By FC Ndi
North West is Bamenda, it has been said and proven. Whether from Boyo, Mezam, Menchum, Donga Mantung, Bui, Ngoketunjia or Momo Division, we are all known as the Bamenda people. Bamenda is a place where “heroes come to die” says Wamey Julius. Bamenda like America is a place where every minute of the day gives birth to a hero of character and conscience.
From the dawn of time, the Bamenda man has always distinguished his/herself as the pictogram of hard work, vigor and willpower. This strong spirited and collective commitment of the Bamenda man has over the years tolled to have what they have often been seen to be and tagged by others. In other words, the Bamenda man lives the life of a Spartan soldier who would prefer to die than to surrender. A type of life that can only be compared to toad in a heating tube that keep adapting to the changing temperature until it finally gives off the ghost.
However, some people have often impolitely taken the humble nature and this strong spirited willpower of the “Bamenda man” for granted and with negativism. “Je ne suis pas ton Bamenda” and or “come no go” have often being the reward from some people who out of ignorance, and more often than not think being humble like a Bamenda man is a misdemeanor. This is rather unfortunate given that this nation owes a debt of appreciation to the Bamenda man not only for being hard working, but more importantly for the collective commitment and enormous contribution in nation building. Come to think of Nanga, Bernard Folon, Yang Philemon, Ni John Fru Ndi and million other Bamenda men of character and conscience, there is nothing than to be proud to be a Bamenda man.
Being forward looking and receptive to change has landed the Bamenda man in a position of power and to have an unquestioned advantage over others.( Quelle dites les Bamenda?). This is how the Bamenda man has been able to grasp the most essential in perspective with both hands to serve as a measuring rot for this nation. Unlike others, the Bamenda man would burn the midnight candle to obtain the desire results, yet kept the traditional values intact in today’s world of globalization. Although others had historical and geographical head over them, they over came their handicap with a lot of determination and dynamism.
For decades, Bamenda has had the good fortune to have produced individuals who on account of their peculiar gifts of values have contributed to the advancement of this country.
Ah! Bamenda! Home of Albert Mukong, John Ngu Foncha, Jua, ST Muna, Bernard Folon, Ndeh Ntumazah, Prof Anomah Ngu, Nanga, just to name the few. In February 1983, President Paul Biya declared Bamenda as his second home. This is not a joking matter given that Paul Biya, John Fru Ndi, Francis Nkwain, SN Tamfu, JT Kangkolo, ST Muna, Foncha, Jua, Achidi Achu, Awudu Mbaya, JK Ntoi, Fuh Calistus Gentry, etc make up the Bamenda man. Oh my Bamenda, the second home of President Paul Biya.
The Bamenda man, in spite the influence of the American and European cultures, is still culturally sensitive. The respect of tradition is front-and-center as he goes about his daily life. Traditional dances such as Njuh, Njang, Nchibi, Mbanlom, amongst others easily identifies the Bamenda man. The dressing patterns are an asset and it flows right down to the traditional design of palaces including antiquities and other art works. The Afo A Kom for example has made the Bamenda man to stand out of the madding crowd cultures with its legendary history and triumphant return. Apart from their cultural significance, the Bamenda man attaches a lot of importance to the traditional setups especially the palaces which are of natural and international historic importance.
The Bali Nyonga and
partly constructed by the Germans paint the picture of the colonial era. That
alone shows the importance of the Bamenda man and his attachment to the
cultural values. Some of these palaces
today have gained international recognition. The Mankon palace Bafut Palaces Royal Museum
and the as well as other
privately owned museums such as the International meseum and liberary of Akum,
the Presbyterian Handicraft in Bali Nyonga and the Mus’ Arts gallery in Kumbo indicate
clearly dynamics of the Bamenda man in sculpture and other works of arts. The
Bamenda man produces, collects and commercializes works of arts ranging from
products of clay, wood, fibres, brass and stones. Bafut Palace Royal
In a nutshell, the Bamenda man possesses some supporting attractions that are ideal for nature based, nature oriented and cultural heritage tourism.
Bamenda still remains a focal point of what takes place in the country politically. What, however, defines a Bamenda man, at least within the present political environment, would be that both the ruling party (CPDM) and the main opposition party (SDF) were created in Bamenda. Bamenda is the heart of politics in Cameroon; it is its people, the Bamenda that people that have made Bamenda the city of versions.
Birth Land of Noble
“Bamenda, the place where heroes go to die.” That is how Julius Wamey, the famous CRTV anchor, in an article titled in the same words, described the headquarters of the Northwest Region some years back. Francis Wache in one of his articles titled: NW Region: The Caesarean Womb Of CMR’s Democracy wrote that “the name ‘Bamenda’, has, over the years, come to represent the whole Region. With a hint of pride in their voices, natives of the Region, living ‘abroad’, would say they are from ‘Bamenda’ when, in reality, they are referring to Din, Akweto, Essimbi…‘Bamenda’, has, therefore, become generic- a reference to the whole Region”.
This is not a joking matter given that Paul Biya, John Fru Ndi, Francis Nkwain, SN Tamfu, JT Kangkolo, ST Muna, Foncha, Augustine Jua, Achidi Achu, Fonka Shang, Albert Mukong, Christian Tumi, Fonlon, the Ngangas, etc are the picturesque of the Bamenda man. Heroes, as observed by Julius Wamey are many.
In the field of enterprise, the Bamenda man was able to grasp the most essential in perspective by investing into education. The Bamenda man’s ingenuity has transformed the city of Bamenda into a citadel of education.
When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)