Our Recent Past

The things I say carry my sole responsibility. I am simply trying to relate to posterity what I was told and what I saw. You are free to complete or argue What I say. I did not grow nor did I stay in Bali for long. Do not therefore consider what I write to be gospel.

Ba Daiga


 
On the 18th of September 1985 the light went out in bali. HRH Vincent Sama Galega II went on a journey to meet his ancestors. Buea mountain had fallen into the sea. The Bali throne was empty the Nkoms on the left of the throne -Ba Gwayebe, Ba Gwandeku, ba Gwanmesia and the others are visibly downcast.On the left of the empty throne two Nchinteds take their place with the Ntang Nfon.
 
Here the Ngumba arrive……..
……and take their places at the mourning ground.
 
The ngumba is a hit squad. The last I heard of them was when they unearthed a corps in Bali and some landed in jail.
 
Picture shows all available Nkoms in Bali. I can recognise (R – L) Gwandiku / Gwayebe / Gwanyama / Gwanmesia /Gwanjegana/ Gwankudvalla / Gwankobe / Gwanua
 
More Nkoms
 
Meanwhile for the princesses it is pandemonium. Open wailing and lamentations in pure bali fashion in picture
 
Note the white for royal cry die and the Calabar chalk on their faces.
 
Also this time they have put on breast wears which was not the case in 1940 when HRH Fonyonga died.
 
The fon’s wives ( queens ) are sitting in picture 10 while an aunt ( tangwi ) in grey is consoling them.
 
The Fon’s sisters are standing behind the queens.
 
Then drama. The Nchinteds appear carrying the royal remains in picture 12.some elders behind me whisper that this is just show. The remains has already been treated by secret rites.
 
The princesses are deep in thought as they keep a stoic silence. They are wondering who amongst them will become the primus inter pares/the first amongst equals? Their father and brother? Dr Francis Galega is 3rd from the left
 
We see another cluster of princesses. Ralph Galega is second from the left carrying a den gun. Gordon tachang in shirt and black pants.
 
His masters voice and louspeaker of the fon, Ba Nkom Gwayebe takes the floor to announce in mungaka………bi yu oooh!!!!!bi yu ba nyongo !!!bi yu ti chu loh mbeuh dio !!!( Bali people listen to the senior district officer from Bamenda. )
 
Enter the senior divisional officer for mezam – RTD. Mr Mbassi Ngoh. He reads the will of the late man and announces the name of the new fon. The gentleman standing near the S.D.O is the legendary Peter Oben Ashu the sub prefect of Bali. To the left is commissaire divisionaire rtd Nukuna Dennis who played a very important but differently appreciated role during the first delicate days of the regnum.
 
The new Fon is lead into the lela square hiden in lion skin. In the inner circle are chinteds. Those with spears are Nkoms. Extreme left are Gwanvoma closely followed by Fogam.
 
The actual coronation takes place when the new Fon stands on the lela stone. It is said that at birth the son who is supposed to eventually succeed him is taken at midnight and his delicate royal feet are placed on that stone. This is done and witnessed by seven king makers who swear ometa/silence at the prize of their dear lives. They are the ones who are usually questioned when the light goes off. But today the will also omes in.
 
A close up of the stone
 
From there he crosses over amidst a lot of sound and clamour to the empty and waiting throne. He is escorted by bare chested nkoms. Easily recognised are Ba Fogam, Ba tita Labit, and Ba Gwanvoma
 
He hesitates to sit yet Nchinted Tapdiga as all other bani have transferred allegiance to Dr Doh Ganyonga .
 
Picture shows the shooting away of death. ( tam vuh ). Yet it goes and comes.
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