By Paul E. Kode
Close to 1000 invitees, friends, relatives and acquaintances braced themselves to be doused with free powder on the dust laden road to Mukonje village, Kumba 111 sub division, on Saturday December 31, 2016. This was on the solemn occasion of the 50th anniversary memorial of late Pa Samuel Eyambe Akale. He had crossed the Rubicon of life prematurely at 40, in 1966, following a brutal attack along the Tombel-Nyassoso road, by the marquisards. He and five others succumbed to the carefully laid ambush. The skulls of the victims had been slit open with machetes by the callous assassins. Hours later, news of the incident spread like fuel fire. It spontaneously precipitated a clash of arms between the Bakossi and Bamileke in Tombel town and its environs. The Akale family therefore thought it wise to remember the ‘Old Hero’, their father, Pa Samuel Eyambe Akale exactly fifty years later. It is difficult to explain how the said memorial could have coincided with two dates, Saturday, 31st December (1966) and another Saturday, 31st December (2016). This brought to mind, the other world famous enigmatic coincidences of events between late President Abe Lincoln and Jack Kennedy, exactly one century apart.
Who says people do not have friends in heaven! The memorial service was ably officiated by non-otherthan a dedicated college of reverend fathers. They included Father Emmanuel Nkeng and Martin Kima. They were ‘60s classmates (and friends) inSasse with the chief celebrant, Henry Akale. Meanwhile, the Parish Pastor of Ntam, close to Mukonje village, Father Wilibrod Sakwealso formed an integral part in the historic memorial.
In the hour long homily, the clergy heaped encomiums on the achievements of late Pa Akale, in all facets of his truncated but eventful life, during his sojourn on Lady Terra’s Mantle.
It was recalled that Pa Akake was a disciplinarian par excellence, a talented and indefatigable teacher of the first order, a loving husband and caring father, with a spic and span principle, inter-alia.
Three enigmatic dates marked Pa Samuel Akale’s birth and exit. He was born in 1926, passed through transition in 1966 and was accorded a befitting half a century memorial in 2016. He was survived by eight beautiful siblings – 2 boys and six lassies. The second eldest, Henry J.B Akale, like the others, eventually braced all odds in life to emerge as stoic, self-made men and women. Being a man, Henry is officially acknowledged as the head of the rapidly sprawling Alake Clan. There are all indications that the trend will soon metamorphose into a veritable Dynasty!
The Memorial was characterized by a display of versatile cultural performances that thrilled the avid spectators, from home and abroad, elastically.
In attendance were the likes of the CDC Board Chair, Benjamin Itoe, the Kumba City Council Government Delegate, the world renowned Cameroonian Cocoa adept, Hope Sona Ebai, Chief Ngoh of Malende, Dr. Catherine Akale, Dr. George Assam, Chief Gabriel Ebanja of Mukonje, a host of Sasse Old Boys& Past Girls! including the ‘Grapevine man’, Njomo Kevin.