June 19, 2016
After spending a week at home in New York the time had come for me head off to Cameroon. For those of you who have kept up with my blog and Youtube channel, you know that I took an African Ancestry DNA test last year. It was there that I discovered my Cameroonian roots (on my mother’s side). Now I’d be heading off to my ancestral village to reconnect with the people.
I left from Newark Airport and made my connecting flight in Belgium. After a few hours, I got on one last plane and made my way to Douala, Cameroon where I was greeted by my Tikar family.
I was so tired but their energy gave me so much life! They danced, sang, smiled, and were so gracious and kind to me. After spending about 45 minutes there I was taken to my hotel/apartment.
Early in the morning, we set off to go to Bankim which was roughly 8 hours away from Douala. As a Jamaican-American it was amazing to see all the black people in the billboard ads…not one white face.
Even the sister on the currency had her braids done!
Finally, after driving on terrible roads for such a long time we made it to Bankim!
I would meet King Ibrahim Gah 2 and his notables would walk me around the village where I was able to talk and spend time with the people. I would return to the palace where I got ready for my naming and title ceremony.
The people began singing and dancing and I was able to join them during certain parts of the festivities. Then I was taken back inside the palace.
I was blessed to receive the title of Premiere Princess Hounwain which was an extreme honor. I’m the first female born outside of the royal family to receive this title.
After spending time with King Gah and my Tikar people I went to visit the Foumban palace which is about 2-3 hours away from Bankim.
From here I would go onto visit Bimbia which is the site of the slave village.
Bimbia was an interesting place because once you entered through the gates into the slave village there was a deafening silence. It seemed as if the land itself was still grieving due to all the things that had occurred there in the past. I’ve only ever experienced that feeling once and that was the day my mother died.
After I completed all my obligations for my pilgrimage I was able to head to Kribi for a little relaxation on the beach. I’m so glad that I was able to make this trip a reality…it was very meaningful for me to make contact with the Tikar people of Cameroon. I will be back for sure!
aka Princess Hounwain