A HISTORY OF ASSOCABORG
Cameroonians in Gothenburg, who were mostly non students, came together in the banner of a Cameroonian union at least once in two months. Their rotative come together was characterized by “njangi” and feasting. It was the best way they thought they could share the warmth and fraternity that exist amongst Africans in general and Cameroonians in particular. This Cameroonian association was registered with the tax authority between 2000 and 2001 with the objectives of portraying the Cameroonian culture and to organize activities that will bring Cameroonians in Gothenburg together. They however, were far from their spelt out goals as they embarked only on “Njangi” and feasting on meeting days and never organized other social activities that would indicate their presence in Gothenburg Sweden.
It is important to note that before 2002, the Cameroonian student population in Gothenburg was relatively negligible. The few who were in Gothenburg during this period took off time to attend meetings in order to familiarize themselves with other Cameroonians present in Gothenburg. They realized that they were not participants and relegated to the background since they could not be part of the precious “njangi”. The talk of the day in meetings was nothing else than “njangi”.
By the end of 2002 and towards the beginning of 2003, the Cameroonian student population in Gothenburg increased drastically. With the increase in the number of Cameroonians students in Gothenburg, they (students) began to see the need of the association of Cameroonians in Gothenburg focusing on its real objectives. Their anticipated turning point could however not see the light of the day not only because of the difference in ideologies but also because of individual and sub group interests.
Two Camps came up; one made of the more populated students with minimal jobs and the other, non-students who were well-to-do. The well-to-do group wanted the “njangi” to be an important and primordial part of the association but the students did not think it was important since most of them (students) were not financially apt to be part. By implication, it meant that there was an association within an association because of the importance laid on the “njangi” which only a few well to do members could be part, the students noted.
A compromise was far fetched which consequently lead to the collapse of both the sub-njangi group and the association of Cameroonians in the last meeting that took place at the then president`s (Désiré Théophile) residence at Tuve in April 2003. From then, there was no indication of the existence of Cameroonians or their association in Gothenburg Sweden until the end of August 2004.
THE RE-CREATION OF AN ASSOCIATION OF CAMEROONIANS IN GOTHENBURG
As noted above, the presence of Cameroonians was not felt in any form for a year and four months. Then, came Fotso Vincent who thought that it was imperative that Cameroonians present in Gothenburg come together in a forum where they will be able to know each other, share that fraternity that is of Cameroonian tradition and together feel at home each time they meet. He revealed his dream of resuscitating the Cameroonian association to the Ekwe family and together, they decided to meet for the first time on Saturday the 28th of August 2004 at Fotso’s residence. The following were in attendance:
Fotso Vincent, Hanna (Fotso’s wife), Ekwe Awasume,
Epie Ekwe, and Enobile Sylvanus.
The decision to propagate the need of an Association to other Cameroonians by those in attendance and to make them know about the next meeting was of great importance. Other Cameroonians were contacted and in the meeting that held on Saturday, 11 September 2004 still at Fotso’s residence, saw an increase in attendance. The following were present:
Charles Ndemyeh, Ebong Kingsley, Ebong Fidelis Sameh, Paul Mvele, Ekwe Awasume, Epie Godfred Ekwe, Ndanyeh Naomi, Stella Nung, Vincent de Paul Fotso, Francis Ikome Nganje, Foleng Jude Nfotiog, Akere Kynaston and Anicetus Tanyi.
It was still imperative to make other Cameroonians in Gothenburg know the importance of revamping the dormant Cameroonian Association. All those in attendance promised to take th bull by the horn and not give any lapses for a backward turn. The next meeting slated for the 25th of September 2004 still at Fotso’s residence, saw another increase in members. Thanks to Ebong Fidelis Sameh who sensitized Cameroonian students, resident at Studiegången to massively attend. At the meeting, a caretaker committee was appointed to act as the executive until the structures are laid down for a smooth running of the Association. As the initiator of this brilliant idea, Fotso Vincent was generally accepted to head the care taker committee as the president and thus, the president of the association.
With an increase in attendance, there was the need to look for a larger hall for subsequent meetings. Ebong Fidelis, then resident at Studiegången took the responsibility of booking a hall at Studiegången 3. Since then, meetings had been holding at Studiegången until when the venue was changed to Örngatan behind Redbergplatsen on the Friday, May 22nd 2009.
During the first meetings at Studiegågen it was unanimously accepted that the Association be named “Association of Cameroonians in Gothenburg” (Assocaborg). It was also accepted that meetings were to hold every forth night until things are put in place for the smooth running of the Association. Then, meetings could start holding once a month. A committee was formed headed by Mesue Wilfred to come up with a draft constitution. They were able to come up with a draft/proposal for comments by Sunday, January 9, 2005 and handed in the final version on Saturday, April 22, 2006 in which election are to be held by November every year.
Fotso, the only president who has led Assocaborg for two years 2004 and 2005, saw the need to create a forum through which members could send their opinions. He thought it wise to create an E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org that was sent out to all the members on Wednesday, September 29 2004. These years of his rule were really trying since all his executives members silently abdicated their functions just after being appointed or voted into their functions. He single handedly led Assocaborg through these most difficult periods as a patriot.
He single handedly registered the Association with the council and at the Tax office, obtained a registration number that was meant for the Cameroonian association registered in 2000/2001 (this could not be gotten from any other archives), opened a ‘post girot’ account with Nordea Bank on behalf of the association and made contact that enabled Assocaborg members to socially interact with members of other Associations. After a one year rule (2004), the members thought that he was still the right person to be at the top of Assocaborg. He was then voted in for another one year term (2005). In the November 2005 elections, Nambile Samuel Cumber was voted as the president of Assocaborg. He took over office in January 2006 and at the beginning of 2007, Awa Edison Ayim was appointed president in a meeting since there were no elections and the then president (Nambile) was not still in Sweden. Edison ruled during the year 2007. Then, in the elections of November 2007, Raymond Moube was voted in as president for 2008 but spent only a month and two weeks in office before he stepped down in a letter addressed to the general assembly on the 13th February 2008.
Following his resignation, the elected vice president constitutionally had to become the president. The Vice president Epie Godfred Ekwe took over the supreme command of Assocaborg and led it through 2008. Then came the elections of November 2008 which was won by Roger as president. He took office in January 2009 after his installation.
Though each government had its setbacks, they had also achieved a lot through their hard work (especially Fotso 2004 and 2005) to keep the Association moving. This is why Assocaborg is where we find it today.