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Nyɛmb isii'i

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The elder Ŋge-Ŋge comes back and chants Nyɛmb isii'i, the Basaa people’s Song for the Dead for Liŋgom li Hitɔŋ Liŋgom. He says,

Batuu-Pek i Ŋgii,

Batuu-Pek i Hisi,

Batuu-Pek hikikii Hɔma.

One day, Batuu-Pek calls Nyɛmb, O Nyɛmb!

Yes, Nyɛmb replies.

My Father created this world so that it could be. He created human beings so that they may occupy this land and be in harmony with everyone and everything that live on it. When the Earth was perturbed, I had mercy and came down to restore it. Now, Liŋgom wants to destroy my work. He broke the Oath of Death before Ŋjek. Go, get him, and bring him here before me. He’ll answer to me.

Nyɛmb stands up, takes a horn, and blows. The one son who is available out of his twenty-seven (27) comes out, O Father, did you call?

Yes. O Manɔla….

Yes, Father.

Where are all your brothers? Where is Mao-mao? Where is Kuu? And all the others?

They are all out on duty.

Go at once. Meet Liŋgom on the road or on his bed. Start at the head and spread all the way down to his toes. I’ll show up in the morrow.

Manɔla also picks up one of his horn and blows. His only son, Ŋjoo, rushes to him. O Father, have you called, he inquires.

Yes. I called you. O Ŋjoo, go find Liŋgom on the road or on his bed. Touch him with your hot wings. I’ll be there before sunset tomorrow.

Ŋjoo always comes with the morning wind. O Liŋgom, he entered your house through the window and took possession of your mind, your spirit, and your body. When you pulled the trigger, Ŋjoo was in you. When you shot Miŋkaa mi Iliga, Ŋjoo was in you. You allowed him in because you never befriended Lisuhanyuu.

Nine days ago, Batuu-Pek called Nyɛmb. Nyɛmb rushed. Have you accomplished the mission I gave you? If you have, where is this son of Hitɔŋ called Liŋgom? If you have not, what’s holding you up?

O Liŋgom, Ŋjoo has done his work. Manɔla also. Nyɛmb is now waiting by the door. He has pulled a clay coffin out of under his bed and opened it. In it, he will take you to the Master of Life, Batuu-Pek the Omniscient. There was a sword in the coffin. He pulled it out. In a few minutes, you will see him, standing by the door, sword in hand. He will call you by name and say to you, O Liŋgom li Hitɔŋ Liŋgom, let’s go now. Your time has come.

Do not deny it. Do not try to bribe him by asking him to take your youngest daughter instead of you, or your mother, or even your father, or the box filled with fancy clothes and shoes that you hide under your bed. The messenger he is does not accept bribes. He does not marry. He does not need servants. He does not wear clothes or shoes. He does not eat lamb or goat. He is above corruption. Just follow him. Without resistance.

Later, your house will be filled up with well-wishers. Your parents and friends will wish for your safe return home to your Fathers. Women will cry and cover their bodies with ashes. Men will tell your story, talk about you in positive way. You are going to manifest before Batuu-Pek. Do not be afraid. He will have mercy on you. He always does. That’s the reason why we called him Ŋgɔɔkɔla. ŊGɔɔKɔLA i ŊJA MɓɔŋGɔ because it is Ŋja Mɓɔŋgɔ who surnamed him Ŋgɔɔkɔla.

When alive and healthy, man can care less about the moment he must stand before Batuu-Pek, and account for his life before the Master of Life. When the time to meet Nyɛmb comes, look at him scorching his knees, crying, throwing ashes on himself, begging for mercy.

By the covenant Ŋgɔɔkɔla made with the people, you will slowly arrive in the Kingdom of Batuu-Pek. The Personnel of his House puts a knee down. They blow horns to welcome your soul that is returning home. They calm you down and give you a book to read. It is the Book of Deeds, your deeds while you were on earth. Read, they urge you.

Were there burglars in the land? You led them.

Were there murderers killing people? You gave the last blow.

Were there gossipers talking on other people’s back? You were always found in their midst.

A strange thing will happen: the female entities among this Personnel of the House of Batuu-Pek will turn into rams, panthers, giant chameleons. They now try to frighten you by showing you their teeth and nails. You give yourself a choice: fight them to enter the Gateless Gate or wait until Batuu-Pek decides to meet with you.

If you want my advice, here it is: Do not fight them. And do not wait either. Talk to them. This is the moment to show that you come from a people who mastered speech, the Mpɔt – not Ŋkwɛl but Mpɔt. Tell them that your forebears acted in good faith and will in setting the path and the elders continue in the Way. Tell them that something went wrong and you were thrown off course; but that from this day forward, each time you hear the tom-tom beat, gongs sound, or xylophones play, you’ll remember this moment and you will wish the people well as Koba did long before you.

Koba does not wish death on his people. He wants them to change, to transform themselves and be, and do, good. He understands that man is weak but when man turns inward and sees his own wickedness, which is weakness, and admits his shortcomings, and vow never to do wrong again, he is quick to forgive and forget. That’s why we call him Ŋgɔɔkɔla. ŊGɔɔKɔLA i ŊJA MɓɔŋGɔ because it is Ŋja Mɓɔŋgɔ who surnamed him Ŋgɔɔkɔla.

Tell the monsters standing before you that to see a spirit with physical eyes is rare but each time you see a ram, a cat, wild or domestic, a lizard, a chameleon, you will recall this moment and remember to keep strong on the path of good.

Odds are against us, my young friend, but we fight very hard to better ourselves, each and every day, as individuals and as a people. We shall continue to be humble before Batuu-Pek and we shall continue to find strength in his Name.

Extrait de Bɔn ɓa Hitɔŋ Liŋgom

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