UPPER BANYANG CULTURAL & DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION DMV
(UPBACDA - DMV)
The Origin of BAKEBE
Bakebe is one of the four villages of Nkokenok I clan. It should be noted that Nkokenok I was a single village after the other families had split and seceded from the Greater Nkokenok Village. The father of the Bakebe family group was the second son of Ta Nkokenok's 8 sons and 10 daughters from six wives. Ta Nkokenok is the eponymous Father of all the Nkokenok villages. Each of these sons bred a family which grew to become a village. The first son of Ta Nkokenok was the father of the family group which today is called Eyang.
The chief of Nkokenok village was by primogenitor always a descendant of the first son Ta Nkokenok. The father of the family which eventually became Bakebe was the second son of Ta Nkokenok by his first wife. When Nfor Atemako, a descendant of the first son ascended the throne, his ascension was challenged by a man called Ebotesongorock from the Bakebe family group. He challenged the rule and custom of primogenitor whereby the throne was reserved and preserved for the descendant of the first child of Ta Nkokenok. Ta Nkokenock's younger children decided to secede and followed the Manyu river settling along its banks. They now form a cluster of small independently- led communities often collectively referred to as, Etoko or Nkokenok II. Fortunately for Nfor Atemako, his rebellious cousin Ta Ebotesongorock died and the Germans colonized Cameroon. Nfor Atemako, a wily ruler in his day made the conscious political decision not to challenge the Germans' overlordship in contradistinction to Tafang Defang of Mbang and Bayiae-Mbi of Tali.
Nfor Atemako cleverly used the Germans to brutally suppress the Bakebe rebellion. Unfortunately for him, a son of Bakebe had been taken to Germany by the Germans who were then settled in Tinto. His German masters put him through school and after about seven to eight years in Germany he returned to Cameroon. His name was Richard Tabong Kima. Upon his return, he began working for the German colonial administration. When he returned to his Nkokenok Village, his Bakebe family group was almost extinct. Most members of the family group had escaped Atemako's harsh rule and were hiding in far away places like Ossing. Richard Tabong Kima then went to the Colonial Regional Governor, pleaded Bakebe's case for secession and was given an official paper Urwald Dokumente recognizing Bakebe as a separete independent village.
The feud between Atemako and Ebotesongerock had now came full circle as Richard Tabong Kima, a grandson of Ebotesongerock used his western education and administrative powers to split the Nkokenok village by handing out independence papers to Mfaitock, Ashum and every other Nkockenok II family group that requested one. He reduced Nfor Atemako's empire to a single family group called Eyang which he audaciously name after himself until after the First World War.