Little is known of the history of Bagangu (Akum). Attempts have been made to find out whether the facts got were right and true, and it has been discovered that the truth meadered in it. It is widely believed that the Bagangu (Akum) people came from Widikum. Nevertheless research is continuing to trace the relatiohship between the Widikums of today and the Akum people believed to be brothers and sisters of yesterday. Research, as earlier mentioned, is still being carried out into the details of the background of the origin of the Akum people since there are a few conflicting details and glosses in the narrations. This skeletal account appears to be of some importance because of certain corroborative facts from a general analysis.
The fact that ritualistic ornaments exist, and constantly in the keeping of the descendants of the earlier nobles of Akum, and, are called upon when needs arises, is clear proof that continuity and respect for the throne, its customs and traditions are ensured. Moreover, it is undeniable that African traditional art remains the emotional and intellectual peg on which tribal cultures hang spiritual truth.
In this skeletal form, we wish to arouse the curiosity of other inquisitive potential Akum recorders in the social, cultural and traditional study and maintenance of the Akum pattern of life and history. Once the interest is awakened, the object of writing a book is realized for further study becomes easier. The task of revision has been the entire responsibility of every willing learner from the initial stage to maturity. In a volume of this size, one cannot but outline to awaken interest. Readers are free to write back to the publisher if there are any suggestions.
Signed: Chofor Ndimofor. M.Ed, MA. (Sociology), PGDip. Admin
The Journey out of Tadkon & From Here To The Present Site.
If history is to be believed, then it is true that the late 18th century marked the climax of world history. In Europe this period was characterized by the demarcation of institutions immediately after the French Revolution of 1789. And in Africa, although there was complete abolition of slave trade, ceaseless inter-tribal wars continued to rear their ugly heads disturbingly everywhere. It is difficult to state with certainty why the Bagangu people left Widikum and migrated northwards. However, history tells us that the old Mbakums were dedicated to a noble ideal, to freedom and were sincere and friendly. What is important to consider in this arrangement of migration and to understand, is the fact that Akum is much more than a mere historical event. The successes of their forbears have today become symbols that express their courage and greatness.
It would be an act of monumental stupidity or blatant arrogance and simply betrayal to challenge the cultural heritage with whatever modern ideas. The founding fathers enjoyed a spirit of oneness and undivided love. They were a courageous people and sure one would suppose that many Mbakums have at other times even reflected upon the feelings of these earlier settlers, questioning their gallantry impatiently, imagining on what meat they were fed.
Mbakums were and are a proud people, courageous, intelligent and critical of themselves. They were a fearless people and confident of themselves until they arrived their present site. But many of us explain this vast immigration, by the too simple generalization that most of the pioneers in our various dynasties were motivated by rebellion against arbitrary authority, in the primitive home and were largely malcontents. Even if this were true, a spirit of freedom and independence of democratic existence motivated them! There may be some elements of truth in this analysis, but the men and women who made up Bagangu, (today Akum) and other adjacent villages wer not just an earlier generation of “angry people” railing out at the world and believing in nothing.
We have been told how they were taken up with a cult of togetherness and a safe and undemanding security. They believed in something! They had the same qualities that their forbearers (parents-settlers) had before them and the Mbakums need this in abundance today. Nevertheless, when they left Widikum to Tadkon they were faced with insurmountable odds such as uncrossable rivers. And they left Widikum as a phratry -all bundled in one. But an unfortunate incident befell them while they approached a river unknown to them.
A great storm began and rendered their journey impossible. At first those ahead valiantly endured the odds and pushed on faster than those far behind who followed slowly. They managed to cross over. And by the time the other fraction arrived the river, it was practically impossible for them to cross to the other side where the precursors were. So they were obliged to sit by the banks or near the banks of this fast flowing stream in the hope that all would be calm before long for them to cross over. Meanwhile, those of them who had earlier crossed the turbulent river continued their trek northwards, into the grassfield. These forerunners were only five in number, namely:
Atanga Nkeh Nchang, Wakab, Ngwashi Ateh Neh, Atah, Taniform, Achor Ngwa.
These five brave men formed the village of Bagangu while those who were blocked by the overflowing river later moved eastwards to form what is today Mendum I and II.
A list of some Akum (then Bangangu) Warriors called Lail
- Zam Mundi
- Nchang Mbarika
- Tabi Ndong
- Atang Mambam
- Fomba Chillali
Leadership after Separation to the Final Settlement
Among the five people who crossed the river was Atanga Nkeh Nchang who was designated as leader of the migrants. On their way to a land unknown to them, Wakab, who was the brother of the leader, died. Having disposed of the body of Wakab, Atanga Nkeh Nchang took possession of his late brother’s bag and cup. These were the only important items an ancient man bequeathed to the living then. As they settled in the present site of Akum, Atanga Nkeh Nchang named his son after his late brother and bequeathed what he inherited from his brother – the bag and cup to him. However, it is to be noted that Lower and Upper Ngemba came from Widikum through Tadkon to the present site. They settled at Kapchor and Muchor. Indeed, confronted by tribal wars they left and went to live for sometime in Bambui from where they moved to Ntinelah. From Ntinelah they migrated to Babadjou and only left from here when their Fon died. Indeed, not willing to bury their Fon in a foreign village, they dug a tomb but filled it with banana stumps overnight. Then they carried the Fon’s body back to Ntinelah for a befitting burial. From here the Atanga family transferred to Nsongmaula and the Fon went to Ntohmbing and from here to the present site where stands the Akum Palace.
This corrects the error made by other sources that only four men crossed the river before the flood. Indeed they were five of them.