By Bouddih Adams
The Nkwen Cultural & Development Association, NCDA, in their Quarterly General Assembly, QGM, awarded scholarships to some 23 candidates, that hail from Nkwen who performed excellently at the 2021 GCE O, TVEE and A Levels.
All clad in the Grassfield regalia (Togho), the Menkwen, (Nkwen people) after serious deliberations and relolutions, transformed the QGM into a cultural festival of song, dance, gastronomy and mastery of the mother-tongue.
Welcoming delegates of all NCDA branches to the Nkwen Cultural Centre in Molyko, Buea, host President, Gabriel Achunche, prayed that they have a safe and sound stay in the “City of Legendary Hospitality.”
He said the QGM was holding later than initially scheduled because it coincided with the Festival of Heritage, Arts and Culture that was hosted by the Fondom of Nkwen in November last year.
“…we thank and congratulate the organisers, participants and visitors of the festival. It was such a success that, we are looking forward to having more of such events that showcase our rich history and culture,” the NCDA Buea President remarked.
Achunche hailed His Majesty, the Fon of Nkwen, for reacting to a plea to empower Quarter Heads in the Diaspora to perform certain rites, by giving directives for such empowerment. He bowed to Kwifor for having standardised procedures to reduce the cost of burials on families and limit unnecessary expenditures at funerals.
He mentioned as burning issues, the appeal of the Fon to give the palace a facelift. He exalted His Majesty for measures taken towards management of land in Nkwen Fondom, especially the preservation of raffia palm bushes.
“Palm wine, which is a cornerstone of our cultural expression, is systematically being substituted with beer and cash in occasions where palm wine is required. Perhaps, Kwifor can go further in dissuading the destruction of raffia palm bushes ….” He pleaded with the NCDA to apply for and obtain a piece of land on which an NCDA or Nkwen Cultural Centre can be constructed.
The General President of the NCDA, Paul Taniform Asafor, in his address thanked God for granting them the grace to be counted among the living.
“We have gone through turbulent times, losing loved ones, living in perpetual fear and uncertainties, but, yet, God in His infinite mercies keep us strong and healthy. Some of our brothers and sisters have gone ahead of us, marked with the sign of the cross,” he said, while calling for a minute of silence in honour of NCDA Vice General President, Pa Martin Akamangwa, among other faithfully departed.
“My very esteemed Menkwen, when we were elected… I made a pledge that I and my team will revamp the NCDA Scholarship Scheme that unfortunately went to sleep …” He said they have kept the promise, that is why in 2019, 25 students benefitted from the scheme; in 2020 36; and in 2021, 23; making a total of 84 scholarships in three years.
He thanked everyone for their contributions to the scholarship fund while congratulating the Chair of the Scholarship Board, Mathew Takwi and his team for “assiduity, devotedness, sense of commitment and transparency in the discharge of the functions assigned to them´´. The scholarships were accompanied by certificates to the laureates, followed by celebrations and cultural displays. After congratulating everyone for mastering their mother-tongue, the guest of honour, Southwest Delegate of Arts and Culture, Grace Ewang, joined in wriggling to live traditional music.