On maiden visit to maternal grandparents: Bamendankwe Fon reiterates call for subjects to promote peace, community dev’t.

Fon Forchesiri III (Middle) with other traditional rulers during event

The traditional ruler of Bamendankwe, Mezam Division of the North West Region, HRM Fon Forchesiri III, has urged his subjects to continue to promote peace, unity and community development in the Fondom and beyond.

This was recently during his visit to the compound of his maternal grandparents, as required by tradition.

He used the opportunity to implore his kinsmen: traditional institutions, municipal council, elite and everyone around the community to come together and work towards maintaining peace in Bamendankwe. 

This, he said, is very important for the community’s development, and by extension the development not only of the North West Region, but the country as a whole.

“Now is the time for us to re-echo our voices towards rebuilding and maintaining peace in our communities, to be patriotic, and to live in harmony with one another because when there is peace we can all engage in the celebration of our cultures and traditions and the development of Bamendankwe, and Cameroon,” Fon Forchesiri III said.

The Fon said “as Cameroonians, these are the values we should hold dear and guard jealously”.


Fon’s biological mother (centre) after being crowned Mafor



Raison d’etre of visit

Talking to The Guardian Post after the grandiose ceremony, Fon Forchesiri III said the visit to his maternal grandparents is part of the Bamendankwe old tradition, a part of the cultural heritage of the people that demands every sitting Fon, pays a visit to their maternal grandparents after about two or three years of sitting on the throne.

“As per tradition, this visit is supposed to be the first visit the Fon carries out before he is allowed to visit any other person or compound, be it be a friend or an elite within the village, and so on. This means if the Fon takes about three to four years to carry out this visit, he is expected to remain only in the palace for the entire time, and we know a lot of things will not go right as far as village administration is concerned,” the Fon disclosed.

HRM Forchesiri III added that the visit concerned the entire village, hence everyone in the community has a role to play in its preparation. 

He said the Traditional Council and all other village institutions came together and decided that it was time the Fon carry’s out this important visit to his maternal grandparents.



Symbolism of visit

Fon Forchesiri III highlighted that the importance of the visit is linked to the fact that through the visit, the Fon returns with the blessings of his maternal grandparents. 

He added that the visit came after about 30 years since it was last done by his father who also paid the traditional maiden visit to his maternal grandparents.

The traditional ruler said it was also an opportunity for his subjects, some elderly who had never experienced such an event to discover this aspect of the Bamendankwe culture and tradition.

He added that the visit coincided with the official introduction of the Fon’s biological mother as ‘Mafor’ into the line of nobility.

“This means the Fon’s biological mother officially carries out the tradition to be recognised by the village as a mother of the village, a ‘Mafor’ and she can perform certain rites within the palace and community in the aspect of seeing that things are done rightly, that families live in peace, and there is love and unity in the village,” he declared.

Bamendankwe indigenes in convivial mood with Fon




Unique cultural practice

The Fon disclosed that what makes this particular visit unique and a lot of importance attached to it is because the Fon goes to his maternal grandparent’s compound with the entire village, and the maternal family has an obligation to receive the Fon and his delegation.

He said it is also a special occasion as there are dance groups from the palace that lead the Fon in this solemn procession to the compound of his maternal grandparents.

Meanwhile, over six traditional from neighbouring villages were present to bear witness to the symbolic visit.

“It is true that in the North West we share very similar cultures and traditions, but there are some differences. An activity like this visit is not carried out in other Fondoms. So the presence of the Fons was an opportunity to discover certain aspects of the Bamendankwe customs and traditions. I think that is what makes our culture very unique and also very beautiful,” Fon Forchesiri III noted.

He affirmed that the visit was also about sharing, bringing people together and celebrating culture and tradition as well as promoting the cultural identity of the Bamendankwe people.



This story was first published in The Guardian Post issue No:3162 of Monday July 8, 2024

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