By Christopher Ambe
A group of Cameroonians converged on Fakoship Plaza Conference Hall in Buea, Thursday 18 July, to celebrate the 95th birth day of anti-Apartheid hero and South African first black President, Nelson Mandela, fondly called Madiba.
|Cameroonians in family photo after celebrating Mandela's 95th Birth Day|
South Africans in particular and the world in general were celebrating Madiba’s birth day amid reports that his health was improving, even as he was still in a critical but stable state.
He was hospitalized since June 8 for recurring lung infection and was said to be on a life support machine, fuelling global fears that, Mandela was near death.
The celebration in Buea was organized by a group in Cameroon, known as the Mandela Forum, which has exited for more than six years.
A special aspect of the celebration was the lighting of nine and a half candles, representing Mandela’s 95 years.
This year Dr. Ernest Molua (alias Madiba) ,lecturer of the University of Buea,was the brain behind Mandela’s 95th birthday in Buea,according to Nwalimu George Ngwane,writer and pan-Africanist,who moderated the lively discussions about Mandela at the conference.
The conference brought together University lecturers, students, journalists, the clergy and other members of the civil society.
Prayers were said, urging God to give Nelson Mandela longer life, by the Imam of Buea, Aboubakar; Rev Pastor Mary Wose of Presbyterian Church Molyko and Rev Dr. Mokake Paul, Field pastor Soppo Baptist Church
Mandela’s photo exhibition and the presentation of poems in honor of Mandela’s life and times, written by university students, also characterized the celebration.
It was also an occasion for people to ask questions about Mandela, with Dr.Ernest Molua and Writer George Ngwane, who are quite knowledgeable about the anti-apartheid hero, providing answers, to the satisfaction of all.
Writer George Ngwane disclosed that, the Mandela forum in Cameroon, which is recognized by the South African High Commission in Yaounde , was one of several groups and individuals who campaigned that the UN set aside a day in honor of Mandela.
Dr. Molua, who presented biography at the conference, said Mandela‘s life and times are a great inspiration for people who advocate human rights.
The conference attendees all chanted “Happy Birth Day songs to Mandela, wishing him more years.