LAKE AWING-THE MYTH, North West Region of Cameroon
by Tangwing pius monji
LAKE AWING - North West Region of Cameroon: THE MYTH,
LAKE AWING-THE MYTH
After hunger pushed Awing, Bambili and Bamenyam from Widikum, they came across the Ngemba speaking families in the Bamenda grass field. They first settled in Babadjou in the West region of Cameroon and back in Ntarinkon, their old site in Mankon. From here they migrated to Baba I in Ndop. After a brief stay they continued to “Ngup” near Lake Bambili.
Awing and Bamenyam left Bambili behind and pursued their search for greener pastures that took them to “Aka’ a” valley in contemporary Awing. From here, they proceeded to Mbenjom, a quarter in Awing, yet soil infertility chased them to pack their bags onward to “Ala-ameti”. It was here that the Bamenyam’s separated from Awing to the Bamboutous in the West Region.
During their stay in “Ala-ameti”, the Awing people discovered a large pond without an outlet which was to be called Lake Awing. Marveled with their discovery the people of the village were restrained from dumping refuse into the Lake.
Surprisingly the water later disappeared because refuse, undesired by the lake was being dumped inside the lake. This refuse, they say was pieces of dresses used to trap menstrual flow from women. The lake later re-appeared in its present site while the people were making frenzy efforts to situate it. One early morning a certain man named Pa Mba’nka was returning from his raffia bush when he met a man and his family. The man begged for a cup of palm wine to quench his taste and was generously offered by Pa Mba’nka. After a drink then said to him “I thought you were going to be malicious as the women who dumped their menstrual linens on us. To reward you, I give you this whistle and bell. Take them home and anytime you are looking for me, climb up this hill, ring the bell trice and blow the whistle trice. We shall appear to receive the gifts that you shall bring to us. This instruction has never changed.
Pa Mba-nka rushed to the palace and explained all that had happened to the Fon. The Fon called for some elders in the village and they rushed to the hill and did as the old man told Pa Mba-nka. To their surprise the
pool of water emerged like the first rays of the morning sun. A soothsayer rose from the middle and led the Fon and his delegation who performed some rituals. After that they went back to the village and they were told to go on without looking behind. They obeyed the instructions and proceeded to Pa Mba-nka’s compound where a feast was served to celebrate the re-discovery of their ancestors.
Lake Awing, the home of the gods is simply fantastic each time nature’s sun casts its glows across the shimmering waters catching the distinctive half submerged trees, tourist are lulled to sleep. It provides ultimate tourist splendor to the inhabitants of Santa sub-division in the North West Region and support a thriving agriculture industry.
In many legends, Lake Awing was and is still regarded as the home of the gods which requires annual appeasement to guarantee fertility, peace and love in the land of Awing.
Down the valleys of the lake, you will zoom through the rolling savannah, tropical gallery forest, home to their brothers and sisters, the bororos and their vast investment in cattle breeding and much more.
To reach Lake Awing from Bamenda, you turn left at the GTC Santa. The winding road across rolling hills and valleys, also punctuated by artificial forest, covering a distance of some fifteen km takes you to this natural gift of Awing people. It is their shrine and a touristic treasure and potential you should not miss.
To savour its beauty and it quietude broken only by the voices of birds that sing over it, the Government of Cameroon has provided some huts that provide pleasurable shelter.
The awing and Ngemba people have awe for this mystical feature. You should not throw a stone into it, but you can watch and adore it. The cool and refreshing air blowing from and above its waters; especially around 10.00am in the dry season cool can soothe the eyes and body. Some people bath in it and some simply watch it and return having a rewarding feeling and experience. Lake awing is also a holiday resort, an area for academic excursions and religious retreats. You can take advantage of its quietude to write reports and novels.
Lake Awing is a place to visit.
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