ISBN 9781957296128
Pages 118
Dimensions 229x152mm
Published 2023
Publisher Spears Media Press, Cameroon
Format Paperback

Fons of “Traditional Bamenda” and Partisan Politics in Contemporary Cameroon

Reconstructing Identity and Cultural Meaning

by Tatah Mbuy

In Fons of Traditional Bamenda, Tatah Mbuy critically examines the predicament of traditional leaders in the Cameroon Grasslands in the wake of the civil unrest that has regrettably evolved into armed conflict in the territories that constituted the former Southern Cameroons. Drawing on his ethnographic knowledge of this region, Mbuy argues that chieftaincy in the Grasslands was historically perceived as a sacred institution, the locus of neutrality and justice and the custodian of its people’s cultural legacy. However, multiparty politics and bureaucratic elites have coopted traditional leaders to serve party interests to the detriment of their people, thus attracting widespread condemnation and violence towards their persons. Mbuy convincingly argues that the Fon should not be an active element in partisan or competitive politics. All civil administrators in any Fondom in “traditional Bamenda” would gain more if they are conscious of the cultural structure and adherence of the people. As a source of neutrality, Fons stand to serve their people and society should they steer clear of partisan politics. This text is highly recommended to all concerned citizens, students of history, anthropology, political science and civil administrators in Cameroon and beyond.

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About the Author

Tatah Mbuy

Fr Tatah Humphrey MBUY is a Catholic Priest, ordained for, and incardinated into the Archdiocese of Bamenda, Cameroon. He was born and bred in Taa Mbii, Nkar Parish, in the Jakiri Subdivision of Bui. Fr Tatah is of the Mbuy Family, an extract of the Nso’ Ntar lineage – essential and core to the Paramount Fondom of Nso’. Tatah Mbuy (as he is more popularly known in the literary world) attended primary school in St Peter’s and St Mary’s Catholic Schools – Kinsenjam and Nkar, respectively, went for a year to the Agric School in St Augustine’s College, Mbo’mbiim and proceeded for seven years studies in the Minor Seminary, Bishop Rogan College, Small Soppo Buea. He then studied philosophy (B.Phil. Hons) and theology (B.D). He has also studied African Literature (B. A), Translations (Dip) before settling on Bioethics (M.Sc.), Sciences of Communications (M.Sc.) and Cultural Anthropology (PhD). He is currently researching to upgrade in Communication. Fr Tatah Mbuy was ordained priest by His Holiness Pope St John Paul II, and has served almost all the dioceses of the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province, mainly in education. He has a deep interest in pastoral work and has been Parish Priest for six years in Christ the King Parish, Fuli-Kom, which then was the only parish in the present Belo Subdivision. For over two years, he trekked for days in Wum to research witchcraft and the occult at Weh, Esu, Bafmeng, and Furu Awa. Tatah Mbuy has published many books and articles. His 25th book is entitled: Studying the Faith of Our Ancestors. New Perspectives to African Traditional Religion (Yaoundé 2023). Other provoking publications include Understanding Witchcraft in the Life of an African (Owerri 1996); Poems of Black Africa: A Critique (1990); The Defeat of the Sons of Baal (1980 National 1st Prize winner in Drama); Sects, Cults and New Religious Movements in Cameroon (Bamenda, 2006); Fons of Traditional Bamenda and Partisan Politics in Cameroon (2022). He is currently writing The Myth and Reality of Witchcraft Among the Tikar.