Save the Crown: Nkwen Fondom bids farewell to Queen Mother "Miafor"

By Bakah Derick

The people of Nkwen Fondom a village in the North West Region of Cameroon have ended eight days of mourning following the passing on of their Queen Mother.
For eight days traditionally speaking, there was no farm work. Everyone resident in Nkwen with farming as principal activity was only allowed to do mild farm work like havesting or stay home. The palace was busy. Friends of the Fondom came visiting. On daily bases, the royal home received guests who came to sympathize with the Fon, Queens,  princes and princesses.

Photo credit: Observer237 Fon of Nkwen Azehfor III accompanied by other Fons at opening of mourning event for Miafor

His Majesty Azehfor III has been in his palace receiving from one delegation to the other in the different court yards. He shared with them how valuable his late mother was to him from childhood till when he became Fon. She has been a pillar to him, the Fon told his guests.

She is well known in the village by her traditional title Miafor meaning mother of the Fon. She occupies a strategic position in the management of affaires in the Fondom. She enjoys several previllages including the laying of her remains inside the royal home by the secret masqurades of the land something done only for Fons.

 The  Queen Mother Ngehgah Emmerencia passed-on  on  Monday June 8, 2020 and a week of mourning is opened on Thursday June 11 with a memorial Church Service celebrated by Rev Fr Andreas Tamutana a son of the soil and Rev Fr Emilio Calcena as concelebrant. The celebrant urged the many mourners who answered present to consider death as the ultimate end of life on earth and the begining of a new life in the world beyond which depends on how you lived your life on earth. He encouraged mourners to live according to God's prescriptions so as to have a better life after death.

Late Queen Mother of Nkwen Miafor

The beautiful union of Nkwen Traditional believes and Chirstianity is at its apex at the mourning period opening event. Miafor has been a dedicated member of the Catholic Women's Association CWA. Her burial is strictly traditional but Holy Mass must be said for a Christian and CWA member of her standing. That is done in the palace esplanade where thousands ignored the coronavirus pandemic scare to be present. The Fon had taken precautions and ensured everyone who enters the palace gets a face mask and hands sanitised before joining in the mourning. The women of the land assembled and perfomed the funeral ritual of singing dirges or funeral hymns in memory of Miafor.

Close to ten traditional rulers answered present with some expressing surprise at the important position given the Queen Mother of Nkwen.

The Fon of Nkwen has decribed the departed mother (Miafor) as an important pillar, supporter, Counselor and a major source of inspiration for his administration of the Nkwen Fondom. "She gave me wise councils especially when we have difficulties. She acts on my behalf when am out for other services. Coordinates my wives and the entire community was looking up to her.” he said in a tribute.

The passing on of the Queen Mother has ignited the desire for more unity in the royal home. During the mourning period, Hilltopvoices gathered some members of the royal family who found issues with the coronation of the current Fon have showed up after a long time. They have mourned and had meetings with the Fon." Miafor could just be performing her peace maker duties from the world beyond." The notable opined.

According to the customs of the Nkwen people, the Queen Mother will be celebrated in an event known as Ni-kwi. During the period, every cultural dance existing in the Fondom is expected to perform publicly failure which such a dance maybe be declared non-existent.

Born in Manda Quarter in Nkwen in 1944, Ngehgah Emmerencia joined the ruyal family after Marrying the immediate past Fon; Ngufor III. Her marriage with the monarch will be blessed with four children. She died a member of the Catholic Women's Association CWA as the Queen Mother of Nkwen.

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