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Crossover (Young adults and adults )
We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.
Author of the Entry:
Divine Che Neba, University of Yaounde 1, firstname.lastname@example.org
Peer-reviewer of the Entry:
Daniel A. Nkemleke, University of Yaounde 1, email@example.com
Eleanor A. Dasi, University of Yaounde 1, firstname.lastname@example.org
Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, email@example.com
Pierre Nyobe (Storyteller)
Age of narrator: 70 (in 2018)
Social status: Notable
Language of narration: Bassa
Bio prepared by Divine Che Neba, University of Yaounde 1, firstname.lastname@example.org
Background: This is one of the Bantu ethnic groups in Cameroon, who were displaced by Duala and early European settlers in Cameroon because of their anti-colonialist sentiments. The Bassa played a leading role in the decolonization of Cameroon, but this role was lost after the creation of a postcolonial Cameroon. Most of their heroes, whose names were sung in epic poetry, disappeared (e.g. Njap Makon) or were eliminated by the colonialists. The Bassa people are situated in the Wouri and Sanaga Maritime Divisions of the Littoral Region of Cameroon.
“Ngok Lituba” is a pierced rock of eight hundred meters high situated at Nyanon, a village near Edea, Cameroon. It is in the forest, close to where part of the Sanaga River flows.
In the beginning, the living God, Nyambe, created all the forces. He created geniuses, spirits and the first human couple. In creating the forest, he also created that stone Ngok Lituba. This pierced stone has a tunnel. Nyambe was living in joy with his people in the tunnel. The first children were born from the first human couple. These people were very important to Nyambe; they were healthy and full of life. There was no sickness or death in Ngok Lituba. When people got old, they went under a small tree called “Singue” near Ngok Lituba and spent nine days and nights after which they rejuvenated and became young people again.
Nyambe created this small tree to prove his love for his people, who in turn worshipped him. People continued to give birth to children and their number grew. After sometime, they started despising Nyambe; they started behaving as if they owed all they had to their own intelligence. They thought they could live by themselves so they forgot that Nyambe was their creator. They now turned their attention towards Singue, the small regenerating tree.
Because of this behaviour, Nyambe became very angry with them. He summoned them with a thunderous voice and said:
In the beginning, I, Nyambe,
the living god, created you.
I gave you all my love.
In creating the forest,
I place Ngok Lituba
And near it,
Was river Sanaga.
I lived with you there.
I also created that regenerating tree.
People were few in number,
And we were very happy together.
They worshipped me.
There was a close relationship between the people and I.
But you have disappointed me;
I am no longer with you;
Because you now believe in yourselves,
And follow your ways.
As I leave,
Ngok Lituba will be a cursed place.
There will be sickness, death and many other bad things.
This is how Nyambe left Ngok Lituba and went to the sky. Sickness befell the people and brought death unto them. Those who survived still remember Nyambe’s words. They found themselves abandoned and from that period up till now, there is no joy without sorrow in Ngok Lituba.
Like many ancient and classical creation and apocalyptic myths, the myth of Ngok Lituba and the Rejuvenation Tree records the bliss at creation, and the apostasy thereafter as a result of disobedience. This apostasy and the eventual separation between man and Nyambe (God) places people in limbo. The disintegration of this indigenous religion of Nyanon up to this day, has caused the people to wonder over which path to follow since Singue tree is not as potent as it was before. This has pushed many to migrate to other religious cults, in which prophets seem to offer more hope to the people. The myth of Ngok Lituba and the Rejuvenation Tree provides mythical answers to the question how man was created and later cursed. Such knowledge is important for children, young adults and adults.
God and his People (accessed: November 30, 2020).
Origin of EVU (Evil Spirit) and AWU (Death) Amongst the Beti-Fang, Cameroon (accessed: November 30, 2020).
Researcher: Divine Che Neba.
Assistant researcher: Ngo Bingan Madeleine.
Method of data collection: Tape-recording/note-taking.
Editors: Daniel A. Nkemleke and Eleanor A. Dasi.