Thu. May 30th, 2024

A Cameroonian king is visiting the UK to try and raise money to help those who have fled the separatist conflict to settle in his small kingdom.

The Fon of Akum, George Ndikum II, has been on the throne for 65 years in an area of North-West Cameroon, one of two English-speaking regions where a secessionist rebellion has been raging for the last six years. The conflict was sparked by those in the two Anglophone regions who have long felt marginalised by the country’s French-speaking majority.

Akum, a lush highland village where most people make their living by farming, is struggling to cope with the influx of those who have lost their homes in the war, which Amnesty International said in a report this week involves rampant human rights violations and other crimes including executions, torture and rape.

Delegation at Heathrow Airport to welcome the Fon of Akum, George Ndikum II
Veronique Edwards/BBCCopyright: Veronique Edwards/BBC
People from Akum came to Heathrow Airport to welcome the Fon to London last weekImage caption: People from Akum came to Heathrow Airport to welcome the Fon to London last week
The Fon of Akum has been feted since his arrival last Wednesday by London’s Cameroonian community.

Events during the monarch’s visit are focussed on raising funds for displaced children to give them access to education and to provide food.

People at the first Akum General Convention.
Veronique Edwards/BBCCopyright: Veronique Edwards/BBC
It is the first Akum General Convention to be held and people came from around the world to attendImage caption: It is the first Akum General Convention to be held and people came from around the world to attend
“Every contribution, no matter how small, holds immense power. Like the drops of rain that come together to form a river, our collective efforts can create a powerful current of change,” said Charles Mambo, UK president of the Akum Welfare Association, during a gala event that brought hundreds of people from around the world for the first Akum General Convention.

Women at the first Akum General Convention in London
Veronique Edwards/BBCCopyright: Veronique Edwards/BBC
Many attending the event on Saturday wore beautiful woven designs from the North-West region known as “toghu”Image caption: Many attending the event on Saturday wore beautiful woven designs from the North-West region known as “toghu”
“As the Akum people say, ‘A tree is only as strong as its roots.’ Let us strengthen the roots of these children, allowing them to grow tall and strong, capable of weathering any storm that comes their way,” he said.

The Fon’s visit continues in London, where he is attending various events, until this weekend.

Fon of Akum, George Ndikum II near the London Eye
Veronique Edwards/BBCCopyright: Veronique Edwards/BBC
The Fon is in London for 10 days

By Joy

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