NGOKETUNJIA DIVISION, North West Region of Cameroon
by Tangwing Pius
Cameroons’ administrative set up is made up of the regions, Divisions, Sub divisions and Districts. Ngoketunjia is one of the divisions that make up the Northwest region of the country. It is found in the Highlands region of the country. It has its head quarters in Bamunka, Ndop.
Ngoketunjia means a grassland plain overlooked by the Ngoketunjia mountain. It is occupied by the semi-bantu and fulani people, a people who strongly uphold strongly to their tradition and culture.
The Ngoketunjia Division consists of 13 villages, all of whose spelling begin with the letters "Ba", meaning "people of".
Each of the 13 villages has a unique language and tradition, i.e. a Fondom in its own that is administered locally by a traditional ruler - the Fon.
The villages of Ngoketunjia are as follows:
Ngoketunjia Division is found along the Bamenda-Banso highway, precisely between the Sabga Hill in Bambili in Tubah Sub division and the wainama hill in Jakiri Sub DivisionS. It is made up of the following villages: Bangolan, Babessi, Baba I, Babungo, Bamunka, Bamali, Bamessing, Bambalang, Bafanji, Bamunkumbit, Balikumbat, Baligashu and Balinganshin which are surrounded by mountains and the Ngoketunjia plain elevated.
The Ngoketunjia Division is much arid compared with other southern cities but although it is hot, it is more moderate than in the other regions of the country.
The dDivision is administered by government authorities with each ministry having a delegate at the various levels of the administration.
The government function alongside the traditional authorities of the various villages that are headed by the Fon.
The Fon is closely aided by the secret societies and the traditional council, Quarter heads and Sub-quarter heads. The Fon
acts as the custodian of the culture of the people and all the land in the village.
The people of this region speak mostly English as the official language, however French and other languages are spoken by other groups of people who are there for one reason or the other and the native languages of all the villages is widely spoken.
The Division has touristic sites as: the Babungo palace and museum, the Presspot Handicraft centre in Bamessing, the Rice fields in Bamunka, Ngoketunjia mountain, Bambalang Lake Dam,
Palm wine and rafia wine are local drinks of the people and show cases their tradition. The palm trees are also used for roofing houses, extracting palm oil and other traditional activities.
The Ngoketunjia Division is well known for its cultural manifestations. Its rich in traditional dances and in masquerades. The Masquerades have ancestral powers and play an integral role in the tradition and governance of the village. Each village has an all powerful masquerade and the secret society of this masquerade is the most powerful body within the village. The Masquerades are only seen during particular events in the villages as annual dances, and death celebrations.
Maize, cocoyams, cassava, plantains, rice and groundnuts are the chief crops of the people of this Division. The diet of the people consists of corn fufu, water fufu, achu, plantains (cooked in any form) and rice, accompanied by vegetables, meat or dry fish.
There are a few hotels in the Division that provide services such as lodging, bar, restaurant etc.
The people of this area are mostly Christian and Muslims with a few people belonging to other religious sects. The Division is a place to visit.
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