Mount Fako, Mount Cameroon, also called Buea Mountain or “The Chariots of the gods”, is an active volcano, one of Africa’s largest located in the Southwest Region, Fako division of Cameroon. The about 4040metre climb attracts tourists to danger, mythology, fun and nature. Several activities are carried out on it, among them; the famous Mount Cameroon Race of Hope organized yearly, attracting both Cameroonians and foreigners to the site. Ginseng is a medicinal plant that scientists have discovered growing on Mount Cameroon. The stories that surround the mountain are quite intriguing as well.[spacer height=”10px”]
[spacer height=”10px”]It is believed that Mount Fako is guided by a man-eater god named Efasa-Moto. It is believed that Efasa-Moto controls the entire ‘hill’ from the West coast to the border with Balondo land to the North east coast, and towards meme division of Cameroon. According to Bakweri oral tradition, Efasa-Moto is the male component of the Liengu La Mwanja or the legendary “Mammy water”. It is said that after an agreement between the two, Efasa-Moto choose to live in the mountain while the Liengu La Mwanja remained in the sea. Reports hold that during the 1992 eruption of the Fako Mountain, the path of the impressive lava flow towards the Atlantic Ocean was specifically chosen by Efasa-Moto as an act of bonding and solidarity with his wife, Liengu La Mwamja, the sea mermaid.
Efasa-Moto the man-eater god is described as being divided vertically from top to bottom in a strange mixture of half human and half stone and yet shaped in the form of a man, giving a complete picture of a goat standing on its hind legs. His house is said to be a dark cave located on a sacred area of the mountain. People who have ventured in the cave are said to never have come back. Efasa-Moto is said to farm a sugarcane plantation higher up the mountain and this sugarcane is incredibly sweet. Visitors are allowed to eat it, but never take any with them. Mountain guide Joseph Molombe explains that visitors (foreigners) wishing to climb up the mountain are expected to seek permission from the Bakweri chiefs, so that the custodians of the Bakweri tradition could appease the gods, failure to which this may invoke his wrath on them. “Whenever I have a mission to tour the mountain with a visitor, the first thing I do is to see a Bakweri Chief, who will tell me if it’s ok to proceed or not”. He added “If the chief approves, the visitor is summoned to the palace where libation is poured to appease the gods, Efasa-Moto in particular. Anyone who dares climb up this mountain without this act performed is doing so at his/her own risk” he concluded. Efasa-Moto lives on the mountain alone. Efasa-Moto is also said to be the mountain’s spiritual protector. In times of old, albinos were abandoned on the mountain as offerings of appeasement to the mountain gods so that he could continue to bless the inhabitants at the foot of the mountain[spacer height=”10px”]
[spacer height=”10px”]Liengu La Mwanja is described as a beautiful looking woman with an oval shaped face, an enchanting smile with a love gap-tooth, overflowing hair of dark wool resembling a beautiful Indian lady with high and well curved hips.
It is believed that Efasa-Moto and Liengu La Mwanja are the greatest spiritual figures that the earth has ever known, only seen by special people in the region. However, to Bakwerians, Cameroonians and strangers, Efasa-Moto and Liengu La Mwanja are either a fairy tale or a frightful phenomenon beyond their comprehension. Otherwise, it is a myth handed down from generation to generation and usually told by village folks.
Going up Mount Fako or “The Chariots of the gods” is one marvelous, spiritual and cultural experience anyone will enjoy in Cameroon and Africa. Many stories remain untold as many climbers become transformed after the experience. Be the next to have a transforming discovery as you visit “The Chariots of the gods”.[spacer height=”30px”]
CECILIA MOJOKO MWAMBO/UP AFRICA TV