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LECDA is born

How time flies. The idea to create a LECDA branch in Edmonton was first initiated in 2012 by a few individuals from Lebialem. These individuals came together and decided to unite all Lebialem offspring and well wishers in Edmonton. Thus, LECDA-Edmonton was created.

The creation of LECDA-Edmonton is the brainchild of Charles Mbunya, who became our first President, serving a two-year term; Dr Dominic Bekwike who acted as the interim President for 6 months following the end of the term of office of Mr. Mbunya, until elections were conducted. Others include Agendia Aloysius, who was President from 2015 - 2017, Ndemafia Francis who was as our able Secretary General for four consecutive years, George Njuacha who was our Financial Secretary for four consecutive years as well as Richard Aboshouh, who was President from 2017 - 2019. Mrs. Delphine Ntemgwa Beleh was President from 2019 - 2022. The Current President of LECDA Edmonton is Mr. Nkengfua Alexander. Dr Eugene Asaachop was also a founding member of LECDA-Edmonton. The picture below is of the first ever LECDA-Edmonton meeting in 2012 hosted by Dr. Asaachop at his residence in Edmonton.

What you need to know about Lebialem Division

Lebialem Division is one of the Administrative Divisions of the South West Region of Cameroon. It was created in 1992, thus, upgrading the then Fontem Sub division to a Division with Head Quarter in Menji. Fontem Sub Division was a Sub Division under Manyu Division. Lebialem Division has three administrative Sub Divisions, namely, Alou, Fontem and Wabane.

Lebialem Division is located on the mountainous north eastern part of South West Region. It is bordered to the East by Menua Division of the West Region, South and South West by the Manyu and Kupe-Muanenguba Divisions of the South West Region and North by Momo Division in the North West Region. The area ranges from 180m to about 2510m above sea level. The South West Region and its Divisions.

Lebialem Division got her name from a famous twin waterfall (The Lebialem waterfall) pronounced as (Lebe-alem) which means a hill from which water drops in to a pool. This waterfall results from two separate and far apart rivers- Begeuh and Ntsembeuh which culminate at a hill at a very close range and plunge from an altitude of over 100m in to a single pool.

The Lebialem water fall is just one of several touristic sites and wonders of Lebialem Division. Amongst others are the Nyi(s) Fongonkem in Mbindia-Leban (two giant isolated picks (inselbergs) that stand tall above the surrounding lands and can be seen from several positions in the Division in a bright day). Locals refer to them as the Male and Female Nyi(s). There is also the Totankeng in M’mock Mbie (a massive rock that hangs on a high hill giving the impression that it will collapse the next minute at first sight but stands still.), Mt Marga etc and a broad range of Fauna and Flora.

Another very interesting aspect of Lebialem Division is her strategic location at the crossroad of the coastal Lowlands and Western Highlands of Cameroon. This explains why most of Lebialem Division is a high land area.

The special impetus is that it takes off from the Mamfe Basin area and rises gradually or gently from the regions of Essoh-Atah, Njogui, Nsogoh and Fossong in Leban, Ntchen –Ndungated, and a greater part of Wabane Sub Division with level lands and low altitudes to Bamembou, the Alou market area, M’mock area and Mbidia region which have very high altitudes characterised by isolated hills and peaks.

Lebialem is also a transitional zone from the tropical forest vegetation to the savannah/grass land vegetation of Cameroon. Moving through Lebialem Division from the Mamfe Basin area or the Mbo-Bayang Sanctuary you will be stroke by the gradual but progressive change in vegetation, climate and altitude as you progress towards the Western high lands of Cameroon.

Considering the fact the climate is the major factor that influences vegetation, one will experience warm temperatures as he/she enters Lebialem from the Mamfe and Mbo areas. The vegetation here is more of forest (tropical ever green) with trees of above 50m like Iroko, Mahogany, Boma and crops like Coco Nuts, Cocoa, Bitter cola, Palms, Robusta coffee etc. The temperatures and vegetation will keep changing and the next range of forest is deciduous forest and the climate, lukewarm. The vegetation here is characterised by trees of height below 50m. Crops may include some of the crops found in the first zone but their productivity is low. Some crops like Coco nut, palms, Bitter cola and cocoa may flourish but not produce fruit. This zone paves the way to the savannah/grass land zone with trees of height below 30m. The only trees which can grow above 30m are Eucalyptus and other crop trees like Cola nut trees which are planted, and which are suited for the climate. Temperatures are generally very low with foggy weather. Crops that dominate this area are Arabica coffee, beans, potatoes and some tubers. Generally, if Cameroon is Africa in miniature then Lebialem is Cameroon in miniature.

The people of Lebialem Division constitute two main tribe. The Bangwas of Nwah or Nweh and the Melabeh or Belabeh of Mondani. The Lebialem people are commonly called the Nwah –Mondani or Nweh-Mondani people. The above terms: Bangwa and Melabeh or Belabeh represent the people as a whole while Nweh or Nwah and Mondani are the tribes. Conversely, an individual from Nwah/Nweh is called Guenwah/Guenweh while that from Mondani is called Ndabeh. These people are further split into three administrative Sub Divisions: Alou, Fontem and wabane Sub Divisions. The Buangwas constitute two Sub Divisions Alou and Fontem while the Melabeh constitute the Wabane Sub Division. The Sub Divisions are made up of Villages. Alou Sub Division occupies six villages (Lewoh, Ndungated(t), Nwametaw, Nwangong, Mmouckbi and Mouckgie), Fontem Sub Division occupies three villages (Essoh-Attah, Lebang, and Njogwi ) these Nine Villages that make up the Nwah/Nweh tribe while the whole of Mondani tribe with eight Villages(Bamumbu, Bangang, Banti, Bechate, Besali, Folepi, Igumbo, Nkong) make up the Wabane sub Division.

The People of Lebialem came from various origins. Part of the Bangwas especially those who make up Fontem Sub Division owe their origin to the Bayang (Mamfe) area. The other part (those who make up Alou Sub Division) mostly migrated from the Bamileke region of the West Region of Cameroon. The Melabeh of the Mondani tribe are said have their roots from the Bayang area and Widikum in the Momo division of the North West Region of Cameroon. However, some families in some villages might have originated from different regions, the right of the majority prevails in such situations. According to Victor Julius Ngoh in History of Cameroon Since 1800; the Lebialem people are part of the Tikas who migrated through time from the Lake Chad area. The Tikas are a dominant population who migrated from Northern Cameroon (Lake Chad Area) southwards and their offspring occupy most of the Western Grass Lands of present day Cameroon.

An accurate data of the population of Lebialem has not been established but estimates stand at about I60000 people. Lebialem people especially Bangwas are among the major tribes with huge colonies of Settlers in other tribes for example, Nwah people in the Muyuka sub Divisiom seem to be more than the Balongs who are the original settlers of the area. Huge colonies of Nwah people also settle in the Bafo area of Kumba, the Bakwere area of Buae, mutengene, Munyenge etc. In a nut shell Lebialem people are scattered all over Cameroon and the world at large with significant populations in Europe, the USA, Canada and Asia (China and Japan). Culled from

Lebialem Fondoms

Lebialem has 17 fondoms( villages) which cut across three sub divisions namely Fontem, Alou and Wabane.

Alou Sub Division occupies six villages

  1. Lewoh
  2. Ndungated
  3. Nwametaw
  4. Nwangong
  5. Mmouckbi
  6. Mouckgie

Fontem Sub Division occupies three villages

  1. Essoh-Attah
  2. Lebang
  3. Njogwi

Wabane sub divisions comprises Nine Villages

  1. Bamumbu
  2. Bangang
  3. Banti
  4. Bechate
  5. Besali
  6. Folepi
  7. Igumbo
  8. Nkong