By Tata Mbunwe
Reverend Fr George Ngalame, a former priest of the Catholic Diocese of Buea in Cameroon’s South West region is said to have proposed to marry his long time sweet heart, Eta Obi Jamila.
Ngalame believed to still be a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Kumba in the same South west region made the proposal to Obi recently in the United States. The occasion was said to be his girlfriend’s 30th birthday.
In a video that went viral on social media, Ngalame, is seen in a blue suit and with one knee on the ground, stretching a ring at Jamila as family members and friends who cheered on.
Thirty-year-old Jamila confirmed her engagement in a Facebook post on Wednesday, February 9, describing the twin occasion as “fabulous”.
Meanwhile, on social media, people are yet to come to terms with a Ngalame getting married, especially publicly, when he is yet to fully renounce priesthood.
The former Financial Secretary of the Buea Diocese is said to have been involved in an embezzlement scandal. He was accused of stealing money which was to be used in constructing the Buea Co-Cathedral building which is still uncompleted.
After leaving Buea, Ngalame is said to have served in the Kumba Diocese before later leaving for the United States of America.
It is said that he has been in the process of laicization, a phase in Catholic doctrine whereby a priest renouces his priestly duties and becomes a normal Christian. In Catholic doctrine, it is when this process is completed that a priest is permitted to marry.
According to Lambert Mbom, who schooled with Ngalame at the Bishop Rogan minor seminary in Buea, people are trying to give the ex-priest a bad name in order to hang him. Mbom said Ngalame has not been performing priestly duties for some time now and so he is not in the priesthood anymore.
“We rather have Christians who cheat, some serially beat their spouses , fail in parental responsibilities and you can add yours to the list and you scream from rooftops when a priest, a diocesan priest discerns a new vocation to be married and starts the process publicly! Such righteous indignation,” Mbom said in a write-up.
It is not the first time for a Catholic priest in Cameroon to denounce the priestly vocation and get married. Other ex-priests such as David Fomanka and David Tangwa among others once denounced the priesthood and Tangwa is now married.