By David Atangana
The paramount ruler of Nso, an influential Fondom in the North West region of Cameroon is expected in Berlin Germany on Saturday 12 November 2022.
HRH Sehm Mbinglo II, MMI learned, is embarking on the trip to hold talks with German authorities to facilitate the return of Ngonso, a traditional statue of his Fondom stolen from the people during the colonial era.
Ngonnso, is expected to be returned together with many other precious artifacts that were stolen during that era.
After Ngnossu, the founder of the Nso dynasty led them to their new kingdom in the fourteenth century, after they broke away from the Tikari tribe.
Ngnossu is therefore revered as a mother deity in Nso culture, and a monument was built in her honour, and has become known as Ngonnso.
German forces and the Nso tribe had a hostile relationship from 1901 to 1903 until German troops overthrew the Nso government at the time. The kingdom was then forced to pay taxes, work as slaves, and had no freedom.
Although it is not clear to date how Ngonnso was acquired, it is generally believed that the Colonial officer Kurt von Pavel and his men forced the Nso people into handing up the Ngonnso statue. In 1903, the monument was subsequently given to the Berlin Ethnological Museum.
At the moment, the monument is on exhibit in the Humboldt Forum.
The traditional ruler who is regarded as the legitimate owner of all objects on behalf of Nso people shall during his visit lead an entourage through the various German museums and hold pertinent conversations in the context of restitution of other Nso royal objects.
Despite having ruled his people since 1993, this is said to be the first encounter he shall be having with a deity that was meant to bestow upon him the spirit of wisdom and discernment to effectively rule his people.
According to reports, ever since an announcement was made to return the statue to the rightful owners, no concrete action was taken by the German authorities to realise this, hence, why Fon Sehm Mbinglo II is leading a powerful delegation to the German capital.
Twenty-seven other royal objects missing from the Fondom have reportedly been discovered in the Linden museum which are currently being negotiated to be returned.
A program of the visit made public indicates that the monarch will be in Germany till November 18, 2022.
He is scheduled to officially be in Berlin from November 12 to 15 and in Stuttgart from November 16 to 18, 2022.
He is expected to visit Ngonnso in an exhibition in Berlin upon arrival and later on hold a short exchange with the Nso people at the Humboldt forum.
Ngonnso will then be taken off exhibition to a secret location and prepared for return to Nso land.
While In Stuttgart, the paramount ruler of Nso will visit Linden Museum to see other objects after which he will meet with the German Minister of Science, Research, and Arts to discuss further the objects for possible restitution.
One of the key questions many are asking is whether the Germans are also going to pay reparations done to the Nso people or whether the return of Ngonnso, as if nothing ever happened, suffices. This and many questions will be answered in the days and weeks ahead.
(C) Mimi Mefo Info