Insight News

Wednesday
Oct 22nd

King, elders connect in Royal visit to community

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H.R.M. King Abumbi II, Fon of Bafut following Elders meeting with the King at Sunnyside Café. Photo by studiotobechi

Spike Moss summed it up beautifully. "Your Majesty," he said, addressing H.R.M. King Abumbi II, the Fon of Bafut, "for years I have been teaching our children, telling them, 'You are the sons and daughters of kings and queens!' Sometimes it's hard for them to believe that kingship runs in our veins. In a country that enslaved us, robbed us of our freedom and dignity, stole our labor and our lives, and that continues to try to marginalize our culture and distort our identity, it's hard to keep them believing there is something greater in them than all the negative assaults that come from outside. That negativity breeds self hatred and self destruction. That is why our young men are killing each other." H.R.M. King Abumbi II, Fon of Bafut following Elders meeting with the King at Sunnyside Café. Photo by studiotobechi.

Spike Moss summed it up beautifully. "Your Majesty," he said, addressing H.R.M. King Abumbi II, the Fon of Bafut, "for years I have been teaching our children, telling them, 'You are the sons and daughters of kings and queens!' Sometimes it's hard for them to believe that kingship runs in our veins. In a country that enslaved us, robbed us of our freedom and dignity, stole our labor and our lives, and that continues to try to marginalize our culture and distort our identity, it's hard to keep them believing there is something greater in them than all the negative assaults that come from outside. That negativity breeds self hatred and self destruction. That is why our young men are killing each other."

"I want to thank you for meeting with the elders of our community. Your visit helps us refresh our own sense of purpose, our sense of sovereignty, our duty to the ancestors and to the Creator," Moss said.

Moss and other leaders of civic, cultural and social service institutions met King Abumbi II at a breakfast hosted by Insight News at Sunnyside Café, 1815 Glenwood Avenue, in the heart of North Minneapolis. King Abumbi II is the hereditary leader of the kingdom of Bafut, which is a region in the northwest of the nation of Cameroon, in central Africa. Abumbi II is the 11th Fon, which means king, to rule the kingdom. His first visit to the United States, the Fon said his mission was to meet with Cameroonians in general and in particular, his subjects from the Fondom of Bafut, who now live in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Houston and Twin Cities. He returned to Cameroon Sunday, Aug, 26th, after completing a three week tour of the U.S.

While in Twin Cities, the Fon received a formal welcome by Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and officials of Minneapolis Institute of Art, where his delegation was given a tour of the MIA's extensive African Art collection. Rybak also gave the royal visitor a tour of the I-35W bridge disaster and recovery area and operations.

The meeting with Elders of the Black community was a special highlight for the Fon, his spokesperson said.

Minneapolis Urban League President, Clarence Hightower asked Abumbi II how he came to be king.

Fon Abumbi II said his being named king to succeed his father, Achirimbi II, the tenth king or Fon of Bafut who ruled over the town of Bafut and adjoining areas (the Fondom of Bafut). Achirimbi II ruled from 1932 to 1968, and was preceded by Abumbi I and succeeded by Abumbi II.

The Fon said his society is polygamous, and that as the leader of the nation, he is also the leading polygamist. While he has some 25 wives, he said his father had hundreds of wives and his grandfather had more than a thousand wives. The idea behind polygamy in his society, he said, was the belief that every man and every woman should be married. Since there were more women than men, polygamous marriages enabled the society to achieve the goal of nearly 100 percent marriage among its population. He said divorce was uncommon.

In response to Hightower's question, Abumbi II said he was the choice of his father and his father's advisors, and beyond that, he was the choice of the Spirit. He said his culture practiced ancestor worship and that as Fon, he was the principal intermediary between the living and the dead.

He said he was the 400th son of his father. All of the sons were elegible for selection to succeed the father as king. He said his selection therefore, reflected the will and guidance of the ancestors…the Spirit.

His father, Fon Achirimbi II is famous for having remarked about the choice to join independent Cameroon or independent Nigeria from the Britis
 

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