Introduction / History The history of the Bafaws can be retraced from the great Esambe Ngoe from the Mbo plains. He settled at a place called Mashui found near Kokobuma, one of the 10 Bafaw villages. One of his sons, a fearless hunter named Midiki Uke "Bokeng" went hunting and founded Kumba around 1640. He was discovered under an umbrella tree called "ekomba" in Bafaw by a Portuguese explorer. When asked what his names were, he thought the explorer asked what the name of the tree was. He said "ekomba" and the explorer wrote down "Kumba". Hence the name of the town today is Kumba. The real name of the town is Midiki. This simple mistake was done owing to the language barrier. The explorer could not understand Bafaw and Midiki could not understand Portuguese.
Realizing that the land was very fertile, good hunting and fishing ground, a perfect place for habitation and a center for the Bafaw clan, Midiki rushed back and invited his brothers to join him in his new found land. He was accepted as the chief and undisputed ruler of his people. His generosity, hospitality and kindness of his reign led to the influx of people of all Bafaw families to come and share in the bounty. Strangers from all over the place were glad to come and work for him and his people.
As head of the Bashibi family, Midiki the First led his people in harmony and prosperity. It was agreed that the Ban ba Mbaye would be the King makers given their close kinship ties. After the death of Midiki the First, The Ban ba Mbaye organized a smooth succession to Midiki II. This was largely accepted given the patrilineal nature of the Kumba people based on consanguinity. This has been the tradition of the Bafaw clan, not only the Kumba people. After Midiki II, Midiki III took over, following the same traditional succession right that has been in place ever since.
With the advent of colonialism, the traditional right of the Kumba people in particular and of the Bafaw clan in general was trampled upon. The quest to govern the people led to the creation of "District Heads" which later turned out to be Paramount leaders. This was the colonial powers' ability to govern the local people through their own handpicked administrators. These handpicked administrators had little or no lineage with the Bafaw traditional heritage.
What are their lives like? The Bafaws are a generous and hospitable group of people. They were one homogeneous and patrilineal people before colonialism stepped in and dismantled the organization of their society. Their generosity and hospitality led to the influx of lots of strangers who came to work and live with them in peace and harmony.
What are their beliefs? The Bafaws believe in a supreme being, a god they worshiped before Christianity surfaced. With the advent of Christianity, some Bafaws converted to other religious creeds.
Prayer Points * Pray for love, unity and togetherness.
* Pray for good health, success and happiness. * Pray for translation of the Bible to begin in this people group's primary language. * Pray for the availability of the Jesus Film in the primary language of this people.
References Written by Midiki Bokeng and substantiated by Banjo Etule (Standard Tribune Correspondent) and Professor of History, Emeritus; Lovett Z. Elango
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