Sunday, March 3, 2013

Cameroon: BANFAC uses mini-cultural festival to encourage unity and community development

 By Christopher Ambe

Dr. Namanga Ngongi
Buea, March 2-The Bantu Foundation for Arts and Culture (BANFAC) founded six years ago out of former UN senior official and elite of Buea, Dr.Amos  Namanga Ngongi’s “vision of using culture to unite people, enhance development and bring about the spirit of happiness within communities”, on Saturday March 2 I,n Buea town, organized a mini-cultural festival  to show case the  beauty of various cultural groups.

Clad in different colorful attires, the many groups that participated in the festival, which was BANFAC’s first- ever activity in Buea since creation, were either involved in cultural dances, choral singing, musical band displays, comedy, and or other animations.

The festival was attended among other dignitaries by His Royal highness, SML Endeley, the Paramount Ruler of Buea;Professor Victor Julius Ngoh,Deputy Vice-Chancellor of University of Buea; Professor Dorothy Limunga Njeuma; Humphrey Ekema Monono,Chairman of Buea Traditional Council and Dr Amos Namanga Ngongi,Chair man of BANFAC.

Cross section of turn out at the festival
Ligombi Dance on stage
Although the festival is BANFAC’s first activity in Buea, the foundation had in 2006 launched socio-cultural activities in line with its goal in 2006 in Mutengene.But  until recently BANFAC was in near comatose  because Dr. Namanga  Ngongi was  working out of the country 

“We have now decided to organize regular cultural events to bring together cultural groups to manifest the beauty of their cultures”, Dr.Namanga Ngongi told this reporter at the end of the festival that thrilled the crowds that turned –up.
Closing the festival, Humphrey Ekema Monono, Chairman of Buea Traditional Council and vice-Chair of the Wonyalyonga Development Association, lauded Dr. Namanga Ngongi’s initiative of the festival, hoping that the former would not relent in his efforts in brightening the Wonya lyonga.

Community Center under construction
Mr.Ekema Monono made a public appeal for more contributions in cash and kind towards the realization of the Wonyalyonga Development Association’s multi-purpose hall
The festival took place in the Wonyalyonga Development Association’s still –to –be completed multi-purpose hall.

When the Association was created the construction of a community center was a priority. “We thought of having a place where we can meet regularly –a place where we can meet for education, for communication, for sports, for relaxation”, Dr. Namanga Ngongi said. The hall is estimated to cost over 100 million FCFA and Dr.Ngongi said “we are not in a hurry. It can take over 7 years to get it completed”

 Although Dr. Namnaga Ngogi is the main financier of the community hall, he preferred to be humble when I asked about how much he has invested in the hall. He said, “It is a community project. It is not one person to take the credit. Somebody who brings one bag of cement is just as good as somebody who gives one million Fcfa-because we are all working together to realize a common objective.”

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