Elie Smith, Cameroons finest Journalist continues his narrative after visiting Bui County on April 4th, 2019.
The journey also vindicated what I had overheard at night during dinner at the Bishop’s House and it was evident why the priests may appear as being sympathetic to Amba boys, for daily they witness the horrendous and brazen manifestation of government soldier’s heartlessness on the population than any organised bodies and more, they have records. Cameroon’s army behaviors on the field are the sole reason why the ranks of the Amba boys are swelling, one priest told me. And a second told me: “when soldiers set houses ablaze like in Wum and when boys wants to escape, they are shot at and then thrown into the blazing fire or killed , destroy houses and farms and steal from the people as they are doing in and around Kumbo, why won’t the ranks of those boys, some of whom have become equally violent and heartless like the army won’t grow?” Along the road we passed the following villages and towns: Sabgar, Bamesing, Bamali, Bamouka, Ndop, Babungo, Baba1, Babessi, Wayinama, Jakiri, Nkar,Sop, Yei, Memli, Njenmnuy and final destination, Kumbo.
Kumbo: a desolate town
Like most towns and villages in North West Cameroon, Kumbo has a gifted beauty. The topography is attractive but challenging. The simple fact that, the people of Kumbo have been able conquer this hilly terrain that certainly is dusty during dry season and muddy in the dry season is a testimony to the resilience of its natives. The town which has produced Kumbo Hot Strikers Football Club, a club which did not have the prestige of PWD Bamenda or the champagne football style of Cammark FC or the historical pull and reference of Victoria United FC aka OPOPO, reached the zenith of national football. Kumbo Hot Strikers were the first football team in Anglophone Cameroon, as already stated, that lifted Cameroon’s Football Trophy.
It was a wish that Ahmadou Ahidjo had wanted in 1979 at the epic football finals between Dynamo of Douala from French-speaking Cameroon and PWD Bamenda, from Anglophone Cameroon. Unfortunately, for Ahmadou Ahidjo who had already prepared his speech to salute PWD Bamenda’s victory as a pictogram of national unity through football, Dynamo of Douala won. I learned, Ahmadou Ahidjo was crossed, but why was he? Because to Ahidjo, who had the administrative finesse of an Hausa-Fulani noble man from the Greater north of Cameroon, all was in symbolism.
By contrast, Paul Biya, a man who doesn’t care about anything besides consolidating his hold onto power, not to mention about symbolism, which only sports can portray or generate, he is the one who saw an Anglophone team win the Cameroon cup trophy. Kumbo also is where hails the founder of Amity Bank, the second fully indigenous Anglophone Cameroonian bank, now comatose like its predecessor, Cameroon Bank. But this land of hardworking people, who love and cherishes their independence and freedom, is the shadow of its old self. Schools and businesses are all closed. Convents housing sisters, because Kumbo is one of the highly Christianised part of Cameroon have also closed and sisters spread all over the country.