31, August 2017
In September 1-3, 2017 the Orokos in the United States will converged in one of America`s historic and UNESCO protective heritage city of Boston in their annual cultural assemblage, in a public display of the rich Sawa cultures, unique in its identity.The event which is the most celebrated, brings together all the Orokos in the United States of America to communion as a family by show-casing its cultural grandeur, traditional regalia and delicate traditional dishes.
The Orokos are an ethnic indigenous Sawa tribe in the Southwest region of Cameroon under the administrative unit of Ndian division. It stretches its cultural and linguistic similarities with the Grand Batanga of the resort city of Kribi in littoral and neighbouring Nigeria. With two newly created additional sub divisions, Ndian currently has four sub divisions namely Mundemba, Isangele, Ekondo Titi and Kombo-Edinti. The Orokos are span across two other divisions in the Southwest region namely Meme and Manyu. Some of the major clans include; Batangas, Bimas, Bakundus, Ngolos, Ekombe, Balondo-Banagas, Balue, Mbonge and Bakokos. Ndian is also considered the largest division in the region in terms of its geographical size.
The growing numerical strength of the Oroko population and the emerging new demographics of future American-Oroko kids became a social call and responsibility to bring all the Orokos under a mother association.In effect, the Oroko Cultural Association-OCA-USA was a dream come-true ostensibly out of the euphoria to unify the Orokos in the United States. And in September 1997, OCA was born in Atlanta Georgia. After the inception and the birth of OCA, it has produced five democratic elected impact presidents in this sequential ascendancy; pioneer president Tata Rev. Sam Esala who reigned from 1997-1998, Tata Awanjo Felix 1998-1999, Tata Louis Etongwe 1999-2005, Tata Fred Bebe 2005-2009, Iya Dr. Mercy Mabian 2009-2013 and Prince Ferdinand Mediko 2013-2017.
The 2017 convention which is an election year is special. And whoever is going to occupy the highest office of the association will have the onerous task of providing constructive and responsible leadership to all Orokos in the diaspora and at home, of every social background, gender, education and belief and above all, he/she must answer the call for socio-economic regeneration and take the destiny of Ndian division in his/her hands.
Despite the fact that Ndian division is one of the richest constituencies in Cameroon, it has benefited little or nothing from its God-given resources. Perhaps it is deliberate perhaps it is accidental, but this political and economic backwardness of Ndian division is a classic example of why all the Orokos must reinvent themselves, by creating new visions and mobilising themselves to develop their own resources. A natural resource is a source of blessings. But those found in Ndian division leaves behind a record devastating poverty stricken population with no signs for things to get better even in the near future.
The local economy paralysed due to in accessibility of road linking two major divisions [Ndian & Meme]. Educational infrastructures and healthcare facilities are deplorable. The inconvenient truth is that there is still the existence of breathtaking rise of personal vilification within the Orokos and the absence of receptiveness. And no matter what, this convention in Boston is special in the sense that it will produce a new presidential team to pilot the association for another deserved mandate. More to that, it is in Boston where American revolutionary ideas were conceived. It is in Boston where the revolution started. And therefore it should be in Boston where the Orokos will set the agenda for future accomplishments. Welcome to the city of Boston.
Prince Etukeni Agbaw-Ebai
Secretary General, Boston