CAMEROON KINGS AND AFRICAN KINGS
NGIE KAMGA JOSEPH (Fon de Bandjoun)
The Fon (king) is the brother of courageous and powerful animal. At night he has the power to turn into a panther. It haunts the forest, travels the savannah, drinks from the stream. When a hunter kills a panther, the Fon of Bamileke country are afraid. One of them does he not perish from the death of his double?
Former Commissioner, Chief of Staff of the Minister of Finance of Cameroon in 1964, Joseph Kamga is the thirteenth Fon (King) of Bandjun. The day of the funeral of his predecessor, two Bamileke chiefs, his “torturers”, arrested him on the market Bandjun, among the princes and nobles who wept the deceased king.
Wearing a hood of sisal, a sign of humility, he was taken in a noble, “Tafo Meru” and made the king his apprenticeship, for nine weeks. Once it lasted nine months. During his retirement, the sovereign is accompanied by the woman he eventually married her before his inauguration, the “nrounq” (love), and “djvikam” (wife of noble), the first queen. Back in his palace “Tsa”, he supports women’s Fon deceased, who became his wives.
Halidou Sali, twelfth Lamido of Bibemi was turbaned in 1958.
He is the descendant of Aido Sambo, one of the forty-two Lamido of Adamawa in the eighteenth century who went to carry the banner of Jihad of Usman Dan Fodio in the western reaches of his vast empire.
We would have called the ancestors of the inhabitants of Bibemi “Yillaga heads-hard” because of their impetuous temperament which made them love the war. This is also because of a quarrel with their neighbors Macina they emigrated from the ancient empire of Mali. Their flight lasted several centuries.
In 1770, they expelled the Nyam-Nyam and settled in Bibemi.
A drama is causing the foundation of the kingdom of Bana.
The mid-seventeenth century, several Bamileke groups settled in small villages around the current Bana. Legend has it that one of the village chiefs, Mfenge, was accused of witchcraft by others. To exonerate himself, he cut the head of his mother and his body was examined by specialists. The principle of witchcraft, which is transmitted through the “womb”, was not proven. Mfenge asked when the head is cut to the mothers of other families. Four son went to every house to send mothers and wives to the palace to the examination. The recalcitrant were beheaded on the spot. Panic, chiefs and notables fled Mfenge and became King of Bana.
Octogenarian, Sultan Njoya was on the throne for over fifty years.
At twenty-nine, he inherited the throne Bamoun famous, founded in the sixteenth century. He was elected by the council of elders of the kingdom, among the one hundred and sixty seven children of his father, the great Sultan Njoya.
This sovereign “enlightened” had taken twelve years to invent his own alphabet, a system of eighty signs for language Bamoun to write the history of his kingdom. At that time, dominated the oral tradition. The sulta Njoya told these topics: “I will make you a book about without being heard.” He even opened schools to teach the alphabet.
Njoya revolutionized agriculture by introducing its European plants unknown in Africa, instituted a civil status, installed a furnace and founded a religion, Novat Kovot.
In 1913, while Cameroon was still a German colony, are endowed Njoya its own printing.
The Baba (sultan) of Rey Bouba rules over fifty-five thousand subjects, and its territory is as large as Belgium and Luxembourg combined (35 000km2).
It is wrong to call him Lamido, because it has never been a vassal of Sokoto.
Former member of the Assembly of Cameroon, Bouba Abdoulaye had to leave everything and renounce modern life to succeed his father. In 1799, his great-grandfather, Bouba Ndjidda, from Mali with his Fulani warriors, decided to settle on the borders of Adamawa on the banks of the river Mayo-Rey. He placed a white flag, a silver drum, a sword and a basket containing the royal secrets, and built a palace with a wall of eight hundred feet long and seven meters high.
Today, the walls of the palace home to one of the most traditional rulers in Africa. It carries an invisible power and permanent. He has no right to leave more than three times a year. The Baba is at the center of the world and the kingdom. He knows everything and has to know everything. Hundreds of agents continuously inform the actions of the kingdom.
Representing the Abomey dynasty, Joseph Langanfin CAFRA is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the twelve royal families of Abomey. As such, it is considered as the official representative of the kings of Abomey. It was he who presided over the ceremonies of the centennial of the death of King Glele which he is the grand son.
In 1889, after the funeral of King Glele, Kondo his son was enthroned as the Gbehanzin contraction meaning “The world is the egg that the earth desires”, and took the shark as a royal emblem. The King wanted to push the white shark from the sea since the Treaty of Berlin in 1884, had shared in Africa, the Kingdom of Abomey excited the greed of the French who wanted to halt the spread English in the Gulf of Guinea . Attempts to France to Gbehanzin failed.
“The king does not give anyone his country, the land of the ancestors is sacred,” he said.
A graduate of London University and economic adviser in Accra, Ghana’s capital, the king of Akropong is sixteen years the leader of the “holy seat” of the Akuapem-Asona, one of seven major Akan clans.
To his right, his “linguist” is the royal emblem, an elephant, a reminder that this kingdom was founded by force.
In 1733, Akwamu launched his army against the city-state of Akropong, which had been spared by the Ashanti conquests. To defend themselves, the city appealed to the soldiers who loved war, Akim. Hereditary enemies of the Ashanti, they delivered Akropong. As a reward, the chief of Akim was enthroned King of Akropong.
At the foot of the king held a child, “Okra”, that is to say, its soul. Protected by charms, it acts as a human shield, which must defend the king against the bad luck, illness and death. The King is the nation. It should never be injured or ill, because the whole nation would weaken. The Okra diverts to itself all the forces of evil. It should die with his master.
During the battles, the Okra was responsible for ringing the bells hanging from his neck to indicate the presence of the king and stimulate the valor of combatants.
If the king was afraid of attracting the attention of enemies and stifled the sound of bells, his soldiers interpreted it as a desertion, and they abandoned the battle.
The Nyimi Mabiintsh III fifty years. He ascended the throne there twenty years.
Descendant of the creator god, the king is attributed supernatural powers and rank imposes many constraints: it has no right to sit on the floor and cross the fields. Apart from his cook, no one has seen eating. Besides, he never travels without him or without his own dishes and all its utensils.
It took me three weeks to photograph the Nyimi (king) of Kuba in his dress, the Bwaantshy. In Kuba, it means “eat the python.” The suit, while fabrics sewn with beads and cowries (small shells used as currency in Africa), weighs 84 pounds. It takes more than two hours to dress the king and two days of spiritual preparation for it to be sufficiently purified before being coated.
The weight and warmth of Bwaantshy are such that it is impossible to carry over an hour. The previous king had covered only three times in his life.