St Pius X Parish Akum (Mile 6)

The arrival of the Catholic Church in Akum was through a certain Kentsuh who returned to Akum after working in the coast of the Southern Cameroons. Mr. Kentsuh who’s other names we could not get, belonged to the big family of Akomboh. Before he arrived Akum, the Basel Mission Church was already established. He found it difficult to convince the natives to become followers of this denomination. Nevertheless, he succeeded after a long struggle. The Catholic Church in Akum began in Wakab’s square at Songmualah and later moved up to a site which Papa Gabriel Tebeh (rubber gun), later bought from them. Here they began a vernacular school in the 1940s. Indeed, they transferred both the Church and the vernacular school from Papa Tebeh’s to another site along the road to Dick Chi. Here the vernacular school was transformed into a primary school. The reason for this sudden change of site was a wild tornado, which completely destroyed both the church and the school. Then they in exchange occupied Dick Chi Takwe’s land, which is the present site. The first Akum son to serve as a Catechist in the Roman Catholic Church was Papa Asaah Ndeh, (the brother of Mofor Ntankhu).

The Basel Mission operated the first vernacular school in Akum and the language used was Mungaka. This School did not last because it ceased to exist after-the Germans left Kamerun. Then the Roman Catholic Mission created the “Ayakwakwa” school in their first site at Papa Gabriel Tebeh’s. This school was different from that of the Basel Mission in that the language used was that of Akum. The People preferred the Ayakwakwa school to the Basel Mission one where the Akum Children were subjected to the learning of a foreign language. It became clear that the Basel mission wanted more teachers for their evangelization and taught Mungaka as a lingua-franca for the grasslands. This became clear when each time a student finished his third year of Mungaka studies, he was either appointed a teacher to teach this language in another village or he became catechist in yet another village. Though people in Akum lauded the Ayakwakwa School founded on the whims of a certain Muma of Mendakwe origin, it did not really produce worthwhile results. The pupils attested that no real language courses, were run here apart from the fact that they merely told stories in the language, which was great fun. Nevertheless, the Roman Catholic Mission operated the real first primary school in Akum in the late 1940s. It was only in 1954 that the only Basel Mission Primary School became operational.

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The Basel Mission Church | Presbyterian Church Akum (Mile 4)

The first missionaries to arrive Akum were the Basel Mission pastors (Protestants). By the time they arrived Akum, their headquarters was in Bali. The leading pastor was called Rev. Ferdinand Ernest who was accompanied by some church workers called catechists. The word of God was principally transmitted in vernacular and as such the necessity of interpreters was very important and urgent. These people of God who came to Akum went from village to village and quite often the palaces were their meeting ground with the pagans. After a number of visits here a resident catechist was installed to introduce Christianity and eventually converted the animists to become follower of Christ.

It was not until about 1930 that the Basel Mission Church was established in Akum. Although the Germans brought the Basel Mission Church to the Kamerun, the Church faced a number of problems when the Germans left Kamerun soon after the First World War. The defeat of the Germans also led to the expropriation of their properties in Kamerun and since the Basel Mission was part and parcel of the conquered colonial master, the League of Nations at the Treaty of Versailles handed Kamerun as Trust Territories to both Britain and France. It was in 1957 that the Basel Mission with headquarters in Basel, Switzerland handed the church to the local congregation and it was renamed “The Presbyterian Church in Cameroon.”

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