Save the Crown: Mankon mourning diluted by village cosmopolitan character, "Ntaw" set to welcome found Fon
By Bakah Derick
For the past seven days, the people of Mankon in Bamenda have been mourning the passing on of their Fon following an order by the highest masquerade in Mankon; the Kwifo. According to the order by the Kwifo, no farming or digging related activities were to take place in Mankon during the decreed period of mourning being May 30 to June 5, 2022. Within this period, men were also not allowed to wear caps.
Reports from the Mankon Royal home (Ntaw Mankon) and nearby quarters say, this order was respected to the least with community members helping to remind each other about the mourning exercise.
"When I was leaving home with by face cap, my neighbour reminded me that I was not supposed to wear a cap. We actually joked over it and I left but when I got to my junction, the way one Pa talked to me I felt really ashamed and had to remove by cap. Even though I got to the commercial avenue and saw people with caps, I felt really uncomfortable wearing back my face cap. I kept feeling like someone will tell me to remove." Kenfack Romeo from the West region now settled in Mankon tells www.hilltopvoices.com.
From the Nchubuh area through Ntarikon, Azire via old Town to Ntamulung all areas that makeup urban Mankon, no one seems to be worried about the mourning. At old Town, we even met a masquerade dancing with cap wearing men watching.
"I no be na Makon man. Na weti? Na all man for here be Mankon?" A man well advanced in age responds angrily to this reporter after he was reminded that men are not to wear caps in Mankon at this time as the village is mourning their Fon.
As the mourning period ended on Sunday 5 June 2022, civiclens.info reported that women were busy weaving the rag clothing to be used on Tuesday 7 June as part of what is known in Mankon land as the "Nikwi nə Abubtə". General cleaning and rehabilitation has been ongoing in the palace with all categories of people visiting the royal home with different messages and gifts.
The event that is gradually turning to a cultural festival and tourists attraction will be happening for the first time in over six decades.
It is expected that within the early hours of Tuesday, Mankon sons and daughters will appear at the palace plaza in the ragged clothing weaved from plantain and banana plants.
Sources close to the Kwifo say those wearing the ragged clothing will have to remove them and throw in the stream on their way home. As old tradition demands, they will clean themselves before reaching home as a sign of washing off the spirit that took their Fon away.
They will later in the day return to the palace with the hope of seeing their found Fon. Reports reaching us indicate that all is set for event.
Despite the circulation of someone expected to be the found Fon, sons and daughters of Mankon say they are not too sure because there may likely be a new development. According to them, only the event of Tuesday can reveal their Fon.
We are monitoring the event with keen attention....