KUMBO—A magnificent cultural festival ended here Saturday with a call for unity among Nso people and caution against misbehaviours from some of the land’s most powerful secret societies.
For one week, thousands of Nso people from around the world gathered in this mountainous place, where they danced, sang and showcased the best of Nso culture, craft, food and business.
Dubbed Ngonnso, the festival is the second of its kind and was graced this year by the presence of the Sultan of Bamoun, a tribe in the West region with which the Nsos share a lot of heritage.
The traditional rulers of neighbouring Nkambe and Kom also attended the final day of the festival at the courtyard of the palace of the Fon of Nso, Fon Sehm Mbinglo 1. A representative of the Libyan consulate and several government officials also attended.
In a speech on behalf of the minister of culture, Panjounou Daniel, the Bui senior divisional officer, urged the people of Nso to guard against disunity and divisive tendencies. He said in the exercise of their culture, the Nso should try to respect the rights of people with different customs.
Fon Mbinglo I spoke in a similar light. But in addition, the traditional ruler, who is the most powerful man in Nso land, warned secret societies like the Nwerong and Ngiri to shun bad practices for the sake of development.
The festival is named after Queen Ngonnso, the woman who founded the Nso tribe. The first festival was held in 2008 at the impulse of the Nso Development Association.
Nso has one of the richest cultural heritages in Cameroon, most of it preserved over the years in craft, music, dance and a powerful traditional governmernt.
The main business of the people is handicraft and agriculture, but with the coming of other groups, catlle raring has grown into a veritable industry.
Njong Donatus, the mayor of Kumbo said Nso people were working hard to measure up with the customs practiced by their ancestors, underscoring the need for the protection of the culture for present and future generations.