By Ngwani John Nganyu
|RIP Lord Mayor|
Kort Mangoh Jones Tanko was born in Mbot village by humble parents who lived in the traditional sedentary society characterized by hand to mouth agriculture. He attended primary and secondary education at Mbot, Mbipgo, Binka and Joseph Merrick Baptist College-JMBC Ndu to acquire the required certifications that facilitated his desire for further education (FSLC and GCE “O” Levels).
The desire and love he developed for the teaching profession, made him to discover that the way forward to fulfill that dream to register in a teacher training college. Kort Mangoh Jones registered at Baptist Teacher Training College Soppo-Buea where he enrolled for the Grade II Certificate and hence continued with the Grade I. Kort Mangoh graduated with credits in most of the subjects. These certificates enabled him to teach in the primary segment of the education system. Kort Mangoh Jones started his teaching career as a Baptist Mission teacher at Mbipgo village but was forcefully absorbed into the Cameroon public service where he continued on his own to study for his Advanced Level papers. I can remember him travelling from Sabongari to Taku on foot to meet me copy some advanced level notes on various subjects. He continued in his endeavour and finally acquired prerequisite papers for further and higher education.
As we grow up in the village, we had high aspirations for further prolonged arguments and debate on various issues. Our lifestyle was characterized by prolonged arguments and debates on various topics. As head teacher of Government School Ntumbaw, he created 9 community schools that were attached to the main school at Ntumbaw where he later became a Supervising Head Teacher. As a primary school teacher, Kort Mangoh’s teaching abilities and the love for the profession earned him two distinct titles. He was honoured with the title of “Ta Nformi Mbo-nti” by seven fons of the Mbo-nti area in Ndu Sub Division when Government decided to take over the seven community schools he created and was Supervising head teacher. When he was teaching at GS Tabenken, he produced a record time result that pushed the Fon of Tabenken to honour him with the title of “Ta Nformi Nwah” meaning Ta Nformi Education.
Despite his prestigious position, Nfor Ngala Nfor and I while pursuing post graduate programmes in Education at the Ahmadou Bello University Zaria in Nigeria, persuaded and encouraged him to enroll for a University Programme in Nigeria.
He left the position of Head Teacher and went to the University of Ilorin in Nigeria where on graduation he obtained with Honors a Bachelors degree in History (BA Hons. History). While carrying out his research on the history of Wimbum people and questioning brilliantly the sub chief of Tamba-Taku, Fai Ndichijap and suing his knowledge of historiography to acquire the relevant facts about the Wimbum people, the Sub Chief wondered aloud whether Kort Mangoh was not an ancestral spirit sent by the gods of the land to get information from him. At the time Kort Mangoh was carrying that research, Fai Ndichijap was the oldest and living information bank in Mbum land. From the research, Kort Mangoh emerged as the most authentic author of Wimbum history. In short he was the live encyclopedia on Wimbum history.
Kort Mangoh’s life as a politician was as controversial as the controversies that surrounded the formation of the Social Democratic Front-SDF party on May 26, 1990. As a social and political scientist, he emerged from the classroom as well as from being a GCE Examiner on World Affairs to be a visionary leader of the Mbum people, a dream of his aspirations and expectations. As the mayor of Nkambe, his contributions are immense. He lived and died as a strong advocate of decentralization and democracy.
When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)