This small fence is nowhere close to an ordinary fence. It is found in almost if not, all markets in the Northwest Region and common in secret places in the grass fields of Cameroon. Its existence dates far back to pre-colonial times in an era of no police or security systems. It is the invisible market or community guard.

Every Market Day the traditional head of the village hosting the market (Fon) stood in front of this structure to make announcements bearing on the life of the village. Before the Fon speaks, the gong in front is played for everyone to assemble. It was a secret place of law and out of bounds for many excerpt well placed individuals in top traditional circles.

It is not only a kind of traditional pulpit but also home of the” invisible market guard”. This structure has been traditionally fortified to be the watchdog of the market. In the communities where it is found and particularly the market, it is believed that if you collect what does not belong to you (steal) from any part of the market, the gods of the land will pursue you with the possibility of infecting you with a strange disease.

Now 34 years old, a lady recounted to how she went to the market with the mother. She picked money and took home. Two days later she felt very sick. Remembering that she was in the market months back when the FON cautioned on the picking of things from the market, she informed the mother who took the money which she had not use to the shrine basket.
She concluded that the following morning she went to school as if she was never sick. Everyone who therefore picks something misplaced in the market is expected to keep in the basket just before the small fence. And if you misplaced something in the market you could come back and see it here. Though you are not allowed to collect without the express permission of the market master, this structure has remained a major deterrent to those who steal in the market.

Save the Crown notes!
Strangely enough these traditional market guards are disappearing as it no longer makes sense to today’s Fons. Save the Crown demands that there be a return to the core values that make our tradition unique, authentic and revert. To Fons who have reduced our culture and tradition to dresses and houses, we say stop! The throne, Crown and Starve of office remain open representation of the conferment of authority built on honesty and spiritual principles that connect us to our ancestors. Save The Crown!
Derick BAKAH

Derick BAKAH

Bakah Derick is a Broadcast Presenter and Multimedia specialist with focus on sharing with the rest of the world the daily happenings in the Northwest Region of Cameroon. You can contact us on +237 675460750 or

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