Before heading down to the coast team Lipstick decided to visit the palace of the FON in close by Bafut.
The Fon of Bafut is the fon or Mfor (traditional ruler) of the town of Bafut and its adjoining areas in the Northwest Province, Cameroon which comprise the erstwhile Fondom of Bafut. Presently, the Fon of Bafut is still a local ruler, but under jurisdiction from the Government of Cameroon, and a board of Fons. Bafut is one of the largest villages in the North West Province.
Once autocratic, increasing tension, military conflict and finally defeat at the hands of the Germans in the Bafut Wars (1901–1907) turned the Fondom of Bafut into a part of the German protectorate of Cameroon (Kamerun Schutzgebiet) during the reign of Abumbi I. After World War I, the Fon of Bafut and his people became part of the British protectorate of the Cameroons or British Cameroon.
The Fon of Bafut was, and to some extent still is, the “supreme fon” of the region, who presides over neighbouring Fon. The palace of the Fon of Bafut or Ntoh is a major tourist attraction and is listed in the World Monuments Watch list of the 100 most endangered sites of 2006.
Only one building from the original palace stands – it is supposed to shelter the spirit of the Fon’s ancestors. It is the Achum – the old palace, and has a striking architecture with its pyramidal thatched roof. Only the Fon and some village notables are allowed entry into the Achum.
Team Lipstick in front of the Achum
Andre and Willy were shown around the palace by one of the princes of the current Fon and were astounded by the long history and culture present in this place
The palace buildings of the Fon in Bafut (northwestern Cameroun)
Food offerings like these live Armadillos and cane rats were resisted by team Lipstick…
After a time consuming drive through Bamenda the team was well on the road to Douala climbing down the mountainous are of north western Cameroun. There were endless banana farms and team Lipstick could not resists to buy a bunch of bananas from the ever appearing street vendors.
Other buildings along the roads with pyramided shaped roofs similar to the Achum…
On arrival at Douala Lipstick had to cross a massive bridge over the Wouri River where Andre wanted to take a nice picture when all of a sudden an army officer stood in front of Lipstick showing the palm of his hand “STOP”
“You are not allowed to take picture here – give me your camera”
“This is not a camera it is a phone”
“NO NO I know this is smart phone and you took picture “
Now a second officer dressed in black uniform appeared asking Lipstick to reverse of the bridge with hundreds of cars behind it. No problem for the 2 officers they stopped the oncoming traffic end guided Lipstick in reverse of the bridge and ordered it to park.
Army officer now inspects Andre’s IPhone(in the meantime of course all bridge pictures are already deleted) puts it in his pocket and walks away to his close by office.
This was too much for Andre who now got out of the car …
“Give me my phone back or I moer you jou bliksem”
The not so well Afrikaans versed officer could not understand what was actually meant but looking at Andre’s size quickly handed the phone back whilst in the meantime a blue uniformed officer (obviously a traffic cop) appeared also on the scene.
“Right hand steering is not allowed in this country – we need to confiscate your car”
“Officer you are wrong we have a carnet de passage and are in transit “
“Ok then you need to follow us to the office from where you will be allowed to contact your embassy”
It is Saturday with the embassies most probably closed, it is 6pm with about another 30 minutes of daylight, Lipstick stand in massive traffics still looking for a place to stay…
Previously successful verbal negotiation with these road officials were repeated but the officials stood their ground leaving team Lipstick now alternative then to fall back on Plan B.
There was no willingness to go to any police office, spend a weekend there and eventually be fined so after some more negotiation a solution was reached in that team Lipstick gladly passes a handsome amount of United states currency to the wellbeing of the law enforcement officers hoping that they can use these funds to buy some rotten food and suffering from real Diarrhea for days to come and outperforming their verbal Diarrhea by far…
Off over the bridge to the first hotel being found and all of a sudden the brake system of Lipstick started to become rather noisy like grinding metal. Obviously the brake shoes were worn out and needed replacement.
It is Saturday evening and the team needs to make a plan but first needed a double Whiskey in honor of the U*S reserve bank.
The barman was now questioned about the possibility of a Toyota Garage being open on a Sunday which could assist in having a look at Lipsticks brakes but in answering he just shook his head with a small smile…..
“ Let me call my colleague “
Colleague arrives and fortunately must have had good English lessons at school>
“Sorry gentlemen but all our workshops are closed on Sundays but let me make a call to a friend of mine”
Makes a call whilst team Lipstick requests barman 1 to refill the empty glasses and returns thereafter.
“Sir my friend is a mechanism and will come now to have a look what can be done”
This is now mooi and after about 30 minutes and a few refills more 2 middle aged Nigerians arrived and inspected all 4 wheels with the assistance of torchlights and giving the suspected verdict:
“Gentlemen you need to replace all brake shoes and possibly the 2 rear disc drums – we can do this tomorrow morning for you “
“But where can you get the parts from”
“We have good connections and can get the parts by about 10 am so we will be here to fetch the car by 8am”
BINGO and after some price negotiations hands were shaken and hope in sight as well as another refill.
Tomorrow now looks rosier then an hour ago…..