The Statue of the Founder of Nso – Ngonnso is counting the days until her return home. HRH, the Fon of Nso paid a symbolic visit to Ngonnso at the Humboldt Forum in Berlin – Germany on the 12th November 2022.
A visit aimed at recreating the connection between Ngonnso and her people. It was also aimed at furthering conversation on the restitution of other Nso royal objects at the Linden museum in Stuttgart. It has been 120years since Ngonnso was violently snatched away from her people. It also has been 30 years since the Fon started making demands for the return of the symbol of peace and hope for Nso – Ngonnso.
Upon the arrival of the Fon in Germany, the Nso people welcomed him joyfully through cultural displays such as music and dance. They chanted words of praise, honor and respect to the Fon as the Fon and his delegation moved unto the Humboldt Forum where they met the Cameroon ambassador to Germany – Ambassador Victor Ndoki. The ambassador joined the entourage to head to the exhibition space where the Fon made an opening statement.
In his statement, he thanked the Humboldt Forum for receiving him and the delegation.
He expressed with deep regret that in his 30 years of reign, this was the first time he would be seeing Ngonnso and this was indeed very symbolic for him.
The key element of his statement was when he asked that SPK give a list of all objects in their keeping that were looted from Nso.
From the exhibition ground, a first group of people including the Fon, Sysy House of Fame founder, the Fon’s interpreter, the Cameroon ambassador to Germany amongst others went to the space in which Ngonnso was kept. It was a very emotional moment. Ngonnso was placed upon soil and leaves brought from Cameroon and decorated with more leaves. This act was representative of the fact that Ngonnso had brought Nso to Germany and the re-establishment of the link between Ngonnso and her people.
In a ritual to set the basis of a connection with Ngonnso, the Fon expressed that she (Ngonnso) was not handed over to the invaders as a gift or sold to them but rather she was taken by force.
He begged Ngonnso to forgive Nso people for taking too long to come for her. He asked that she take her people back, connect with the ancestors and intercede on behalf of her people for the resolution of the many bad situations they are facing.
From the space, the Fon once again met with the Nso people who had come from far and near to give reverence to their leader, His royal Highness, the Fon of Nso.
The day ended as the Fon and his delegation left the Humboldt Forum to his place of residence for the time he would be in Berlin.
Another symbolic encounter was the meeting with the Cameroon Ambassador to Germany who pledged support to the Nso people especially in the context of restitution. During this meeting, the Fon of Nso requested that the deliberations surrounding the return of Ngonnso be done with urgency and effectively and elaborately, such that by February, the people of Nso and as such the nation of Cameroon would gladly welcome mother Ngonnso. He beckoned to the Ambassador to see to it that progress made in the restitution process be communicated with him and his delegation to ensure proper planning and to avoid conflict.
At the Linden museum in Stuttgart, the Fon and his delegation were presented with “objects” in exhibition and not in exhibition; “objects” from Nso and “objects” not from Nso. It was a sentimental moment for the Fon as he experienced his cultural heritage and the cultural heritage of several other communities locked up and set for the amusement of strangers. He expressed passionately his desire to see the elements returned to their original homes.
The visit of the Fon to Germany which lasted 7 days was a tremendous success. Ngonnso is ready to return home and she is expected to make a glorious return alongside the other royal elements of Nso, come 2023.
We are driven by the passion to create a more peaceful and prosperous world. We believe that this can be achieved by giving everyone a voice and freedom to create the Future we want together.