Rodger Federer supports Malawi Early Education project with $10.5 Million
August 16, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Joseph Dumbula
Tennis star Rodger Federer has supported an early childhood programme with a tune of $10.5 Million ( MK 8.1 Billion) in Malawi.
The programme , known as School Readiness Programme is expected to help thousands of early childhood going children up to 2025.
Janine Handel, CEO of the Roger Federer Foundation (RFF) on Tuesday signed an Memorandum of Understanding with Erica Maganga, a Principal Secretary for Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare at Capital.
The partnership will go a long way to scale up efforts aimed at increasing participation in organised learning and school readiness of children before they enter primary school.
According to Love Support Unite Foundation, up to 83% percent of first-grade students are unable to read a single syllable, and 92% of these students fail to read a single word.
The Southern African nation is ranked the weakest for its performance in English reading and second weakest for mathematics against other southern African countries. Such statistics are the result of children being denied the chance to learn under normal conditions.
There have been continued efforts by various stakeholders to raise the level of early childhood education in Malawi. Earlier last year, the Association of Early Childhood Development in Malawi (AECDM) announced it had received funding from Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) is implementing an ‘Early Stimulation and Transition of Children with Special Needs’ project in eastern region districts of Machinga and Mangochi districts.
This is a form of inclusive early childhood development education- ECDE. The project aims at assisting children aged 3-8 with special education needs attain basic skills to facilitate a smooth transition of the children to primary school. AECDM had trained 50 caregivers and oriented 20 Health Surveillance Assistants (HSAs) as well as 10 Community Based Rehabilitation volunteers in inclusive ECDE.
Malawi takes key step to advance digital payments and drive inclusive growth
May 4, 2015 | 0 Comments
Government, private sector, mobile operators and development organizations convene to establish a plan for the future
Today, Malawi took a significant step towards creating a digital payment ecosystem in order to address poverty and drive inclusive growth. An event organized by the Government of Malawi with the United Nations Capital Development Fund’s (UNCDF) Better Than Cash Alliance and Mobile Money for the Poor initiatives brought together digital payments players to accelerate the progress of digital finance in Malawi. The convening also marks the release of an in-depth analysis of the country’s readiness to transition from a nearly cash-only economy to one where digital payments are widely available through an ecosystem approach.
Honorable Goodall Gondwe, MP, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development stated that the transition to digital payments is part of the Government’s commitment to achieving social and economic goals within the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy. “This is part of our mandate to realize balanced and sustainable economic growth and to reduce poverty,” said Gondwe. “We believe creating an economy where digital payments are widely available is the right path for us to embark on and we are doing so based on sound economic and fiscal policies.”
The research was conducted through a partnership between the Malawian Ministry of Finance, the Reserve Bank of Malawi, and the Better Than Cash Alliance, and is entitled The Opportunities for Malawi’s Transition Away from Cash (. The report detailed the current state of Malawian digital payments, providing an important baseline to track progress. The study also identified four potential opportunities for Malawi, including the Government advancing on digitizing its centralized payment system with support from banks, and merchants accelerating digital payment acceptance via mobile money and debit card at the point of sale.
“Malawi is moving forward to build a strong digital ecosystem that will respond to the needs of the people in the country,” said Mr. Tillman Bruett, Advisor and Programme Manager, Mobile Money for the Poor (MM4P), a UNCDF initiative, undertaken in Malawi with the support of the US Agency for International Development. “We expect that as a result, Malawi will progress from 3.5 percent of total active adult population using digital financial services at the start of this year to 15 percent by 2019.” As part of the programme, UNCDF plans to provide technical and financial assistance to build capacity in public and private sector organizations to support the switch from cash to digital for the most promising payments streams identified in the research.
Making payments in cash can be expensive and inefficient for governments, companies and international organizations. Cash is also difficult to trace, and extremely vulnerable to theft and loss. Many people living in poverty only use cash, and this is a key barrier to broader financial inclusion because cash makes it costly to provide financial services. According to UNCDF, in least developed countries such as Malawi mobile penetration is at 30 percent while access to a bank account is at 14 percent. Mobile payments can therefore be one way to accelerate this shift.
Malawi’s approach can set an example for other countries in the early stages of transitioning to digital payments. “Digitization is an important development tool for many countries looking to reduce the cost of delivering payments, increase transparency and increase access to financial services for citizens,” said Dr. Ruth Goodwin-Groen, Managing Director, Better Than Cash Alliance. “By undertaking this research and by using it to plan its shift, Malawi has taken a bold step in increasing transparency and moving towards an economy where the Government, businesses and people can pay and get paid electronically.”
Transitioning from cash to digital payments is a complex process, however, and requires collaboration between the government and businesses, as well as building trust and increasing familiarity among citizens. That reality is why leading figures came together today to discuss the diagnostic data and develop a blueprint for the country’s digital payments future. Participants noted that by working collaboratively to address the barriers to transitioning payments from cash to digital, they would be able to accelerate the shift and ensure that it brings real benefits to citizens in the form of greater financial inclusion.
USAID/Malawi Mission Director Doug Arbuckle noted in his remarks that, “The U.S. Government is glad to join many other governments and international organizations in encouraging a transition away from cash to digital payments in Malawi. This can be a long road, but the benefits are clear and overwhelming.”
Ms. Mia Seppo, United Nations Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative, who spoke at the event, noted, “The introduction of digitization is timely as Malawi is currently going through public service reforms that will ensure equitable access to financial and payment services in a manner that is transparent and efficient.” Malawi is a focus country of MM4P and member of the Better Than Cash Alliance.
The Better Than Cash Alliance partners with governments, the development community and the private sector to empower people by shifting from cash to electronic payments. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Citi, Ford Foundation, MasterCard, Omidyar Network, USAID and Visa Inc. are funders and the U.N. Capital Development Fund serves as the secretariat.
The UNCDF is the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s 48 least developed countries. The Mobile Money for the Poor (MM4P) is a global programme funded by UNCDF, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The MasterCard Foundation. The programme provides support to branchless and mobile financial services in a select group of Least Developed Countries to demonstrate how the correct mix of financial, technical and policy support can build a robust branchless and mobile financial services ecosystem that reaches low income people in these countries.
About the Ministry of Finance Economic Planning and Development, Malawi
The Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning & Development has the mandate to formulate economic and fiscal policy and manage financial and material resources of the Government of Malawi in order to realise balanced and sustainable economic growth and to reduce poverty.
PDP USA Stands Unflinchingly Behind President Goodluck Jonathan & a free, fair and peaceful Electoral Process
January 22, 2015 | 0 Comments
PDP USA stand together for a transparent, free, fair and peaceful electoral process at the local, state and federal levels and violence-free before, during and after the elections. We believe in unity, development, purposeful and visionary change in Nigeria through meaningful political actions. Our unique place in the diaspora to see events in the country from an outside-the-box perspective enables us to give unbiased assessment of our stewardship, and then ask the critical and thought-provoking question: Is the cup half full or half empty? That said, we cannot seat idly by while our house is on fire. The coming presidential and congressional elections in Nigeria on February 14 are perhaps different due to many contentious issues in the country, and we have thus resolved to be heard loud and clear. Our members in the US diaspora stand in solidarity with the home front, and are pleased to challenge the good people of Nigeria. We more especially implore our president Honorable Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to speak openly, clearly and directly to Nigerians on the burning and contemporary issues of the day and new plans for a governing reform agenda. We acknowledge and celebrate the many achievements, some not so obvious, of Presidential Jonathan’s administration that have brought change, joy and smiles to many Nigerians, as well as recognize the failings of immense proportions that, all too often, are overlooked and yet ail many Nigerians. We would differ with fellow compatriots who may attempt to sugar coat them for parochial reasons. WHY A VOTE FOR PRESIDENT JONATHAN 2nd TERM IS A VOTE FOR CONTINUITY: • National Power Reform is on course and services are showing measurable improvements as of today • Development progress in the affordable housing mandate for low and middle income families • Agriculture expansion and rural development that now contributes up to 26% of our national Gross Domestic Product – GDP • State-of –Arts continuing progress in the rehabilitation of national Railway Networks across the country • Established 9 new federal universities and rehabilitated existing universities and teaching hospitals • Agriculture sector growth with new farm silos, improved export of produce, subsidized agricultural products, improved seedlings and modern irrigation systems • Multi-level vocational and skills training institutes to create new jobs • Upgrade of old airports and construction of new airport terminal • Road networks and rehabilitation of highways – 32 highways and 651 Km roads completed • E-collect systems for fertilizer distribution of agricultural inputs and products nationwide • Federal primary health centers established for improved healthcare delivery • Major erosion and flood control projects, flood victims resettlement • Dredging of river ways for construction of new river jetties and waterways for movement of goods and services • Solar powered portable water purification and supply for rural communities • Renewed vigor in security measures underway to combat Boko Haram with a better equipped and motivated military in cooperation with France and ECOWAS community states VOTE FOR A SECOND TERM CHANGE YOU CAN COUNT ON: Presidential Executive Actions to Effect Desired Changes in Economic and Governing Reform Agenda • Aggressively prosecute corrupt public officers and expose any public corruption • Improve responsible governance and emphasize probity in the various organs of government • Hold contractors accountable to complete roads and bridge projects awarded in the first term • Curtail the excesses of government roles esp. in absolute power • Rein in the excesses of first ladies in politics but women empowerment • Encourage more accountability and control the arbitrary use of security votes by state governors and federal ministers • Streamline the excessive budget of the National Assembly – the Senate and House of Representatives • Urgently improve national security, stop Boko Haram by a newly invigorated and better equipped military, with the support of a competent internationally acclaimed contract private security militia. • Give periodic State of Affairs on the economic and social health of the country • Ensure payment of pensions, salaries and benefits of workers • Guarantee that Fuel prices at the pump reflect the new realities of today’s lower crude oil prices • Complete rehabilitation of the remaining dilapidated highways in the country • Create more apprenticeship centers, young business incubators and vocational training centers for the creation of new jobs and start-up small businesses • Monitor and eradicate crude oil pilfering and sale receipt losses by introducing fool-proof accounting standards in the system, and implementing inviolable sovereign fund savings for the future generations of Nigerians • Implement a major governing reform and to form a highly visionary Dream Team government of technocrats These are profound statements for well-intended actions of national interest, and PDP USA pledges to use all the levers of the international community to encourage and support our President Goodluck Jonathan’s second term administration to live up to the tenets of this agenda for the good of Nigeria. There is still work to be done and Nigerians are becoming increasingly apathetic and untrusting of their government. They are hungry for a meaningful change through a strong, purposeful and visionary leadership of the PDP. The truth will make us whole and set us free, and by the grace of GOD we shall win!!! We trust in one and great Nigeria. PDP! PDP!! PDP!!!………Long Live Nigeria!!! Forward ever!!! Signed: PDP USA Rapid Response/Strategic Committee: Hon. Dr. Harold Molokwu, Chairman PDP USA Hon. Dr. Akin Awofolaju – Chairman, Rapid Response/Strategic Committee Hon. Ms. Tai Aladefa Olowu – Secretary Hon. Franklin Afam Nwandu – member Hon. Emmanuel Akorede – member Hon. Engr Paul Ogedegbe – member Hon. Muharija Gadah – member Hon. Uzoma Nwachukwu – member Hon. Clementine Cain – member Hon. Dr. Ego Amake – member Hon. Chief Gabby Ayo – member *Sponsored Content From PDP USA]]>
The Regency of Ajongako II A Historical Play by Nkong Kima
February 7, 2013 | 3 Comments
The Historical Background
The incursion of European exploiters on the Dark Continent witnessed a historical turning point which left Africa almost at the verge of total chaos. Although pro-colonial advocates hold strongly that this European conquest brought Africa out of an endless state of slumber and decadence, the Pan-African unionists and other pro-African elite think otherwise. Various pictures of the European incursion into the “peacefulness” of Africa have been presented by different researchers, historians and men of letters. Nkong Kima herewith uses this dramatic medium to present one of the faces of the post native resistant era against the European rule.
The event which prompts the playwright to produce The Regency of Ajongako II is the Bangwa Resistance of the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth century in Cameroon (Kamerun) against the German colonial rule (1884-1916). The Bangwa people constituted one of those tribes in Cameroon which put up a strong resistance against the then foreign rule. Although the resistance did not involve the entire Bangwa tribe, the greatest portion of it was involved being the one governed by the then most renowned Bangwa king Asonganyi Fontem – the portion which is today known as Lebang and ruled by the Fon of Fontem (Asonganyi’s grandson). Not only Lebang was solely involved however because other neighbouring settlements through their chiefs came in during the resistance either to support Asonganyi or to betray him; the latter group doing so just to win the consent and protection of the German colonial master and as a result of their envious feelings toward the most renowned king.
Asonganyi was initially not an enemy to the German colonial administration in Kamerun. In fact, he was a friend and a trusted one too. He welcomed the German trading agents sent to his territory and even went into a permanent friendship deal with them through a blood pact. His long term friendship deal with the German firm agent Gustav Canrau – whom the Bangwa people called Manji-Kwala in imitation of Conrau’s carriers who accompanied him during his trade tours – witnessed a trustworthy intimacy pact between the Bangwa king and the German colonial authority. The betrayal of confidence however originated from Conrau. When the time of his departure came Asonganyi had instructed his vassals to present energetic young men who could work on the German coastal plantations at the request of the white man. There was a need for a strong native labour force to maintain the German coastal plantations at the coast of Kamerun. Asonganyi, in order to express the depth of his intimacy with Conrau, provided close to a hundred young people with the hope that they would return to the land after one year of service at the coast with gifts in return.
While the one year period was yet to elapse, Conrau reappeared with request for more men although he had not brought back the previous retinue. This time he was not given the celebrative reception he had during his first visit to the territory. The king was rather cold toward him and decided to hold Conrau in close custody. Many families protested at voice top without even dreading Asonganyi who was by then the most feared personality in the Nweh territory asking for the return of their kinsmen who went with Conrau. Many had lost hopes and rented their clothes to mourn for their lost relations. The truth was that most of those men were probably dead with the unfavourable conditions of work at the plantations and for the fact that most were exhausted through long journeys on foot. Asonganyi suspected this and this suggests why he became cold toward Conrau and decided to hold him captive.
While in detention Conrau sought for every means to escape to no avail. It became obvious to him that the Bangwa king was not ready to release him. Besides, he had no information from the German colonial headquarters in Buea and began to lose hopes. He knew Asonganyi was only waiting for time to execute him after failing to entice the king with promises of ensuring that he would become the only monarch recognised by the German authority throughout the Western Grassfields. His last attempt to escape met with little or no success as he was pursued and beheaded just few kilometres from the Azi royal palace. Some sources say no Bangwa soldier actually beheaded Conrau but that he took away his own life after discovering that his attempt to escape was a futile one. It was said that Nkwetta Bezankeng who actually brought his head to the palace cut it off when Conrau had committed suicide.
When the news of the assassination of Conrau got to the German colonial authority, they immediately dispatched an ultimatum requesting for the arrest of the Bangwa king and the perpetrators of Conrau’s assassination. This led to a strong confrontation between the Bangwa natives and the German colonial soldiers. The Bangwa people fought bravely with the use of a traditional fortification or defensive medicine known as “aziah” which had been used in the recent past to fight against neighbouring enemy tribes (Atem George 2000:8).
Asonganyi went into hiding and refused to show up for a long period. Many Bangwa natives of neighbouring clans came to Asonganyi’s rescue but many yet cooperated with the Germans to lead them through the hilly Bangwa terrain in the pursuit of the most wanted man – their intention being to capture Asonganyi and defeat his forces on behalf of the colonial master. When “aziah” began to lose its potency and the Bangwa people could no more resist the strong military skills of the Germans, Asonganyi decided to surrender in order to avoid the great loss of lives among his people orchestrated by the Germans. He came out of his hiding in 1911 and handed himself to the German authority. He was immediately taken prisoner, tried and exiled to the north of Kamerun to serve a life imprisonment sentence. His throne was handed over to his eldest son Prince Ajongako by the Germans. In order to weaken the Bangwa people and arrest an imminent assault from the natives due to the sentence given to their king, the German colonial administration set up a resident office in Azi known as Fontemdorf. It also disintegrated the Bangwa territory appointing different warrant chiefs to govern it and compensating those who cooperated with them with portions of the kingdom governed by Asonganyi [ibid]. The Germans had to oversee into the activities of these warrant chiefs among whom Asonganyi’s eldest son was one.
The Germans dictated the traditional policies to govern the natives to the warrant chiefs, the more reason why these chiefs were hated and dreaded by the natives. Most of them eventually became power mongers; abusing the traditions and the pride of the native peoples. Ajongako for instance became a tyrant through German influence, betraying his natives and patronising raids to send labourers to work on German plantations, the same reason his father fought against at the expense of his freedom. With the coming of the First World War which witnessed the expulsion of Germany from its overseas territories and the arrival of mandatory powers to take over Germany’s possessions, Asonganyi the Bangwa king was to recover his lost throne. This however brought another controversial situation in the territory as Ajongako the prince regent was not ready to surrender the throne to his father. He was however forced to do so through intrigue solely planned by Asonganyi’s loyalists. The consequence was that Ajongako had to be exiled from the Bangwa land after Asonganyi had regained the throne. It is this regency period of Asonganyi’s son (Ajongako) that Nkong Kima presents to us through a live dramatic medium.
The Executive Superintendent
Cumaland Publishing Factor
In collaboration with Ndi Mbecha A. F.
1 Ajongako II – the Bangwa Prince (German warrant chief sitting as regent to Asonganyi)
2 Asonganyi (the exiled Bangwa King and father of Ajongako)
3 Fuatabong I (German ally governing part of Nweh tribe)
4 Fualeke Chacha (Asonganyi’s ally also governing part of Nweh tribe)
5 Mafuantem and Mafuameika (aunt and sister of the former Bangwa king Asonganyi)
6 Nkwetta Bezankeng (Asonganyi’s half brother, co-regent to Ajongako)
7 Hauptman Langhell (the chief German Officer in the Dschang area)
8 Lt Rausch (German officer overseeing Fontemdorf)
9 The Dschang area kings (Fotoh, Foleke, Fondong, Fongondeng, Fongotongo etc)
10 The nobility corps comprising loyalists to both Ajongako and Asonganyi
11 German and native choruses, officers, soldiers, kinsmen, court elders and retainers, messengers and the masses
stall the king to his throne. Speeches of goodwill are made most of which reveal the ordeal orchestrated in the king’s absence. The occasion ends with a ceremony of promotion in which loyal tribesmen are accorded titles of nobility.
A2 – Scene 14
A1 – Scene 1:
At the newly open Fontemdorf resident office, Hauptmann the resident superior of Dschang and Lt Rausch who will eventually oversee Fontemdorf come to pressurise the Bangwa elders to handover the Bangwa resistant king Asonganyi to them. The elders reveal that Asonganyi died in the course of fighting the Germans, but which the latter do not believe whole heartedly. However, they accept Asonganyi’s proposed Prince Regent Ajongako to co-reign with Asonganyi’s deputy, Nkwetta Bezankeng. They go further to share the Bangwa territory into two giving the northern part to Fuatabong I for assisting the Germans during the Bangwa resistance. They also punish and dethrone those like Fualeke Chacha and Foto of Ndungatet for supporting Asonganyi during the resistance war.
A1 – Scene 2
Ajongako and Fuatabong I discuss on how to haunt and capture the natives for plantation labour in order to appease the colonial administration and fulfil the instruction given them as German colonial warrant chiefs. As Fuatabong I leaves, Ajongako prepares with his closest advisers to stage night raids in order to capture labourers.
A1 – Scene 3
Lt Rausch is disappointed that unlike Fuatabong I Ajongako has made no attempt to bring labourers for the German coastal plantations. As they are talking, Ajongako marches some captives up and hands them to Rausch. He pleads that his men should return to the territory after service at the coast of Kamerun. This gesture establishes a temporal cordial affiliation between the Prince Regent and the German firms.
A1 – Scene 4
The public, through the eyes of two villagers is scared with the manner in which night raids are carried out to supply labourers to the white man’s plantations. As they make allusion to the harsh treatment of labourers in those plantations, a retrospection of live plantation activity is displayed with plantation supervisor wantonly shooting down labourers and using tricks to make them work without resting.
A1 – Scene 5
Ajongako is seen with some of his close palace relations. A half brother is so bitter with the regent for sleeping with his mother and putting her in a family way. The regent states that it is his right to own his father’s wives now that the king is away. Another accusation the young prince and princess make is the regent’s wayward habit of seizing the wives of his relations. The regent is hurt with this accusation and orders that the young prince should be sent to Fontemdorf. He pays no dime to the pleas given on the young man’s behalf.
A1 – Scene 6
The court elders are worried about the king’s present desire as he wants to come out of his hiding and present himself to the white man in order to avoid the killing of his people. They convince the elders in the king’s attendance to hold the king’s peace and let him not surrender lest he is beheaded or hanged by the white. The end by hoping that Germany’s stay in their land should be short-lived.
A1 – Scene 7
Abachi from Fualeke Chacha creates a spectacular show by vowing to make the Germans in Mamfe (Ossindingue) know that Asonganyi is in hiding and not death as his people claim. This is because he is infuriated by the Prince Regent’s conduct for recently seizing his wife. He demonstrates his anger in the market place amid a curious crowd and leaves for Mamfe. He doesn’t want to take the advice of not betraying the Bangwa king.
A1 – Scene 8
In Fualeke Chacha’s council, he regrets that one of his subjects is going to betray the king in hiding as he is duly informed. He sends messengers to Azi to alert the Prince Regent.
A1 – Scene 9
The royal council of Azi palace meets to discuss the impending betrayal of the king with all blaming the Prince Regent for going his own way and hurting many people. They however agree to unite their thoughts in order to rescue Asonganyi from the impending execution.
A2 – Scene 1
Report reaching the Dschang resident office says Abachi has revealed that Asonganyi is only in hiding and not dead as the Bangwa people claimed. Officers express views of undying suspicion against the Bangwa people but pledge their services to the crown of Germany if it comes to war. We hear that Lt Rausch has been dispatched to Fontemdorf for this purpose.
A2 – Scene 2
Lt Rausch reaches the Azi palace led by Abachi. He insists on having the king handed over although the royal council still wants to claim Asonganyi is actually dead. He leaves with an ultimatum to have the king presented in less than a day. The councillors disagree on whether to hand Asonganyi over or not.
A2 – Scene 3
As Lt Rausch sits at Fontemdorf heavily guarded, Asonganyi comes in with a cross section of his territory who are curious to watch the king’s fate. Asonganyi presents a white cock and a white sheep as symbols of peace thereby handing himself to the white man. Rausch announces that the king shall be taken to Dschang to be tried. Natives are shocked to hear this and declare that they are ready for another war with Germany. Asonganyi threatens them with a curse if they dare fight on account of him again, citing enormous bloodshed which has been recorded. As he is bound away, the officers fire guns into the air to disperse the curious crowd.
A2 – Scene 4
The Bamileke kings in the Dschang area meet in the palace of Fotoh-à-Dschang to discuss the impending fate of Asonganyi and how to appease the white man to free their kinsman. They agree to beguile him with a gift of seventy elephant tusks hoping that this would make the white man free Asonganyi.
A2 – Scene 5
This court scene opens in the Dschang resident office where Asonganyi is to be tried. He is levied so many charges among which is the initial one of causing Conrau to die. Asonganyi knows that guilty or not he must be persecuted and declares his stance strongly without dreading the outcome. He is therefore given a sentence which among all is being permanently dethroned and not allowed to return to the Bangwa territory. He is exiled to the town of Garoua in northern Kamerun where he will serve a life sentence. In the midst of this confusion Fotoh-à-Dschang speaking on behalf of the Dschang area kings pleads pardon for Asonganyi but this is denied. The victim is marched out to the land of his asylum.
A2 – Scene 6
Two commoners meet at a market place in Azi to discuss the ongoing executions, betrayals, exodus and many faults all orchestrated by the prince and the German administration. They reveal there is a lot of torture of innocent people.
A2 – Scene 7
At Fontemdorf, Lt Rausch receives news that the ongoing 1st World War is extending to the colonies in Africa and is highly agitated. He dispatches messengers to the respective quarters in support of Germany to make preparations toward the war. His main preoccupation is to reinforce the Nsanakang unit where the most deadly war is to be fought.
A2 – Scene 8
This is the actual war scene in which we are exposed to the last fight at the battlefield of Nsanakang. The allied forces give orders for their forces to strike and bring the Kaiser to his knees. A German commander comes in to surrender as they prepare to quit Kamerun.
A2 – Scene 9
Mafuameika summons the commoners and is addressing them about the release of the king who has chosen to stay away from the crown. She is also excited that German period of tyranny is over. As the natives react joyously, Ajongako is infuriated as he comes in and meets them. He insults the queen mother and sends them away. He is very anxious about the impending state of the crown as it seems obvious that he may lose it.
A2 – Scene 10
Ajongako is filled with thoughts about a possible return of the Bangwa king to seek his throne. He swears not to give up power if it comes to that. While he is deep in this reflection a messenger from Asonganyi comes in to alert him of the ongoing execution of native rulers. Asonganyi wants him to come with him and seek a hiding but Ajongako suspects that his father may be using a trick to oust him from power. But he decides to go anyway.
A2 – Scene 11
Gossipers come in to inform Ajongako of Asonganyi’s projected return to the territory. We learn the king escaped to Dschang, but no one knows why, only to prepare and come back for the crown of the land. The prince summons his forces asking them to march up toward Legwe to stop the king. He leaves with his train toward Legwe with pretext he is going to welcome the king.
A2 – Scene 12
Mafuameika summons the nobility corps to plan strategies and sabotage Ajongako’s intention of killing his father the king. They agree to convince the king to return through the Ngundeng road and not through Atungong as earlier planned. They intend to reinstall the king on his throne before his son discovers.
A2 – Scene 13
This scene witnesses the actual return of Asonganyi to recover his lost throne. The ceremony is presided over by the younger queen mother Mafuameika with the support of her aunt Mafuantem. The king is brought back with a hilarious manifestation of traditional rituals. The kingmaker Mbi Nditu and his train rein scene reveals the fate of Ajongako paid off his wrongdoings. While at the target point waiting to lynch his father, a noise of jubilation seems to be heard from the royal palace. Messengers come in to inform the regent that Asonganyi has regained his lost throne and declared Ajongako exiled. The prince regent is shocked with this news. To worsen matters, his retinue begins to desert him in order to seek Asonganyi’s pardon. Only one loyalist to him wants to remain and die with the prince regent. They decide to wander until death takes away their lives.
A2 – Scene 14
This retribution scene reveals the fate of Ajongako paid off his wrongdoings. While at the target point waiting to lynch his father, a noise of jubilation seems to be heard from the royal palace. Messengers come in to inform the regent that Asonganyi has regained his lost throne and declared Ajongako exiled. The prince regent is shocked with this news. To worsen matters, his retinue begins to desert him in order to seek Asonganyi’s pardon. Only one loyalist to him wants to remain and die with the prince regent. They decide to wander until death takes away their lives.
* Nkong Kima is a Teacher ,Writer and Critic. Cumaland Diary is a blog for the expression of his literary ideas and works.
The Finger Portrait:Little Things Matter
January 20, 2013 | 0 Comments
Novel by Nkong Kima*
The twilight ember began to wane gradually into the bosom of the grey clouds suspending above the semi- circular highlands as heaps of cotton wool soaked in potash. The smoky substance ceiled the yellowish ember hanging beneath the blue sky; a remnant of the majestic sun that had risen with blooming and colourful rays in the early part of the morning. This was the atmospheric view of the farming season as hectares of farmland stretched out across the hills and valleys in sun-burnt texture. Heaps of dried grass, twigs and shrubs were alighted across the sloppy landscape and stretched out from portion to portion producing the greyish smoke that polluted the whole atmosphere. Twilight began to give way to complete darkness and it seemed every sound went mute as nothing could cross over into the exhaustive ears of returning cultivators who only bothered to think of reaching home. The melodious chirp of eventide birds was nothing more to attract their attention. One would not expect that the heart of a dry season would portray such dark features when the multicoloured evening sunrays should have been blooming as a prelude to summon unwedded maids to dating ventures. Many of these maids would see such gloom as a premonition to a future of barrenness or singlehood. Oral tradition held that a dating session should be void of atmospheric bleakness in order to guarantee a potentially productive generation. But if gloom persists, tribal oracles would come out in their seasonal rituals to evade the impending calamity and appease Mother Earth with blood sacrifices.
The greyness of one of those dry season evenings added to the woes which to say the least were utterly unprecedented. The importunate scapegoat caught in delusion with his self-desired circumstances stood with a gaped mouth like an ancient Egyptian mummy worn by dotage. It appeared he lost all sense of direction like one whose brain underwent a severe current shock. It was difficult to determine whether he stood anticipating a move to regain consciousness or to seek for compromise in a fateful escape. It looked obvious that he had a challenge before him which required a well disposed strategy to prove his manhood or be a woman and resign to fate. The latter option had grounds of consideration, for how could he regain his gracious esteem from a people whose preoccupation was always torch-searching opportunities to ridicule self-acclaimed cynosures? Rapt in this state of confusion, he could only preoccupy his mind with illusions or fantasies. In that state of absurdity, he began to attribute his mishaps to his childhood and upbringing; a situation he accused his parents for not being competent role models in child breeding. His accusation did not spare the state though for breeding anarchical principles to destabilize the aspirations of an enthusiastic youth.
All this took place during and after the funeral rite that enthroned this victim of circumstances as next of kin to the clan he was secretly accused of being responsible for the fate of its previous custodian, his own biological father. Now in this state of disarray, especially as he couldn’t completely disclaim the accusation for his father’s sudden death, he developed complicated neurosis that needed a long mental restoration process to enable him regain sanity. With the consent of the psychiatric department of Queen of the Rosary Hospital (QRH) Mealenga, he was to be confined in this department for an effective restoration target. Dr Mbubia, the departmental assistant had been known for his expertise in arresting mental disorders. He was personally assigned by Mother Hopegiver, the matron of this hospital, to use “all available craft” to restore the patient’s wits. It was the expressed wish of the members of the Eshuofua clan to have a custodian to look up to; someone anointed by the gods to lead the great clan. That was why in spite of the next of kin’s scandalous crime, the will of Mbe Eshuofua Tanyiatem to have him as a lawful successor to the great clan could never be tampered upon. It was a priority for the elders of this clan to safeguard against any unprecedented calamity which could come as a penitential ransom for reversing the words of their household gods.
The elders were aware of the changes in their new custodian and would not dare to act against the latter’s wish to be healed by medical means. His ardent hatred for traditional healing methods brought him into open confrontation with the elders who wanted to send him to Ngangafu, the tribe’s diviner. He denounced Ngangafu and his practitioners as cultic gamblers and swore to stand up for a fight with any who would venture into Alenga with what he described as a hypnotic brainwashing ordeal. Dr Mbubia was his choice to whom he personally saw an ideal redeemer. The pleasure of talking to such a great medical wizard was sufficient to calm the victim’s anxiety. Dr Mbubia was a short and stout white man full of admirable features. He hailed from Naples in Italy as Agusto Napolo, but known as Mbubia in Bioleh by dint of his profession. When he smiled, something he did quite often, it was enough opium to invite solace to a dejected soul. With the patient now in his QRH department, Dr Mbubia set out for a pragmatic measure to redeem the latter. He soon discovered the patient’s major hobby in writing, especially social events and anecdotes, and did not hesitate to supply the latter with sufficient paper and ink to write whatever he pleased. Dr Mbubia’s craft was to dig into the victim’s unconscious mind to decipher the malady with the conscious. He further showed concern by reading whatever his patient wrote with interest and curiosity, thereby motivating the latter to set down uninterruptedly. With this motivation, the patient set out to write an account of his own lifetime experiences as a special dedication to his ideal friend – whatever that meant. To him, Dr Mbubia was an incomparable missionary and he chose to address him using the French version, Missionnaire, since he considered it more romantic and intimate. For thirty uninterrupted days, nothing preoccupied this victim than that epistolary account to his ideal man.
With now a full grasps of Kerdy’s state of mind, Dr Mbubia swore to the matron Mother Hopegiver that he had had sufficient basis to set out for a pragmatic restoration target on the poor victim. How he was to accomplish it depended solely on a professional know how that only he alone could determine. The Eshuofua elders had persistently knocked at Mother Hopegiver’s door expressing disgust and disappointment on the healing process.
‘We don’t understand what exactly is going on Mother Hopegiver,’ they would jointly complain. ‘We had expected to see Dr Mbubia demonstrate his veteran expertise. But all he does is supply the patient with “book” and “pencil” with which he wastes days out writing madness and getting all the more worse. Yet Dr Mbubia takes and reads and gives him more “book”. Has it become a child’s play? We are eager to see the acclaimed magic power of Dr Mbubia. We are not here to waste time. Let him declare if he can handle the patient’s situation or not. If the white man’s magic fails, at least the black man’s can prove its worth.’
‘Let’s not be so anxious, most respectable and conscientious elders,’ the senior lady cautioned. ‘Dr Napolo knows every bit of what he is doing with the patient. You and I may never understand. Aren’t we all witnesses to his pragmatic restoration of similar neurotic cases, even those with real madness? I plead with you elders, let’s just be maturely patient.’
‘We were beginning to wonder if this is the great Dr Mbubia we have known and acknowledged,’ another elder gave in. ‘We expected to see him mixing the white man’s concoctions and giving our custodian to drink. Or perhaps diluting the white man’s injections and applying.’
‘That is perfectly right,’ Mother Hopegiver acknowledged, ‘but it is not in all cases that oral treatment is applied to all patients. Just only be hopeful as usual, dear elders, and do not fail to pray to the Great God Almighty through Jesus Christ our Lord and Mary Queen of the Rosary and the Universe.’
‘I am sure, Mother Hopegiver, that you understand our worry so well. The Eshuofua clan is a great one in the entire Bioleh territory. This is the clan that even the great Fuamaleh looks up to. It has been known for its great deeds in our society. Fuamaleh has expressed, in a number of occasions, the clan’s indispensability to the Bioleh Cultural and Development Initiative (BICUDI). It is a great clan that has enlisted great custodians right from the time of Eshuofua Mbendee. I’m certain you must have heard of Mbe Eshuofua Atabong 1, the man who died few years ago. He was misguided by some fateful gods to ditch out the throne to some dooms end but our forefathers spared the great clan from an unrelenting curse and shame. Then came Mbe Eshuofua Tanyiatem, the immediate father of your patient, whom you know died of a broken heart. This is why all of us here are putting on these sack clothes. As his own will unveiled, his lone legitimate son – your patient here – was to become the next of kin. The king makers of Fuamaleh had no option but to enthrone him amid this befuddled state of mind. So you must see why we are doing every possible thing to bring him back to his rational state. We are obliged to do this lest the gods of our forefathers place an indelible curse on us.’
‘I have heard your cry elders and I can only advise you to hope in the one and only Lord who will inspire Dr Napolo to come up with a solution to this unprecedented problem. No other god can do this. You may go now and only hope in the Blessed Trinity. Goodbye.’
The elders left Mother Hopegiver’s office without much enthusiasm. They could not anticipate any sensible reason why a mental patient would simply be supplied paper and ink to be writing what appeared to them as nonsense, and his pretentious rescuer would only take and read with utmost satisfaction. He would even shun food and drink whenever he held up a pen and paper to write to his ideal missionary. But as Dr Mbubia persisted in this strange form of healing, with the full support of his boss Mother Hopegiver, the Eshuofua elders soon gave up their doubt and resolved to keep their fingers crossed and watch the white man’s magic.
* Nkong Kima is a Teacher ,Writer and Critic. The views expressed in the blog Cumaland Diary are his.