A Historical Background
The Bakundu people are one of those ethnic groups who owe their origin to the great ancestor Ngoe (father) and Sumediang (mother). The lineage extends to most of Mungo division in the Littoral Province. Other people sharing the same ancestry are: Aboh, Bafaw, Balong, Bakossi, Balondo, Bakem, Baneka, Muamenam, Mwangel, Mbo and Miamilo.
Ngoe is said to have lived around the Muaneguba lakes and his descendants migrated from there to the various areas occupied today. Mukundu 1, the fifth son of Ngoe’s seven sons migrated and settled around the Ngolo area in a village called Boama near the Ndian river. Settling in this area, Mukundu 1 had a number of sons: Ngoe, whom he named after his father, Mukundu II, whom he named after himself, Balue, Batanga, Ngolo, Mbonge etc. These children also migrated and settled in different areas.
Mukundu II left and settled in Itoki where he too had his own children. The most prominent of these children is Mbakwa. Present day Bakundus are all descendants of Mukundu II. They occupy a total of thirty-six villages in the north, south and west of Kumba. The largest of such villages are Mbakwa Supe and Banga Bakundu with over 3,500 indigenes.
The language is referred to by the indegenes as LUKUNDU and is spoken with slight variations by the upper and lower Bakundus. Small variations in pronunciation occur between neighboring villages and sometimes within the same village. The people are very conscious of dialect differences and make basic distinction as to lower or upper Bakundu. Dialect differences are mainly differences in consonants, vowel quality and at times differences in lexicon; but rarely differences in tone. Tone seems to be the most stable element. Despite the differences, the various dialects appear to be mutually intelligible.
The Socio-Economic Situation
Socially Bakundu comprise of a heterogeneous people who function harmoniously around a main figure – the chief. The chief is at the top of the political setup and he rules with the close collaboration of a traditional council. In most of the villages, few non-natives are incorporated into the council. When it comes to traditional matters, the people attach a high degree of importance to the relationship between the chief and the citizens. In their day to day activities, unlike in most villages in the north west of Cameroon, there is no mark difference between the chief and his people, men and women. What exist here is that normal respect for seniors and submission to husbands or parents.
At the economic level, the economy of the Bakundu people is basically agriculturally oriented. Like 80% of Cameroonians, the Bakundu people derive their main stay from agricultural activities. This is seen in the cultivation of cash crops like cocoa, coffee, rubber and palm oil. Food crops such as plantains, cocoyams, cassava, yams, etc. are also cultivated. Cultivation of cash crops mostly rests with the men folk, while the women take care of the food crops. Apart from these, there is also little hunting done by men and extensive fishing activity carried out by women mostly in groups.
The Bakundu Tribe
The BAKUNDU tribe refers to the people who claim one of the same ancestral heritage. The Bakundu people as earlier mentioned are mostly found in Meme Division of the South West Region of the Republic of Cameroon. They belong to the BANTUS of CAMEROON. Quite often, they trace their origin from the CONGO BASIN. They have as neighbours other OROKO speaking tribes like the MBONGE to the west, the NGOLO to the north and other BANTUS of non Oroko like the BALUNG and BASSOSI to the N.E, the BAROMBI to the south, and southern BALUNGS as well as the BAFAWS who are closely juxtaposed with Bakundu villages especially in Konye subdivision where they easily intermarry.
The Bakundu Villages
Bakundu villages are found in Meme Division in the South West Region of The Republic of Cameroon. They are precisely in three clusters, namely Konye Subdivision, Mbonge Subdivision and in Kumba I Subdivision.
The villages found in Konye Subdivision are Kokaka Bakundu, Ndoi Bakundu, Konye Town, Mbakwa Supe, Kumbe Bakundu, Wone Bakundu, Dipenda Bakundu, Koba Bakundu, Ibemi Bakundu, Sambaliba Bakundu, Mbu Bakundu, Itoki Bakundu, Mwangale Bakundu, Masaka Bakundu, Mosanja Bakundu, Mbiaka bakundu, Mambaba Bakundu, Bosaka Bakundu, Mandongo Bakundu and Mokwalibe.
And in Kumba I Subdivision are Kake Bongwana (Kake I) and Kake Bokoko (Kake II)
In Mbonge Subdivision we have the following villages along the Kumba–Buea road: Bombe bakundu, Banga Bekele, Banga Ngonge, Bopo. And along the Kumba-Mbonge road we have: Kombone Miso, Kombone Bakundu, Boa Bakundu, Marumba Botondowa, Marumba Bowa, Pete Bakundu,Foe Bakundu, Kwakwa Bakundu, Nake Bokoko, Nake Bongwana, Bole I, Bole Dipenda, Bole Botondowa, Ngongo Bakundu, and Mabonji Bakundu.
|1||Mbu||HRH. Chief Nakomo John|
|2||Itoko||HRH Chief Essono Maxwell|
|3||Ibemi||HRH Chief Itie Joseph|
|4||Koba||HRH Chief Calpy Makane|
|5||Mwangale||HRH. Chief Njemo|
|6||Sambaliba||HRH. Chief Mukundu Martin|
|7||Dipenda||HRH. Chief Bekindaka Lucas|
|8||Mosanja||HRH. Chief Undah Andreas|
|10||Kokaka||HRH. Chief Mosima Divine|
|11||Wone||HRH. Chief Njasomo|
|12||Kumbe||HRH. Chief Mokanya Lucas|
|13||Mbakwa Supe||HRH. Chief Motase Ngoh|
|14||Konye||HRH. Chief Mediko John|
|15||Ndoi||HRH. Chief Mowango Misodi|
|16||Kake I ( Bogwana)||HRH. Chief Ndoh Obase Oscar|
|17||Kake II ( Bokoko )||HRH. Chief Dr. Ndome Samuel|
|18||Kombone Miso||HRH. Chief Moka Felix|
|19||Bole I||HRH. Chief Misodi Graham|
|20||Bole Dipenda||HRH Chief Maurice Njenja|
|21||Ngongo||HRH Chief Ekebe Niongo|
|22||Boa Bakundu||HRH Chief Esoe Charles|
|23||Boa Marumba||HRH. Chief John Malle|
|24||Marumba Botondoa||HRH. Chief Mbongo John|
|25||Kombone Town||HRH. Chief Njaweri Kingsly *|
|26||Kwakwa||HRH. Chief Tukwa Manfred|
|27||Nake Bokoko||HRH Chief All For God|
|28||Nake Bongwana||HRH. Chief Ivena Nofuru|
|29||Mabonji Bakundu||HRH. Chief Ngoe Jacob|
|30||Bopo||HRH. Chief Mukete Otte|
|31||Pete||HRH. Chief Ndedi Penda|
|32||Foe Bakundu||HRH. Chief Motanga Frederick|
|34||Bombe Bakundu||HRH. Chief Rudolf Itoe|
|35||Banga Nogonge||HRH. Chief Itua Itoe|
|36||Banga Bekele||HRH. Chief Bebe Dikabo|