Monday, March 22, 2010
By Fr. James Achanyi-Fontem
Members of the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC, of Plotinus Chapter in Bonaberi-Douala assembled like bees to celebrate the beginning of their New Year 3363 and welcomed their new Worthy Master Fr. Abongwa Jerome during a solemn installation on March 21, 2010 at the Ngwele premises.
The very significant event was officiated in the presence of the Regional monitor, Fr Agbor Tarh, who witnessed Fr. Achere Oben Mathias hand over to a new team led by Fr. Abongwa Jerome.
In the inaugural message to the members during the solemn ceremonies, Fr. Abongwa told his brothers and sisters that collective thoughts can become words, words deeds, deeds habit, habit character and character can be crowned by destiny.
He told the Plotinus affiliates, that the work for greater achievements can be attained only through collective contributions of all officers and the members. With this, he invited all members to set in motion causes whose effect are beneficial not only for them, but also for the affiliated body as well. Describing members present as architect of destiny, Fr. Abongwa reminded them that there is no future, because future is the present in the past and what is done now is what is reaped now or tomorrow.
Fr. Achere Oben Mathias had in his introduction of the event thanked members for their immense collaboration during his tenure of office and wished the same should be attributed to Fr. Abongwa.
After the solemn event at Plotinus Chapter domain in Ngwele, was the Agapes organized to celebrate the beginning of the New Year 3363 proper at Bonamikano Small Baobab, where again was introduced the very humble 1961 AMORC affiliated member who donated the piece of land that now houses the activities of the organisation.
Fr. Uche from Onitsa, Nigeria who had served Plotinus Chapter of Bonaberi before relocating in his home country Nigeria acted as the master of ceremony of the Agapes, bringing a lot of humour as he introduced the different phases of fraternal sharing in foods and drinks accompanied by dancing. The special guests observed that “This had never happened and they found everybody during the Agapes sharing very lovely’’ The candle has been ignited and the challenge now is to keep the flame burning forever as AMORC has no frontiers.
Traditonal Rosicrucian New Year
The Imperator, Fr. Christian Bernard, proclaimed Saturday, March 20 / Sunday, March 21, 2010 as the beginning of the Traditional Rosicrucian New Year 3363.
Rosicrucians commonly measure time by some recurring event. If something impresses itself upon the consciousness as the beginning of a series of impressions, it is then a time factor. For example, a person may say, “It was just the year before the great fire” or “It followed some years after the hailstorm.”
In nearly all cultures, the New Year has begun with some impressive annual event, most often some easily observed astronomical occurrence. Archaeological evidence discloses that such phenomena were used in prehistoric times by the early Homo sapiens, to indicate a period, or transition of time. This is explained by the differences in the calendars of different cultures. The Bangwa, Cameroon calendar counts eight (8) days a week instead of the seven (7) days used universally.
The ancients also used certain natural phenomena to indicate the beginning of a period of time. To the ancient Egyptians, the star Sirius, or Sothes as they called it, was the foremost of all stars, because this heliacal star arose at dawn at the time of the summer solstice. This also corresponds to the annual inundation of the Nile upon which the Egyptians depended for the irrigation of their otherwise arid land.
However, in the Northern Hemisphere, the vernal equinox, which occurred on or about March 21 when the sun enters the zodiac sign of Aries, was generally accepted as the beginning of a New Year. It is when dormant plant life seems to awaken and be rejuvenated. There was an apparent parallel in this awakening with the idea or concept of rebirth from death; at least, spring time came to symbolize rebirth. Nature appeared to be teaching a lesson. It gave rise to a symbolic mystical concept, that is, that mortal death is not final annihilation - man may live again.
Down through the ages, the ancient mystery schools perpetuated this concept of death and rebirth in dramatic allegories. These early rituals subsequently had an effect in their rites and doctrines, on contemporary religions and those that followed. For centuries the Rosicrucians have perpetuated the fundamental symbolism of this beautiful New Year ceremony throughout the world. There are no specific religious doctrines associated with the ritual, only the beautiful presentation of the concept of rebirth itself, dramatically and symbolically portrayed.
All Rosicrucian Lodges, Chapters, and Pronaoi of the Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis conducted this ancient traditional New Year Ceremony on or about March 20 & 21. The ceremony and mystical symbolic feast are most impressive, inspiring events.
Ancient and Mystical Order Rosæ Crucis (AMORC),
The Ancient and Mystical Order Rosæ Crucis (AMORC), also called Rosicrucian Order, is a philosophical and humanist worldwide fraternal organization. Members are known as students. The organization is devoted to "the study of the elusive mysteries of life and the universe". The organization is non-sectarian and it is open to both men and women of legal adult age (18 years old in most countries) regardless of their various religious persuasions.
The AMORC association was founded in 1915 in New York to support and organize the activities of a legendary Rose-Croix Order, which according to their tradition traces its origin to Ancient Egyptian mystery schools that they studied a wide variety of mystical subjects. The oral accounts they provide hold that these schools were founded during the joint reign of the Egyptian Pharaohs Tuthmosis III and Hatshepsut and included among their most esteemed pupils Pharaoh Akhenaten.
As the phrases "Rose-Croix" and "Rosicrucian" are in the public domain, there are a number of organizations that describe themselves as such. According to AMORC members and related publications, these organizations may or may not be related to a real Rosicrucian Order and most of them are not. AMORC is an authentic modern manifestation of the ancient Order, keeping the teachings of the ancient Rose-Croix Order undiluted and the primordial tradition intact. Contemporary readers have been introduced once again to the Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis and its principles in Dan Brown's latest novel The Lost Symbol.
For more information, click on the following link – www.amorc.org.uk
Sunday, March 14, 2010
By Prof. Asonganyi Tazoacha,
"I have been in the West at the Université des Montages following my attendance at my friend Denis Atemnkeng's mother's memorial celebration, Fonjinju' s mother's cry-die, a Cultural galore. I have read what I consider bizarre postings on the net. As a son of a prince of Lebang, in Lebialem Division of Cameroon, I grew up learning like many young Nweh children that Lefem is a sacred place where important governance issues are discussed, including traditional leadership issues. I learned that the operational word "secrecy" is more about issues discussed there, not the place as such. Except I am making a mistake, I think I was told that anybody whose father is no more can enter Lefem, thus stressing further that the secrecy of the place lies in its proceedings. I have never entered Lefem myself, and I do not think that I need to in future, except perhaps I am invited tomorrow for some secret discussions.
This said, those clamouring for the "secrecy" of Lefem that should not be exposed should explain very clearly why they think Lefem cannot be exposed. Those saying that our forefathers "will be angry" should explain very clearly why they will be. I am pleased to read from a contributor that our ancestors used our Culture/Traditions for their own purposes - mainly to live happily in harmony with nature, while harnessing natural forces to improve on their welfare; I agree with the contributor that in the world of today, we cannot pretend to want to use our culture/tradition in exactly the same way they used it because much has changed and is changing...
The relevance of Lefem to us should be how the secret discussions and conclusions reached there from time to time improve our lives and welfare, and create harmony in our villages; it should not lie in the fact that "it is a no-go area" or "not an area for YouTubes" or "only an area for notables". I think our venerable Fuasehngong has not lost an iota of his chieftaincy because of the lofty project he is involved in. And I think his grandfather Asonganyi will only shake his head in acknowledgement, knowing the man he was!
1) Although Iboland is mainly a "republican" society, the films that are coming out of there are educating us on Ibo culture and tradition, while allowing the Ibos to valorise their culture and make it contribute to their welfare. Same with the Yorubas that to me are a more traditional society...
2) The succession of Waffo Deffo that came out of Bandjoun showcased the Bandjoun tradition... and brought fame to Essola and many other film actors. I am sure that with what is coming out of Nigeria, even the Bandjoun people that criticised the film are thinking twice...
3) In the French revolution of 1789, republicanism took over from traditional rule. Ancestors did not haunt the French because the Louis's and the rest were kicked out, did they?
4) And Ethiopia, and? and?... Hopefully reactions on the above debate should help to educate me and others better... Two things have given me the impression that Lebialem people may indeed be waking up from their slumber:
1) the singlehanded creation of Lebialem territory in Melong by Fuanjinju; do not be surprised tomorrow to get Lebialem names there in future, like we have New England, New York, Cambridge, London, ...in the USA, Australia, Canada, etc.
2) The great Hotel Complex built in Buea by a Lebialem son as I write this, convinces me that the Lebialem Man may at last be stirring in His sleep. They may as well wake up soon."
Prof. Tazoacha Asonganyi is Lecturer at University of Yaoundé, Cameroon
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
By James Achanyi-Fontem
Director of Publication
Over 5.000 guests from various parts of Cameroon jammed the Lenale Ndem UNESCO Club Museum in Melong, Moungo Division of Cameroon to participate in the official take off of 2010 activities associated to the memorial celebration of Mafuankeng Forminka, Queen Mother of the Lenale Ndem Palace.
The official ceremony was presided over by the Deputy Senior Divisional Officer, Tapca Albert, who lauded the community initiative aimed at promoting the conservation of cultural arts and heritage of the museum. He added that arts and craft at the Lenale Ndem UNESCO Club museum constituted great cultural patrimony of Cameroon that attracts tourists to the region.
He invited members of the executive bureau of the club to elaborate policies that would include the organisation of training on arts conservation for the transfer of the heritage to young persons and for the promotion of exchanges between Cameroon and other countries.
The SDO for Moungo encourage the population to support the community initiative which also unites people, promotes peace and development. The Senior Civil Administrator for Moungo, Mvondo Justin signed the legal frame work authorisation reference no. 112/RDA/C16/BAPP for the Lenale Ndem UNESCO Club on the 22nd October 2009 to undertake its initiative for the promotion of rights, cooperation and the development of the culture of the people of Cameroon.
These activities, according to the constitution and internal regulations of the UNESCO Club, will not only promote national arts and cultural patrimony, but also reinforce friendship and solidarity between the people of Cameroon and other countries through mutual exchanges.
The non governmental organisation will elaborate policies on the role of conservation and preservation of cultural arts and crafts in conformity with legislation and regulations for the protection of patrimony, act as a consultative organ to the government, public and private institutions in the region on questions related to the development of traditional museums.
To achieve these goals, Lenale Ndem UNESCO Club will identify all the necessary human, technical and financial resources available at national, regional and international levels through information sharing on the needs and sources of assistance.
The chairman of Lenale Ndem UNESCO Club, Fonjinju Tatabong Alexander, made it known that his team would work to valorise Melong as the portal for the promotion of cooperation, the development of culture, arts and heritage of the people of Cameroon.
Melong is already very popular for its agricultural activities and the museum will promote tourism through the 2.826 traditional arts and crafts already stocked in the Lenale Ndem with the oldest art having 140 years.
Fonjinju reiterated that by setting up the club as a community initiative, it aimed at mobilising the population to support the mission of UNESCO and that of the government with the frame work of promoting the culture of peace and development.
The Lenale Ndem UNESCO Club will initiate, promote and stimulate diverse activities by using the experiences of the icons of UNESCO Clubs around the world. He explained that Mafuankeng Fprminka Esther, who was honoured on the occasion was born in 1914 and she told most of the stories which were transformed into the arts work found in the museum in Melong today. The executive bureau of the Lenale Ndem UNESCO Club of Melong is constituted of the following personalities:
President: Fonjinju Tatabong Alexander (Melong)
Vice President: Dr. John Nkengasong (USA)
General Secretary: Afutendem Lucas(Dschang)
Financial Secretary: Mbekem Loveline (Melong)
Treasurer: Akaya Claire (Melong)
Communication Officer: James Achanyi-Fontem (Douala)
Technical Adviser: Dr. Asaah Nkohkwo (United Kingdom)
Over 50 traditional leaders from North West, South West, West and Littoral regions led delegations of their Fondoms and Chiefdoms to participate in the traditional exhibition of Cameroon heritage through dances and traditional performances. Some of the dances that went on stage included Esseih, Lenya, Nkang, Kwang bequifua, Alunga chaba, Tchutcha of Bazou, Abin, Kana of Mbouda, and Njang of Nso only to name a few. FERMENCAM supported the organisation of the event by animating the population for two days and serving refreshments to the different dance groups that showed up. The media presence at the event was also very remarkable, especially as cameroon Radio Television, Cameroon Tribune and Canal 2 International Television despatched teams to the UNESCO Club activities launching in Melong.Cameroon Link covered the event extensively and more of the story can be watch through the videos uploaded at http://uk.youtube.com/camlink99/