By Yvonne Massa Ako
Militants of the Social Democratic Front, SDF, in Buea, on March 14, 2015, laid to rest their Vice District Chairman, Simon Mbwange Elive Efokoa, at his residence in Wondongo, Buea Town.
Efokoa, popularly known as “Mola Efokoa” in Presbyterian Church Buea Town, died on February 19 at the Buea Regional Hospital after three months of illness.
When the corpse was laid at his Wondongo residence, SDF party members in Buea paid him their last respects. Even though, the National Chairman of the party, Ni John Fru Ndi, was “unavoidably absent,” he was represented by the District Chairman, Johnson Kwendi.
According to Kwendi, Efokoa was the man who brought about SDF victory in Buea and facilitated the party’s penetration into Bakweri Villages. He stated that, “Efokoa was SDF till his death. After the twin elections in 2013, we were holding meetings and doing party work together while others went into hiding,” Said Kwendi.
He declared that Effokoa had worked both in the Northwest and Southwest Regions and knew how to balance regional and gender issues. This was because the late Efokoa had appointed three Bakweris as Mayor and Deputies and a female Deputy from the Northwest Region. In spite of his dedication to the party, Efokoa, at one point, resigned, but later returned.
As tribute to the late husband, Efokoa’s widow, Lydia Enjema, said: “You were not only a husband, but a role model. I will continue to uphold the virtues you taught me and keep our family united.”
His son, Robison Efokoa said: “I have a fresh memory of all what you advised me…, I will heed to those words because I know they will bear good fruits.”
“We have lost a mentor; he will hardly be replaced, considering the vital role he played to ensure that the party continues to live. His sudden departure, with all the plans he had for the party keeps us very worried. We are wondering how we are going to carry on, but we hope that his departure is an assurance because we have someone who is divine and also praying that the party should grow. The high turnout of the party members is an indication of the love they had for him.” Commandant Ekeke, a party comrade recounted.
Being a member of the Christian Men’s Fellowship, CMF, the group graced the funeral with songs prepared to bid Efokoa farewell to the bosom of the Lord. One of the CMF members, John Monangai said: “We would miss him a lot. He was good to the group; he supported the congregation and Cameroon.”
Talking to The Post, Elder Gabriel Nengang said: “We are short of one member, so, we need to work and stay firm in faith, not forgetting that there will come a time when God will call for us too. As Christians, death is a transition, it is not the end. Let the family know that God is the father to the fatherless.”
Simon Mbwange Efokoa was born on March 11, 1943, in Buea Town. His parents were Henry Elive Efokoa and Mama Hannah Eposi nee Mokenge.
He obtained his first school leaving certificate at the Elders and Fyffes School, Ndongo, between 1950 and 1959. From 1963 to 1966, he attended Cameroon College of Commerce, Kumba. He obtained the London Royal Society of Arts upon completion and travelled to Nairobi, Kenya in 1986, under church sponsorship for a course in Church Management for Senior Administrators.
Between 1960-1962, he worked with Elders and Fyffes Plantation and from 1966-1969, he served in the following positions; Synod Clerk, Treasury Department in Victoria, Clerk Grade 2, Presbytery Treasurer, Dikome and Kumba Presbyteries.
He equally served as District Treasurer for Nso and Nkambe. He was a founding member of the frontline opposition party, SDF, where he served as the Buea District Chairman, Vice Chairman, amongst others.
He got married to Lydia Enjema Veseke on August 6, 1965 and their union was blessed with eight children, with one of late.
He was a member of the CMF and member of the Buea Traditional Council. He spearheaded a lot of developmental projects in Buea Town like the Liwangamele Water Project.