Fako America Organisation Awards Cash Prizes And Certificates To Bakweri Students In Cameroon For Outstanding Performances At The 2010 GCE ‘O’ And ‘A’ Levels, And Vocational Training
By Moki Stephen Mokondo in Buea on special assignment for Fako UK/Fako News Centre and Fako America
For the first time in the History of the Bakweri tribe, the most outstanding Bakweri students at the GCE Ordinary and Advanced Levels and Vocational training were brought together in the same building to receive awards and certificates from the same organisation. Fako America, the largest Bakweri organisation in the world in terms of the number of registered members and the organisation that sponsored the entire event and brought all the students and their parents together, sent a message to Fako Division and the rest of the world that ‘Fako America means business’. For weeks, Dr Martin Moluwa Matute (Fako America President) and Pauline Liengu Litumbe-Hill of the Fako America Scholarship Committee had been very busy making behind-the-scenes contacts with Fako UK for some relevant academic data, and also kept in regular contact with the organising committee that they (Fako America) had created in Buea.
The award ceremony took place at the Cameroon O.I.C in Buea on Saturday the 5th of February. The occasion started with a prayer from Mola Mbua Ndoko, a staunch Bakweri traditionalist, who asked the almighty God to refill the sources of the generous Fako America Organisation. Dr Ekema Agbaw of Fako America who is in Cameroon on sabbatical, read out a welcoming speech on behalf of the President of Fako America in which he welcomed and thanked the awardees and their parents and also thanked Fako UK for doing Bakweri GCE results analysis. Dr Ekema Agbaw on his part, disclosed that societies are fast growing and very competitive in which excellent results are the measuring rod for placing people in top positions. He explained that Fako America is aware of what other non Fako groups are doing to encourage academics among their tribes and thus they deem it necessary to use scholarships to serve as incentives to motivate their younger ones to do well in all areas of academics.
The award of money and certificates started after the speeches. Students of the vocational courses were called to the stage one after the other with much applause from the audience. And then came the Bakweri GCE students who set Mount Fako ablaze with an avalanche of ‘A’ grades. Frida Embolo Nganje, top at the Advanced level with 4A’s and 1C and now a first year medical student at Buea University, and Eposi Enjema Carine-Solange, top at the Ordinary levels with 9A’s, 1B and 1C, stared at each other several times, probably saying in the minds ‘’ so we are the top students in this mighty Bakweri tribe’’. Frida Nganje came along with her auntie and her father, Mola Wilson Nganje, native of Mokunda village. Eposi Enjema Carine Solange was brought to the event by the Principal of Presbyterian Comprehensive Secondary School, Buea, where she is currently doing her ‘A’ Levels after she did her ‘O’ levels at Presbyterian Girls Secondary School, Limbe. Eposi Manka’a Tanda, 3rd at the Advanced Level with 3A’s, 1B and 1E, heard the radio announcement whilst in Yaounde. She arrived at the occasion when it had just finished, but received her award with gratitude. Two weeks before the event, Fako News Centre visited Baptist High School Buea to inform the authorities that there would be a Fako America award ceremony to honour outstanding Bakweri students so they should give permission to Mathilda Eposi Njie, 2nd at the ‘O’ levels with 8A’s and 3B’s, daughter of Mola Ngeke Njie of Wokwaongo and the late Marie-Stella, to attend the event. The Vice Principal was so over-joyed such that he promised Fako News Centre that he would take her there himself. What happened on the big day? Mathilda Eposi Njie did not show up. The organising committee did not find it funny. Immediately the event ended, Fako News Centre was given Mathilda Eposi Njie’s 40,000 frs prize money and her certificate to go straight to Baptist High School and give her the award. When Fako News Centre arrived at Baptist High School, the Vice Principal said he had completely forgotten and apologised over and over. The Principal, Mr Agbor, sent for Mathilda Eposi Njie and Fako News Centre handed her the prize and certificate in front of the principal and other senior staff.
Tessy-Koko Kulu, joint 3rd at the ‘O’ Level with Malvin Loka Lisinge, with both having similar grades 7A’s and 4B’s, came along with her parents Mola Ngenye Henry Kulu and Sarah Mojoko Kulu nee Gobina, natives of Wova village and Wondongo village respectively. Mola Arthur Ekeke Lisinge (South West Delegate for Transport) attended the event to collect his son’s(Malvin Lisinge) award, since his son is doing his ‘A’ Levels at a school in Bamenda.
Limunga Enanga Monono, ex-Saker student ( 1A and 2B’s) was awarded Dr Ekema Agbaw’s prize ( 100,000 frs) for the best Literature Student in memory of his late mother, Mama Sussana Efosi Agbaw nee Mosaso. Also incorporated into the Fako America awards were ‘Best Prize in Home Economics For Vocational Studies sector by Dr and Mrs Moluwa Matute in memory of Queen Gladys Silo Endeley, and this prize went to Sophie Efeti Wokama, and ‘Best Science Student Prize by Dr Augustine Evella Kange (a former Fako America President) went to Eposi Enjema Carine-Solange, the top Bakweri ‘O’ Level student. All awards ranged from 35,000 frs to 100,000 frs per student.
On behalf of the students, Frida Embolo Nganje, best ‘A’ level student, expressed her gratitude to Fako America. She said that they were elated to know that they were among the best on the Fako students Honour Roll. Expressing his joy as a father of a recipient of the awards, Mola Kulu Henry Ngenye noted that it was heart-warming to know that Fako elites abroad think of those behind. He hailed them for not remaining a store of the wealth they have achieved but a channel for others to gain their blessings. He maintained that merit has been pushed behind in most cases because of corruption when it comes to employment. He encouraged the beneficiaries not to relent in their efforts as things can only get better.
A Brief History of Fako America and its Mission.
By Jimmy Jackai/Fako America Historian & Moluwa Matute/President
Fako America has been in existence for over 16 years. The organization was started in July 29, 1994 in the State of Minnesota, USA. It is an association of all peoples of the Original Fako Division in the South West Region of Cameroon, West Africa, living in the United States of America. Its overall mission is to promote the culture of the people from the aforementioned region in the USA and to enhance the living standards of its members with emphasis on keeping our culture alive in a foreign land. In addition the organization supports and funds not-for-profit cultural events in Fako Division. Here is how our mission is described in the US.
"To educate and sensitize the Fako Diaspora Community in the United States on issues related to the preservation and promotion of the Fako Culture and History within the Diaspora community; to foster a spirit of unity and cooperation among members of the Fako Diaspora Community; to provide a networking forum for members to explore and make use of academic, professional, and other opportunities in the United States; and to these ends, to organize fund-raising events, solicit donations, and apply for public and private grants."
For the first ten years of the existence of the organization, it evolved through its natural growing pains. The new leaders learnt as they managed the organization to fulfill its goals and objectives to its members, a difficult task itself due to the fact that membership was not focused in one location of our host country. The organization managed to create a network of Fako Natives in the US using a list compiled by some Fako America local organizations in Washington DC, Minnesota and information from other prominent Fako indigenes in other states such as Georgia, New York, Illinois and Texas. The new list was used to promote the concept of Fako America via Fako International Newspaper that was also made available to our readers in Fako Division. The initial list of Fako America members compiled later was used to start FAKONET, a privately owned online e-group list that provides free information exchange between members of Fako Nation worldwide. Fako America, however has its own online e-group list, FakoAmerica-Net, strictly for registered members, where privileged information is exchanged.
After the learning years of growing pains, FA saw the light at the end of the tunnel, incorporated and adopted new bylaws in a historic tenth year anniversary convention in Dallas, Texas in 2004. The incorporation has created an executive team and a board of directors designed to cross-check each other in the management of its affairs. The organization provides for a convention every year where all members meet to celebrate their existence and promote its culture. In elections years new executives and board members are elected to continue the management of its affairs, during conventions. With the incorporation of Fako America in its host country, the organization has become a separate entity by itself as opposed to the tight knit organization that existed in the first ten years where executive members were not accountable to anyone. The separate entity nature of the organization makes it accountable to all the laws of the United States of America. That way the organization can sponsor activities overseas and remain within the confines of the laws of its host country.
Fako America is very sensitive to the manner in which Bakweri ancestral lands are being used. The issue of our lands was a great motivator in the creation of Fako America. It is an important issue to us the children of Fako in the Diaspora because when we decide to return home, we want to be welcomed in earnest and not find that we have been transplanted while absent from home. In that light we are obliged to monitor events on the ground and participate in cultural sensitive and developmental activities in Fako Division.
Our Mission in Fako
In the past our organization and/or its affiliate chapters have carried out projects in Fako Division in the form of book drives, academic infrastructure, medical supplies, scholarships, supporting efforts that are geared towards a resolution of the endemic Bakweri-Lands Problem, promoting the Mokpe culture, etc. More often than not, our projects in Fako are without publicity and therefore have gone unnoticed by the larger Fako Community in Cameroon.
This year 2011, we are awarding Twenty Four  scholarships to deserving Fakolanders who have excelled academically. This year our selection was made from the General Certificate of Education[GCE], Advanced and Ordinary Levels, as published by the Cameroon GCE Board and as sorted out by our FAKO UK counterparts to reflect, the performances of our academically aspiring Fako Students, during the 2010 GCE Session. For the first time this year, we are also honoring Outstanding Academic Performances in Vocational Training, pooled from the Cameroon O.I.C, Buea.