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Wonjia Village Gets New Chief 

By Elvis Tah

Njie Mandenge a.k.a. ‘Lisengi,’ has been crowned pioneer Chief of New Wonjia village, Lysoka, Buea. He was crowned on Saturday, July11, by the DO of Buea, Simon Kwemon and a college of Bakweri Chiefs. 

Njie Mandenge, new Wonjia Chief

Chief Mandenge takes over from late Chief Zacheus Woloa Mokpwa, who died, about 18 years ago, leaving the throne vacant. Late Chief Zacheus Woloa Mokpwa, died intestate and he had no child to succeed him. Ever since he died, there has been a power deadlock in the village because the Bwemini Royal Family was unable to designate a successor on the throne.

The stalemate was finally broken on Saturday, February 9, 2008, when Mola Njie Mandenge was designated by a conclave of elders and king makers, to be chief of the village, during a consultative talk that took place in the village, in the presence of the then Divisional Officer, DO, of Buea, Bertrand Awunfac.

Speaking during the coronation ceremony, the DO of Buea, Simon Kwemon, stated that Prefectoral Order No 247/2009, signed by the Senior Divisional Officer for Fako, Jules Marceline Djiaga, confirms the choice of Wonjia Kingmakers to designate Njie Mandenge as third class Chief of the village. 

He assured the villagers that the administration did not meddle in the selection of their chief.
The DO told Chief Mandenge that as an auxiliary to the government; he should pass on to his people all the directives of the government and to maintain peace and stability in his village.
Kwemon said the government is poised to cede a portion of land that was claimed from CDC to the Wonjia community. He urged the chief to distribute the land equitably and judiciously amongst his subjects.

The DO also implored Chief Mandenge to use his connections to ensure infrastructural development in his village, especially the perennial problem of roads. Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the Wonjia Traditional Council, Mola Litumbe Mingeley, began by tracing the genealogy of the Wonjia clan.

"Njie Tama was the ancestral father and founder of Wonjia village. He had three sons: Mine, Evelle and Meonje. Consequently the three sons evolved the three patrimonial families of Wonjia (Bwemini, Bwevella and Wonya Meonje," says the notable.

He said the solemn and desolate Wonjia village [referring to the village’s near abandonment], may neither stir disillusionment nor insinuates depiction; rather, it is an inspiration to the natives to moister and buttress their resolve to hold their destiny in their hands. He lauded the new chief for extending a hand of partnership and reconciliation to his ‘detractors’ who, according to him, contended to erase Wonjia village on the map of the Lysoka Court Area. "The Wonjia Community pledges their royalty and collaboration with you," he said.

Chief Njie Mandenge

Chief Njie Mandenge was born on April 14, 1955, of late Lyonga Mandenge Mafany, in Lysoka. He did his primary education from 1960 to 1971. He worked for Fako Chemist Limbe, CDC Pharmacy, Douala and Limbe Ports. He was amongst the 30 African English Candidates to study in the Institute of Foreign Studies in France, and obtained a Higher Diploma in French Studies in the University of Marseille, France. 

Chief Mandenge got into active politics in 1986 and was elected YCPDM President in Lysoka. He is a Buea Municipal Councillor. Chief Mandenge is a Presbyterian faithful. He is married to Bridget Namondo Julie and father of many children. His coronation ceremony was animated by the ‘Nganya and the Male dance groups. 

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