Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé)

24 August 2010

Cameroon: Bafaws Showcase Their Culture

It was during a grand cultural festival organized in Yaounde last Saturday.

The Bafaws from the national and international spheres converged on Yaounde, August 20-21st, to display their rich culture. The event, massively attended, was their grand cultural festival. It was a time of stock taking, with much from the Bafaws on the spotlight. Exhibitions on some prominent Bafaws were on the limelight. Visitors were also thrilled to typical Bafaw tradition through sketches, displays of some classical Bafaw dishes. Also notable during the event was the display of traditional, modern and theatrical pieces by the famous dramatist, Victor Elame Musinga of the Musinga Drama Group International. It was veritable display of the microcosm of what Cameroon has in terms of culture.

Speaking at the grand cultural evening, the Coordinator of the Organising Committee, Mrs Lydia Efimba, said the cultural jamboree, dubbed "The Bafaw in National Unity and Development", was to celebrate the Bafaw culture and also reassert their commitment to national unity and integration. "This commitment started decades ago when many Cameroonians and foreigners fleeing from areas of conflict, crossed hostile zones to find haven in Bafaw land. They found a peaceful people that not only welcomed 'strangers' but also encouraged them to settle down with their families and prosper. This gesture of friendliness and good neighbourliness has contributed in no small way in ensuring peace in our country", she said.

Minister Ama Tutu Muna of Culture hailed the Bafaws for their rich cultural heritage and their move in fostering national peace. She said culture is one's identity that needs not only to be promoted, but also to be preserved.

Nfon Victor Eseminsongo Muteke, Paramount Chief of the Bafaws, representing the ten chiefs of the tribe was treated to a wonderful display of the Njoma dance, reserved for chiefs. He couldn't hide his happiness by joining the dance group, an act that is rare in the Bafaw land.

It is worthy to note that the Mbum m'Bafaw cultural festival has always held in the various ten villages that make up the Bafaw clan. It was the first time the jamboree went national. According to the organisers, this move was to revive their culture and draw people to subsequent editions of the Mbum in Kumba or any of the Bafaw villages. It is hoped that the upcoming event, will promote cultural tourism and boost economic activities.

The Bafaws, are a Bantu people, covering a total area of 247.8 square kilometres, found in the 10 villages of North Kumba, Meme Division, in the South West Region of Cameroon.

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