Saturday, January 25, 2014

At Twin Celebration: HRH Fon Fuekemshi II of Baba I Applauded

By Fai Cassian Ndi
HRH Fuekemshi II of Baba I
Enthroned 25 years ago, HRH Fon Fuekemshi of Baba I (custodian of the tradition of the Papiakum people in Ngoketunjia Division) has been applauded for transforming his fondom into a citadel of tradition in the North West Region of Cameroon. Those who travelled to the Baba I palace on January 18 to witness the groundbreaking twin celebrations in commemoration of the passing onto eternity of HRH Fueshianghia III and join in the celebration of the Silver Jubilee of HRH Fuekemshi II went back home with the conclusion that the culture of the Papiakum people (Baba I) is one of the richest in the region. The cultural aspect of the twin event was colourful and full of fanfare. Masquerades display, singing and dancing as well as gun-firing were top on the activities of the day. Baba I was like a beehive with the massive turnout. Sons and daughters of the village were there to be part of the cultural fiesta. A moment which to many would remain in the annals of the Papiakum people.
 The first observation anyone who attended had in mind was that while some fons have transformed themselves into royal beggars, Fon Fuekemshi II of Baba I on the contrary has transformed himself into a workaholic fon. The second positive note is that HRH Fuekemshi II has distinguished self as an indefatigable development luminary in all spheres. He should have defied that old established notion that the fon only sits and receives and to go to work. The people of Baba I are lucky, a stranger who was visiting for the first time murmured open seeing the palace plaza.  Within 25 years of the reign of HRH Fuekemshi, the village has registered a lot of development projects. In the domain of education, the village has move from 3 primary schools 21 schools. Thanks to the lobbying skills of the fon Baba I which had only 1 secondary school now has 7 secondary schools and in the domain of religion Muslims and Christians have been taught to co-exist without problems reasons why the village also witnessed a geometric jump from 10 congregations to 19. On improving access to water, there are 6 water schemes in the village whereas 25 years ago, Baba I had none. Baba I palace is second to none in the region given that he has transformed the antiquated building into a modern architecture without destroying its value. The twin celebration was also a learning trip to the numerous traditional rulers who travelled to Baba I. It was a pragmatic demonstration that the 21st century traditional ruler is that one who works for his people and not vice-versa.
Fon Fuekemshi with visiting fons
It was the Senior Divisional Officer-SDO for Ngoketunjia, Kuella Valerie Norbert who described HRH Fon Fuemeshi as a brilliant leader, promoter of culture and tradition and a developer. The SDO for Ngoketunjia also praised the fon of Baba I for instilling peace in his fondom. To Kuella Valerie, other fons of Ngoketunjia need to come closer to the Baba I fon to learn his ways and manners in order to change lives in their various villages. He concluded by prescribing that the people of Papiakum should continue to serve as model examples to the entire Ngoketunjia.
On his part the President General of the Babi I Development and Cultural Association-BADECA said 25 years have gone since the passing away to eternity of HRH Fon Fueshianghia III. To this he added that the twin celebration is to pay homage to the departed lion as well as salute the innovative 21st century achiever, HRH Fuekemshi II. He said Fueshianghia III during his reign placed the people of Papiakum(Baba I) into an order of peace and hard work where they continue to excel under their present ruler. BADECA President General Nganjo Mama also applauded the 25 years of reign of HRH Fuekemshi II, thus describing him as the lion of Baba I, the developer and peace promoter. He said within 25 years, HRH Fuekemshi has reconciled the people of Papiakum among themselves. He expressed gratitude to the fon for his maturity in enabling a fair terrain for all political parties and ensuring that politics is practiced with fairness and not brutality. Papiakum sons and daughters he applauded have registered a spectacular leap-forward in politics, government cycles, civil society, judiciary, media and private sector etc.
Message of Thanks from HRH Fuekemshi II
Moh Sylvester in a typical traditional outfit as member of kwifon
Taking to the rostrum, the fon of Baba I expressed gratitude to the over 5000 man-crowd for the massive turnout. “We are here because 25 years ago, my father, Fueshianghia III travelled to the other world. His footprints are quite memorable and that is why this village enjoys total calm and progress. I am happy that you have joined me to honor him”. He also used the opportunity to express gratitude to the people of Papiakum, elite both at home and the Diasporas as well as BADECA executive for their contribution towards the development of the village. He highly praised the administration of Ngoketunjia for being kind. HRH Fuekemshi catapulted President Paul Biya whom he described as an advocate of peace and sustainable development.
Speaking to journalists at the end of the ceremony, HRH Fuekemshi said that the priority for his village is education and that he would spare no effort to eradicate illiteracy from his village. “It is easier to communicate with an educated population” he emphasized. Harping on why he is the custodian of the culture and tradition of the Papiakum people, he reiterated that “with no culture, we are no people” and that it is the identity of the people.

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