. (By the way, the portrait picture above of Dr. Jester HAIRSTON is part of her Grand Father - PA LYONGA's personal photo collection, NOT just some picture I pulled off the internet!)
All of us, Saker Girls, have sung these songs during Evening Devotions, on Tour/Convention Buses, in Concerts, and even in our Showers, but "many are we that knew not from whence" the melodies came!! Well, that is not the case anymore!
Unfortunately, I do not have any footage of the BUEA performances, but a search of YOUTUBE produced quite a few edifying clips of Dr. HAIRSTON's (very engaging, SPIRITED, and interactive) teaching & performing Musical Sessions around the world. (How more skilled, meticulous, rigorous, and PASSIONATE can anyone be about teaching songs eh?!) I believe that the two I have embedded and posted below would give us all an idea of what transpired almost half a century ago now, in "GBEA" (Buea)! May His Soul Rest In Peace!
("Penned" by Egbe Mbiwan Monjimbo, incorporating information "garnered and gleaned" from
the Ultra Self-Effacing Ms Janet Mboti Ngongi, Class of '67)
Music retrieved and converted into MP3 format from this Audio Cassette which was recorded in the 70s, and sent to me in June of 2012 by Miss Berneice Westerman, First Principal of Saker Baptist College!
Ba Ma Na Bibel
Blessed Jesus Hold My Hand
Di Ma Dangwa Yerusalem
Hallelujah For The Cross
Ich Hoffe Darauf
Mary's Boy Child
O Master Let Me Walk With Thee
Sunset Is Coming
Be Ye Te Kwere Ki
Climbin' Up The Mountain Children
Grand Old Highway
He Died For Me (I Saw One Hanging On A Tree)
Lur Ngo Hah Fani Weh
Mashi Si Yeni
Sango Po Na Nyango Po
Wir Amba Nchoba
Lord, Listen To Your Children Praying
He Is Calling My Name
Old Time Religion
I Go To The Rock
He Looked Beyond My Faults
The World Didn't Give It To Me
Rejoice In The Lord
Yeah Lord I Sing
Helen Njinimbam Gwanfogbe, Helen Atia, Prisca Shu, Helen Mokom, Blanche Anyangwe Achu, Christina Shodunke Esape, Hannah Elame, Mercy Batuo Mbu, Comfort Ngomanji
À SUIVRE … TO BE CONTINUED …
ALL 15 SONGS FROM
THE CAMEROON CHORISTERS'
MUSIC ALBUM ARE AVAILABLE FOR YOUR LISTENING PLEASURE ON THE "CAM SINGERS" PAGE OF THIS WEBSITE, ALONG WITH THE ARTICLE THAT TELLS THEIR REMARKABLE STORY!
- SE BWAM YENO
- YA BE PETE PENYA
- SHOW A LITTLE BIT OF LOVE & KINDNESS
- I AM NOT SKILLED TO UNDERSTAND ...
ENJOY CLASS OF 1984's
ANITA BALINGA ETTA's
"CHRISTMAS IN YAOUNDE"
PLEASE CLICK ON PLAY BUTTON TO LISTEN TO THE TUNE FROM WHICH THE SAKER ANTHEM WAS ADAPTED.