The Post

Feasting With Women in the Village
December 13, 2002

by Fedelis Pegue Manga

The feast was holding for the third time in three years. Its success, however, did not depend on temperament but on the insight of the organizer of the Feast of the Women in the village of Bonendale Douala.

"La Fete des Femmes au Village," is a yearly event organized by the Queen of Bonendale II Her Majesty Jacqueline Ikollo Ndoumbe. This time it had the push of King Ikollo Ndoumbe Moise.

The venue was the majestic beach of Bonendale and the date was Saturday, December 7. At the beach, the sound of Makossa music rented the air as Beko Sadi gyrated on stage.

The Esiwa dance group, a creation of the Queen, animated in a lent at the entrance to the venue. Then the bells began to toll, announcing the arrival of the Queen of Bonendale.

Queen Jacqueline Ikollo Ndoumbe walked daintily, led by the Esiwa dance group, accompanied by Dr. Christopher Fomunyoh, Regional Director of the National Democratic Institute, NDI.

Dr. Fomunyoh featured as special guest at the occasion. The King arrived at 11:05 am accompanied by HRH Prince Rene Douala Manga Bell, Numfor Nico Halle, and Fon Akam.

Then the bell tolled again, announcing the arrival of the Queen, accompanied by Dr. Fomunyoh. After performing the traditional greetings, Queen Jacqueline took her seat and waited for the arrival of King Ikollo Ndoumbe Mdise. He, too, arrived at 11:05 am accompanied by Prince Rene Douala Manga Bell, Numfor Nico Halle and some Fons from the Northwest Province.

Welcoming the guests, King Ikollo said Bonendale was passing through a historic period of its evolution. He thanked everyone who made it to the occasion.

Dr. Fomunyoh, in his speech, thanked King Ikollo for his heart-warming words of welcome. He said the King and Queen are perfect illustrations of friendship, affinity and fraternity expressed by Cameroonians when they meet abroad. He said the Bonendale Chiefdom epitomizes the link between tradition and modernism. He upheld the dynamism and confidence with which the women of Bonendale peer into the future.

"I wish to thank the Bonendale family-for giving me the opportunity to determine from the source, the measures and vision required to combat the problems on our continent," he said He wished the association of women in the village to grow from strength to strength! He thanked the Fons for their support to the women of Bonendale.

Dr. Fomunyoh assured the Bonendale women that their objectives to harmonize the efforts of rural women, promote solidarity and concerted action and to seek finances for micro-projects to empower the rural women will benefit from his full support. He said a home in Washington DC wilt be dedicated to the women of Bonendale.

For Prince Rene Bell, he feels ten years younger. He praised the Queen for her humanitarian endeavours; "It is incontestably the voice of the rural masses that can lead us to the development pf our community," Prince Rene said.

Speaking to The Post after the occasion, Fon Ngwanbanysi III of Guzahg said the occasion provided an opportunity for twining of cultures. The Fon said he had gathered quite a lot, which he would carry back to his people.