By Nester Asonganyi
In keeping with their role as custodians of culture and tradition, Fako chiefs have resolved to ditch latent or manifest differences and work together as one man with their elites for the success of the upcoming second edition of the Southwest Cultural Festival to be hosted this time around by Fako Division, in Buea, to be precise.
The resolution was arrived at on Friday June 30, in Buea during a first preparatory meeting. It was chaired by the Technical Adviser at the Civil Cabinet of the Presidency of the Republic, Churchill Ewumbue Monono.
The Buea 2017 edition of the festival, just like Kumba 2015, will still hold in December and will run from December 9 to December 16.
The Regional Delegate of Culture for the Southwest, Grace Ngoh Ewang emphasized the fact of culture being wealth. But she was quick to add that it would be worth nothing, if not exposed. She said many people visit Cameroon but go to those Regions where they would find artifacts, including traditional houses.The Delegate regretted the fact that the Southwest Region has never been a destination for such tourists because there is nothing besides the sea and the mountain, both of which they have already seen.
“We have so much to offer.The Southwest Cultural Festival is a lobbying tool to get people (sons and daughters) fund the preservation of the Southwest culture. It is also an opportunity for the Southwest people to meet as a people and too, a market for our artists,” she said.
Even though the Mayor of Buea Municipality, Ekema Patrick Esunge, remarked that he was not aware of such a grand event to be hosted by his municipality, he promised the Council’s collaboration. She however, castigated what he termed ‘the hate-love’ way of life, in Fako in particular, and Southwest in general. Hear her: “I am here because of the respect I have for Churchill Monono. He is the only Fako elite who cut across. I have seen in him a good person who will bring light to Fako because we are all lost.”
But Mola Elive, a teacher and an artist pleaded that; the Fako people shouldn’t let their differences pollute their culture. “We have a lot of challenges and I am pleading with the chiefs to use their offices in helping Fako, so that, during the festival, we will come out as one man.”
After serious deliberations, it was agreed that various committees be put in place to coordinate activities during the festival.
Churchill Monono who chaired the meeting, expressed gratitude for the seriousness he had seen in everyone present. “I am very happy that we have been able to brainstorm and settle our grievances. I have taken note of the fact that communication has to be enhanced. The next meeting will be in two or three weeks’ time,” Monono stated.
It is worthy of note that, activities to stamp the 2017 edition of the festival will include: prestigious Southwest sport walk with icons; excursion to Southwest cultural and touristic sites; exhibition of artifacts, paintings, sculptures, photography and books on Southwest cultures; physical and pictorial presentation of traditional houses on the site; choral music; traditional games; dances, traditional medicine; gastronomy; conferences; fashion parades and films projection. The festival will be crowned with a musical concert and heroes night award ceremony that will also see the finals of the elected Miss Southwest Region.