By Sylvester Atemnkeng
Lebialem, Cameroon- March 20, 2018- 1:36 PM Local Time ( Cameroon News Agency)The Confederation of Lebialem Cultural and Development Associations, CONLECUDA, March 3, signed a partnership agreement with the Cameroon Association for Bible Translation Literacy, CABTAL, to get the local Languages of Lebialem written and to teach the people the act of writing and reading the Nweh-Mudani Languages.
During the signing ceremony, CONLECUDA equally signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with the three councils of Lebialem division, Fontem, Alou and Wabane.
The ceremony that was chaired by the Senior Divisional Officer, SDO, of Lebialem Ugitoh Zachary, in the presence of the mentor and founder of the group, Chief Justice Joseph Fonkwe Fongang, Secretary General at the Ministry of Justice, government officials and some Paramount rulers of the division was heavily attended by representatives of the three council areas.
Justifying the importance of the activity during the signing ceremony, Chief Justice Joseph Fonkwe Fongang, said apart from writing and teaching the Nweh-Mundani languages, they also hope to translate the whole Bible into Nweh and the Old Testament into Mundani since the New Testament had already been translated.
To him, they want their people to eventually worship in their own language and to accomplish this; CONLECUDA will equally champion development projects in each of the 17 Fondoms of Lebialem before developing the division as a whole.
He noted that, CABTAL is their main partner in all the projects and the individual councils will only come in as support partners of the same projects within their respective council jurisdictions and they shall even provide pilot schools for the teaching of local languages in the division. The involvement of the three councils he noted is enough to guarantee that the seeds they sow with the MoU, shall grow and fructify even after the present generation would have passed away.
Talking on the importance of the project to the Nweh-Mundani People, Justice Fonkwe said, in the past Lebialem people have acted in dispersed ranks in terms of development but today CONLECUDA is an all embracing and all uniting Association.
According to him, the language project falls in line with Government and International Policy of promoting indigenous languages and cultures and the people of Lebialem cannot be absent in this national language and cultural revival.
“Like the Director General of SIL said on February 27, during the Commemoration of the Mother Tongue Day, that the Vitality of Cameroonian languages will depend on Cameroonians and not on outside linguists. As such he called on Cameroonians to discover the vitality of their language and make decisions accordingly”
Explaining what is expected from Lebialem people, he said whether it is the linguistic project, the Bible translation project or any other development project, the common man or woman of Lebialem origin shall make an input and obtain direct benefits. “In fact it is our dream to empower our people to be architects of their own development. In this light CABTAL will train our people to write development projects and shop for funding to realize them. We cannot only sit and wait for others to help us, we must be active agents of our own development”, he explained.
The vision of CONGLECUDA according to Chief Justice Fonkwe is shared by many Lebialem people and his team discovered that many people had been longing for the creation of an all-embracing and uniting Lebialem Development Association
CONLECUDA for him, is a catalyst of development and though created in Yaoundé, their main office will be in the divisional head quarters-Menji and the hope before long that the example of Yaoundé will be replicated in other regions of Cameroon and beyond.
On his part, the SDO of Lebialem Ugitoh Zacahry applauded the initiative and described the founder Chief Justice Fonkwe as a man of Vision who is ready to work for the Unity of the division and he encouraged all the Lebialem sons and daughters to join CONLECUDA to accomplish this golden goal.
The representative of the Director General of CABTAL, the Fons and the three councils all reaffirmed their commitment to accompany CONLECUDA to achieve what they described as a breakthrough for unity and development for Lebialem people.
CONLECUDA should be underscore is an apolitical association founded by Chief Justice Joseph Fonkwe Fongang, Secretary General at the Ministry of Justice, and it is centered only on development and unity of Lebialem people. The association has great capacities, competences, resources and potentials to harness for the good of all. The new spirit that CONLECUDA is promoting is succinctly captured by its motto “LEBIALEM-ONE MAMI ONE PAPA”
Their mission is to think, act divisional, beyond individual Fondoms, break physical and mental boundaries and share love with each other as children of same womb.