Reconstruction works at the Bafanji palace in Balikumbat, Ngohketunjia division of Cameroon’s North West region are expected to kick off in January 2023. This is thanks to a fundraiser being carried out by subjects of the land across the country and beyond.
Sons and daughters of Bafanji village resident in Yaoundé and its environs this past weekend, raised over 29 million FCFA for the project. The October 8, 2022 fundraising session had in attendance among others, His Royal Majesty Fon Ngwefon II, paramount ruler of Bafanji.
Appreciating all present for their efforts, Fon Ngwefon II noted that their sacrifices will forever be inscribed in the annals of the history of Bafanji.
“We want to send the message to those back home that even in crisis, we should have hope and that is why back home in the village the people came out massively as one person and contributed much,” the traditional ruler noted, urging others to join the development train and make their contributions felt.
Also present was the Chairman of the Bafanji Palace Reconstruction Taskforce, Tiembieh Cletus Nchue, who reiterated that the donation is one of multiple resolves undertaken by the people of Bafanji to rebuild their home: “… the people have decided that this is what we are going to embark on,” he said, adding that from Bafoussam where the resolve was taken, “the momentum has been incredibly high”.
Describing his fellow Bafanji people as “development-oriented,” Tiembeh Cletus said they subscribe to the “philosophy of self-reliance”.
“The palace is at the epicenter of every event and so it is important that we make it befitting especially for the committee that are very lively and like to be seen and heard…it is not proper that their palace is not a reflection of who they are,” Tiembieh explained.
More to come
The over 29 million FCFA donation made by Bafanji sons and daughters in Yaounde and its environs counts as part of the overall sum targeted for the development initiative.
“The project,” the Chairman of the Bafanji Palace Reconstruction Taskforce explained, “is quite a mammoth one and would be about 500 million and can get to about 530-540 due to inflation”.
The first lapse of the project will consist of reconstructing the portion of the historic palace housing Queens. Its cost is estimated to stand at 130 to 150 million FCFA. This will be followed by the reconstruction of the portion hosting the Fon as well as other structures that complete the palace.
“We also have a project to construct a library, a museum and grandstand at the palace esplanade,” he added. To him, the project’s success is largely guaranteed, thanks to the participation of the people, as well as their solid bond and mutual understanding with their traditional ruler.
Enter local organising committee
Welcoming his Bafanji kith and kin and guests earlier at the event, the Head of the Local Organising Committee, Mba’a Tiemunji William, reiterated the need for all and sundry to contribute for the success of the humanitarian and social course embarked on holistically embarked on by the Bafanji community.
“We want that what we will realise here today to contaminate the other regions where Bafanji sons and daughters are based,” he said.
Mba’a Tiemunji said the existing and almost fallen structures jeopadises the tradition and culture. “That is why we thought it wise to take a giant step to do something that will stay for posterity,” he said.
The fundraising for the Bafanji palace was launched in Buea in July 2022. Subsequent sessions were hosted in the village and then in the United Arab Emirates. Following the recent communion in Yaounde, the fundraiser will also be held in other parts of the country and beyond.
With reconstruction set to kick off in January 2023 the first phase of the modern structures are expected to be delivered in April 2023.