By Bakah Derick
The Executive Director of the Bamenda based youth centered not-for-profit nongovernmental Community Youth Arts Center (COYAC) has made public a series of activities to be carried by his organisation. COYAC founder and promoter Ngha Beng Kwokom Linus very well known in Bamenda as Bobo leennox unveiled the children and youth centered activities during a symposium in Bandjoun station near Bafoussam organised by SAVVY Contemporary on Friday 1 April 2022.
Amongst the upcoming activities presented by Bobo Leennox and team are "Nkwalèh" Night and "Pikin Juju."
"Our next activity is the "Nkwaleh" Night. It is an open event where we invite walking encyclopedia to talk to young people about our culture and believes. This will be done around the stone fireside.There will also be live acoustic traditional musical presentations" Bobo
"COYAC also wants to create a traditional masquerade dance groups for kids between the ages of 6 to 17 years called "Pikin Juju“ in all seven divisions of the north west. We need equipment, attires and dance teachers" he added
According to the promoter of COYAC, the ongoing armed conflict in the North West Region has many made children and youth to loss touch with their culture and it is important to create safe spaces where they can comfortably go back to their roots.
With funds from his Arts shop, Bobo Leennox says he has been promoting fine arts in an environment where many consider artists as irresponsible people. He has been demystifying the notion by engaging in other activities like distribution of food in hospitals during luckdowns which is a regular occurrence during the armed conflict, distribution of COVID-19 prevention kits, training of pupils in schools around Bamenda amongst others.
"We want to continue arts and culture activities in primary and secondary schools, create art and culture clubs in schools, organize events promoting culture and arts. In the next 5 years we want to teach and empower 500 to 800 children and youths to be able to gain knowledge on out culture and arts etc" he added
After listening to Bobo Leennox, many who could not hide their admiration for the projects immediately poured out love in different forms including tears in satisfaction. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung promoter of SAVVY Contemporary and organiser of the Bandjoun symposium on the spot pledge financial support for all the acticities by COYAC. Barthélémy Toguo owner of Bandjoun station museum of contemporary arts handed over books to accompany the COYAC initiatives. Others including Tito Valerie Journalist and Culture promoter have also promised to accompany COYAC in the most possible ways.
Created in 2003, COYAC has provided training for many in fine arts, clothing and textile from the University of Bamenda and other institutions in the area, worked with other organisations like Hope for the Needy Association HOFNA Cameroon in training girls to use to tell their stories. Bobo Leennox hopes to make COYAC home to many children internal displaced by the conflict in the region and more.