United and Committed to the Development Of Lebang Fondom

CULTURE

CULTURE

LECUDO-USA is organized for the promotion of the culture and development of the Lebang Fondom or Bangwa people. The traditional Bangwa culture can be describe as a class society with chiefs as traditional rulers assisted by nobles and other citizens of the clan. Children, women and non-title holders have their place within the system as it used to be in the olden days. Things have changed with the advent of western style education and a cash economy. The economy used to depend on farming, hunting, apprenticeship and trading.

In 1992, Fontem subdivision was elevated to a full prefecture called Lebialem division with the headquarters located in Menji. The geographic area can be described as a rectangle running from the Bamileke ‘grasslands’, in the east down to the forests basin towards Mamfe in the west. The Bangwa people are hardworking and respectful of each other including visitors. They live in compounds of several hundred yards apart from each other and jealously guard their independence and territorial boundaries. Villages are ruled by a chief who acts as the family head. Polygamy had its advantages in the early days.

Each chiefdom is under a paramount chief called the Fon. Some chiefs with large territories organize a local market a day for their Lefem (secret society). The chiefs are assisted by nobles call beNkem who act as quarter or family heads. The culture was usually transmitted through storytelling, idioms, and wise sayings. The two most important groups in the cultural set up of the Bangwa people are the Night Society (Troh) and the Secret Society (Lefem).

Recent Traditional Enthronement

Fon Fontem Njifua,(CPDM Central Committee member, President of the South West Chiefs’ Conference and national Senator) was taken away by Troh Azi on April 2, 2014. He was enthroned on April 27, 1982 following the demise of Fontem Defang who worked with the founder of the Focolari Movement, Chiara Lubich, to bring Seat of Wisdom College and Mary Health of Africa Hospital to the area.

On May 9, 2014 a younger Fon Fontem Asabaton was enthrone as the Fon of Fontem following the demise of his father Fontem Njifua. The traditional enthronement ceremony was performed by the Lebang Kingmakers and members of the secret society. The occasion was attended by numerous dignitaries from Cameroon and abroad. It lasted for over a week at the Azi Palace.

Kingmakers caught members of the new traditional cabinet. The newly selected traditional rulers (male and female) were taken into the inner palace for enthronement rites and change of attire before being brought out in a solemn public appearance guided by the trohs and Kingmakers. Fon Fontem Asabaton succeed his father Fontem Njifua the paramount ruler of Lebang, and the biggest Fondom in Lebialem division.