Grassfield culture takes center stage at youth FESTAC in Bamenda

More than 100 children and youths from Cameroon’s North West and West regions displayed their mastery and love for Grassfield cultures.

The event took place Sunday, June 16, 2024, at the Saint Joseph Hall in Big Mankon, Bamenda. It was the second edition of the Youth Festival of Art and Culture, FESTAC, organized by the Youth Outreach Programme (YOP) The festival coincided with commemorative activities for the 34th Day of the African Child.

Forest children of Bamenda performed njang, mbaya, bottle, and folkloric dances. Youths from other groups, including Makongui of Babadjou, also participated in a cultural dance competition, captivating the large audience.

Fashion designers showcased the rich traditional outfits of the Grassfield. This aligned with the event’s goals: to encourage cultural expression and preservation among children and youths, promote their cultures, and highlight the culture and creative industries.

‘We primarily targeted children and youths,’ said event coordinator Omer Songwe. ‘For t
hree days, we conducted workshops to train them in income-generating activities that can improve their living standards.’

A ceremony concluded the vibrant event. Cash prizes ranging from 25,000 CFA francs (FCFA) to 200,000 FCFA were awarded to winners in various categories, including children, youths, and elders.

Mr. Nsipanko Macsel, principal of GBHS Babadjou, led a large delegation from Babadjou in the West. He expressed his satisfaction with the event’s inclusivity.

‘I am grateful to the organizers of this great event,’ Macsel said. ‘It comes at a time when our culture faces an influx of Western culture. I believe it’s time for change, and we must invest in our youth to achieve that.’

The theme for the 2024 Day of the African Child celebration was ‘Education for All Children in Africa: The Time is Now.’

Source: Cameroon News Agency