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Minister Announces Admission Of Bambalang Palace Museum Into UNESCO 

By Chris Mbunwe

The Minister of Arts and Culture, Professor Narcisse Mouelle Kombi, has disclosed the imminent insertion of the Mbaw-Yakum (Bambalang Palace Museum Project) into the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO, Project.

Addressing thousands of culture admirers who thronged Bambalang village in Ndop Central Subdivision of Ngoketunjia Division last weekend, for the 83rd edition of Sha-tang, Professor Mouelle Kombi thanked the Fon of Bambalang, Kevin Shomitang II, and his subjects for preserving their rich culture.
He was marveled especially by the combination of tradition and modernism in architectural blend that gives the palace a unique attraction for tourists.

“My coming here has made me discover beautiful touristic cultural potentials and I am particularly proud that Bambalang is doing everything to promote its culture,” said the Minister.
He said there are studies on the way to ensure that the rich Bambalang Palace Museum is admitted into UNESCO Project so that it benefits from the advantages that accompany such admission.
Professor Mouelle Kombi cited the Bafut Museum and others in the country that have been enjoying from UNESCO.

After visiting Mbisa Island where he witnessed fishing activities and the palace museum including some sacred forests, food and craft exhibitions as well as traditional dances with dreaded jujus displaying their talents, Mouelle expressed deep satisfaction as far as valorisation of the cultural heritage of Bambalang Fondom is concerned.

He equally promised the training of museum attendants and financial assistance for the renovation of the palace if means permit.

For his part, the Fon of Bambalang thanked the Minister of Arts and Culture for the choice of Bambalang.
He said the 83rd Edition of Sha-tang cultural festival with the theme that hinges on environmental protection, also carried a special message of “appeasing the gods of the past monarchs so as to have a bountiful harvest, and to sensitise the population to desist from bush burning.”

One of the notables and a Prince of Bambalang, Ephraim Banda Ghogomu, said Sha-tang started during the reign of late Fon Mingo Ghogomu in the early 1930s and was celebrated at the time four times a year.
Banda Ghogomu said the Kwifon (Secret Society) realised that it was becoming too burdensome because the population has to stay away from any farm work, construction of any kind and only fishing was allowed for the two holy weeks.

“That is why after deep reflection, it was reduced to once a year. Today, the Kwifon organises a single Sha-tang to globally appease all the gods of the past monarchs and not for an individual Fon. It takes place before planting season to cast out any evil that can befall the people or bad harvest. With this done, we are certain of a huge harvest and economic growth,” Ghogomu said.
The Mayor of Ndop Council, Abel Cheni Mbombo, appealed to the Minister of Arts and Culture to, as a matter of urgency, help renovate the palace.

He said Bambalang is one of those ancient historical palaces that should be given adequate attention to boost tourism.
The Sha-tang was witnessed by Prince Paul Ghogomu, Director of Cabinet at the Prime Minister’s Office, Fons from Cameroon and traditional dignitaries from Nigeria, Parliamentarians and a host of others.

Fon Kevin Shomitang decorated the Manager of UNVDA, Richard Chin, Messres: Francis Chi and Manfred Sona, all of Les Brasseries Bamenda, for enormous contributions to the success of the Sha-tang this year.

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