With a deep sense of satisfaction and Glory to God, the Nwana and the wider Tanunjam of Nchinjoh, Bali-Nyonga family announce the transition onto eternity of Pa Dr. Elias M Nwana this morning April 1st 2020 at 6:04 am EST.
Pa Nwana was a well-known educationist in both West Cameroon and the later Cameroon.

Papa fought valiantly and went to glory with his Savior on this Holy Thursday morning. He was surrounded by his children and his entire family in spirit. He peacefully and prayerfully transitioned to his maker with grace and gratitude for a life well lived.

Papa leaves behind his wife of 57+ years, many children, two dozen grandchildren, great grandchildren and an entire loving family to mourn and celebrate his life.

Please refer to the "Life" section on this page and leave your tributes.

May Papa Nwana’s soul rest in perfect peace.

Funeral photos
A poem by Mary Elizabeth Frye.
Don't stand there crying in front of my grave
I'm not there, I don't sleep there...
I am the wind blowing in the trees
I am the sparkle of the diamond on the snow

I am the sunlight on the ripe grain
I am the sweet autumn rain...
When you wake up in the morning calm
I am the flight of these silent birds

Who will be in the sky...
So don't stand there complaining
In front of my grave
I'm not there, I'm not dead!

Why would i be out of your life just because I'm out of your sight?
Death you know, it's nothing at all.
I just went to the other side.

I am me and you are you.
Whatever we were
One for each other before,
We will always be.

To talk about me, use the first name
With which you always called me.
Just talk about me just like you've always done.

Don't change your tone
Don't look serious and sad.
Laugh like before to jokes
That together we appreciate so much.

Play, smile, think of me
Live for me and with me.
Let my name be the comforting singing he has always been.

Pronounce it with simplicity and natural,
Without any mark of regret.
Life means everything it has always meant. Everything is always the same, it goes on,

The Thread is not broken.
What is death if not a passage? Perspective and let flow
All the aggression of life,

Think and always talk about me
Around you and you'll see, everything will be fine.
You know, I hear you, I'm not far away
I'm here, right on the other side.

Posted by Gina Akene on April 1, 2022
Dad, I can’t believe it is already one year since you left this world. I wish you a happy heavenly birthday. Continue to rest in the Lord’s bosom . Amen
Posted by Anne Tebo on April 1, 2022
Rest in perfect peace Papa Nwana. You are fondly remembered today and always.
Posted by Yaah Maggie Kilo on April 1, 2022
A year is a very long time, and yet so short. It feels like yesterday we mourned your passing to eternity. But in that long/short time, your beautiful loving wife and our dear Mama Odilia has joined you among the Heavenly Hosts. As we pray for the sweet repose of your soul(s) and think about the wonderful legacy you both bequeathed us, we are comforted by the memories, knowing you could only be with God in the place of eternal rejoicing. No more sorrows, and no more pain until we meet again.
Posted by Nagella Nukuna on April 1, 2022
Papa, we see and acknowledge you for all the great miracles that are happening in the family. Thank you for the continuous work you are doing interceding for us. I see your fingerprint in all our earthly tasks. Thank you and get some rest, Papa. We love you dearly. Happy 1 year in heaven. Your dear daughter, Nagella
Posted by Augustine Ndandam on April 1, 2022
Rest permanently blessed
Helen and Augustine Ndangam
Posted by Langmia Fonjoe on April 1, 2022
Grandad - we miss you, but I still feel your presence in my life. Thanks again for all that you did and continue to do for me. 
Posted by Grace Fongu on April 1, 2022
As he continues to lay down at the right hand of Yahweh, I pray the Surpassing PEACE of Yeshua not depart from the entire family, in the name of Yeshua, amen.

Posted by tim Njume on April 1, 2022
May God grant you eternal rest papa...May God receive you at his bosom. They souls you touched here on earth, May they be your treasures in heaven. (Fr. Tim Njume)
Posted by Helen Nsoh Awasum on April 1, 2022
Our Most precious ICON of the Queen of PEACE Parish Njimafor. We shall forever hold you in our prayers &:hearts The Vacuum your demise caused is too vast to fill. The closeness of your EARTHLY home to the parish structures make it even more difficult for us. Papa Ba Tanyi as we fondly greeted you after every morning Mass in the Lenten season most especially , keeps me assured that you are right there in God's Heavenly Kingdom continuously asking Our lady Queen of PEACE for her intercession on those of your children and parishioners left behind on this Pilgrim Earth. Rest on our sweet saintly Papa.
Your colleague ,Parish councillor, Ma Helen Nsoh Awasum
Posted by Mbuomda Lima on March 31, 2022
Continue to rest in perfect peace Papa Nwana.
Posted by Victor Mbarika on March 31, 2022
The world lost a great Legend. Papa‘s legacy will continue to live on through the impeccable children he’s left behind. Praying for the entire family. Regards, V. Mbarika.
Posted by Ignatius Sama Juma on April 1, 2022
Posted by Ignatius Sama Juma on April 1, 2022
Posted by Jacinta Bisanga on February 26, 2022
Keep resting in Peace, Papa.
Happy birthday in heaven
We will always Love you
Posted by Nagella Nukuna on June 5, 2021
Your candle is still shining brightly.
Posted by Judith Nwana on May 9, 2021
Dear Papa or as I fondly called you, grand dad,

I still can’t believe you’re gone. Where do I begin?

Becoming your daughter in-law wasn’t a walk in the park but I will do it all over again because I will not trade the love you showed me for anything. You did everything for the love and protection of those dear to you even till death. When we all thought you were ready to come home, you decided it best to depart rather than burden those who loved you. That’s how selfless you were.
In the last few years, we shared a passion about the ongoing conflict in Southern Cameroons; every time we were together you wanted an update. You gave me a lot of history lessons and ideas of what could be done. Oh, how I wish you lived long enough to see the crisis resolved.
Thank you for the ideals you imparted on your children and grandchildren. Your appreciation of the simple things in life, your humility and sense of gratitude, and ever-present smile and laughter were some of your special gifts you shared with us. Your love of my puff puff made me feel special; always asking for me to make some for you and being so happy when I brought some or even when I just made the promise to bring some.
I am most grateful to you for blessing me to spend time with you the last few days of your life. You gave me the opportunity to come sit with you, share some quiet special time with you, pray with you, crack some jokes and chat with you on the Monday before your passing on Thursday. You said you were looking forward to coming home on Thursday and eat some puff puff. When I said goodbye on that Monday, little did I know you were talking about going to a better home. Thank you so much Papa for the wonderful, beautiful, and pure love you showed me.
I miss you dearly and I know you’re in a better place and preparing a place for us all.
Love you and rest in perfect peace.
Posted by Nahsang Colette on May 6, 2021
I will miss you papa. My memory of you is of you always smiling, teasing and making jokes, of walking off to church for morning mass, I spent one of the most memorable holidays of my childhood with you and mama. Farewell papa. Your light shone so bright and your wonderful legacy lives on. Rest well.
Posted by Margaret Nwana-Ndely on April 30, 2021
Ni, it’s been so sad and very difficult for me to write about you in past tense. You and your junior brother Bah Nwana’s departure has hit me like an avalanche. I am so speechless that I lack words to express myself. Did you both have to leave us at the same time? Was it because you were both Tangi’s that you decided to leave this world as twins? The void you have left in my heart is too much to bear. I always looked up to you as a father not a brother.

After my last visit to you in the hospital before you transitioned to be with the Lord, I still had hopes that you would make it through as you had always been a fighter. Yes you fought a good fight. The good Lord saw your work on earth was all done. There is no more pain and no more sorrows.

Ni, you were the pillar holding our family now there is no one for us to turn to. Thank you for all that you did especially to me. I would not be where I am to day without you. You thought me a lot to carry on with your legacy . I love you so much but the Lord loves you more. I will forever miss you. Your lovely sister.
Posted by Jack Endeley on April 30, 2021
You leave behind a positive indelible Mark through your works and family. Farewell Dr Nwana.
Posted by Jerry Domatob on April 30, 2021
By Professor, Dr. Jerry Komia Domatob

Bye & Farewell Dr. Prof. Elias. Nwana
Distinguished Anthropologist, Advocate,
Economist, Educationist, Philosopher, & Sociologist
By Professor, Dr. Jerry Komia Domatob

Some folks outstrip their generation.
Evoking overflowing veneration.
They leave indelible marks as legends,
Few ever rival as noble agents

Dr. Elias M. Nwana glittered in that group
Outstanding as a one-star troupe.
He earned everlasting fame as a teacher
Who bequeathed legacies as a researcher

Remarkable for his illustriousness
Dr. Elias Nwana inspired for industriousness
Professor Nwana taught for many years
Gallantly serving without tears

Dr. Elias Nwana’s relentless hard work,
Distinguished him at diverse fork.
Planner, organizer, tactician and strategist,
He excelled as a progressive catalyst.

Great personality of broad perspective,
Dr. Nwana raised folks from myriad octaves.
Brilliant scholar, academic and tactician,
Dr. Nwana reigned among lead technicians

Master and pioneer sociologist,
Dr. Nwana helped many as an anthropologist
Thoughtful, careful and impactful,
Dutiful, resourceful and meaningful

Star of humility
Dr. Nwana detested pomposity
Leader of achievement
People honored him for accomplishment

Devoted and dedicated Catholic
His religious tenacity sang prolific
Professional of marvelous integrity
Dr. Nwana inspired many with dignity

Farewell to champion of family
He will forever uplift as a homily
Dr.Nwana’s myriad deeds
Fulfilled many needs

Leader of African educational advancement
He was in the forefront of scholastic movement
Dr. Nwana’s contribution nationally
Earned respect and admiration globally

Dr. Jerry Komia Domatob, a graduate of E.W, Scripps School of Journalism, Ohio University-Athens, Ohio is a Professor of Mass Communication, Alcorn State University, Lorman-Mississippi. A journalist, photographer, poet and researcher, he is currently working on two projects.
His latest publications are: Communication, Culture & Human Rights and Positive Vibration. Professor Domatob earned his Master’s degrees in International Affairs and Journalism from Carleton University, Ottawa Canada.
A prolific author, he also writes and edits works and articles for newspapers, magazines and other publications. He has taught in reputed schools, travelled extensively in different parts of the world, met outstanding leaders and scholars and participated in several conferences and workshops. Contact him at: Dr. Nwana was our Economics Instructor in CCAST Bambili 1970-71.
Posted by efua fonlon on April 27, 2021

Our beloved Papa Nwana
As we mourn your loss, we are comforted by all the beautiful memories of you that we will keep: always smiling, always providing us with wisdom and guidance during our visits, always concerned about our education but overall just our wellbeing. You were a rare gem, and your loss will be greatly felt but we are comforted by the knowledge that you are resting in the peace you deserve.May you continue to be a guiding light for the family left behind.
Rest well.
The LEKE children and spouses
Posted by efua fonlon on April 27, 2021
Tribute from Rose and Robert Leke:

Tribute to Pa Elias Nwana
I still have memories of Ni Elias, walking from St Joseph’s College Sasse and coming to the house in Soppo, where my father was headmaster at the boys Catholic Mission School and my elder sister Ma Odilia Nwana and I were attending school at the Girls convent school. Ma Odi completed primary school and went to St Francis Training College Kumba. They got married and I was happy to go babysitting sets and sets of twins whenever I could. My husband, Prof Robert Leke remembers him vividly as their teacher in Sasse College.
I have stayed very close to both of them, the children and their spouses, their grandchildren, all along. When I hear someone calling me KUNA, I know my big sister is around, she is the only one who calls me by that middle name.
It was a great pleasure and honor for me, and I felt very humbled, as I was asked by the children to conduct the ceremony of the cutting of the cake during their 50th wedding anniversary celebration.
Summer 2019, my husband and I, our son Joe Fonlon and his son Kisevi, visited them at Nagwa’s home near Dulles airport. It was a great reunion, the memory of which we have to live with now.
Ni Elias Nwana lived a great life which we now celebrate, with a legacy that will continue to flourish through the countless children he educated, taught and influenced.
He is Resting in Peace with The Lord. Go well, Pa until we meet again

Rose Leke and Robert Leke
Posted by M Nwana on April 24, 2021
Tribute by Mrs. Norma Ndoping

Before I knew Pa Nwana as a very dear moyo, I knew him as my boss, Dr Elias Nwana, Provincial Delegate of National Education, when I was one of his Chiefs of Service. It was a very happy time for me, working under someone whose values I admired and who was a great listener, very open to the ideas of others. I remember expressing a hope to him, when suggesting some edits to a document of his, that he wouldn’t think I was being presumptuous. He burst into laughter and asked why ever would I think that; English was my country talk. At the same time, he was very decisive; when I was making a proposal as to how we might proceed with a task, and something didn’t meet with his approval, I would notice a slight change in his expression, and know that I had gone far enough – he had made his decision. As well as being highly educated in the academic sphere, Dr Nwana was highly knowledgeable and deeply embedded in his Cameroonian culture, so I had the opportunity to learn from him in many ways.

It became evident to me that Dr Nwana was also a very strong family man, and I remember one day meeting his dear wife, Ma Odi, when she and I were both walking up to Mount Mary maternity for ante-natal check-ups. We chatted together on the way and I thought how good it would be if one of her children and one of mine were to marry. It happened that way – and that is how for me, Dr Elias Nwana became Pa Nwana.
I pray for Pa Nwana and Ma Odi and all their family and loved ones. May God bless them and grant them peace.
Norma Ndoping
Posted by Patience Ndi on April 24, 2021
Tribute to Papa Dr Nwana by Patience Ndi.

Dear Papa,
My Partner in Construction and Farming; how I will miss you!!!
I remember our trips to Bambili to look at your residence there, to harvest plantains, and greet your neighbours. I remember our trips to my own farm in Bambui where we discovered ten lemon trees that had borne so much fruit. I remember our trips to your big farm in Bambui with loads of different kinds of fruit trees, medicinal plants, and vegetables.
I remember the constant supply of the “Cinchona fruit” from your compound at Njimafor for use in the treatment of malaria. Cinchona is a medicinal plant, used for the production of quinine, which is an anti-fever agent. It is especially useful in the prevention and treatment of malaria. There are so many of these trees in your farm in Bambui and in your compound. You were so interested in the health of those you were dealing with. Just look at the plants at Njimafor; palm trees for nuts and oil, pawpaw, mangos, plantains, plum and guava trees, cinchona trees, bitterleaf, okongobong, etc. How could one visit you and go back with an empty car?
A very simple, soft spoken, intelligent, “down to Earth” Dr. Nwana!!! You embodied humility and selflessness.
We did so many construction projects together, and the success my family has today, by way of buildings, is as a result of the simple but effective advice we got from you.
“Don’t wait until you have millions. Just start! Then, take a loan only after roofing the house. That way, you will be able to finish the house and move in."
I can go on and on but I must stop here. You are an Icon. A Giant that has affected so many lives positively.
May God richly reward you. You have really ran the race well. You deserve an Award in Heaven! Thanks for who you were to my family and the construction boys we worked with, especially Joe Joe, the Carpenter. He earned your trust. He has been waiting for you to come so he could have contracts but...Rest in Perfect Peace, dear Papa Nwana.
Posted by Lucas Tasi Ntang on April 24, 2021
What a blessing to remember Dr Elias Nwana;
A Bali Nyonga of high birth and breeding;
A cost effective economist;
Icon of humility and simplicity;
Stood tall in the market of character and esteem;
Marketed love, understanding and tolerance;
Wonderful teacher, administrator and mentor;
My mentor.

As Vice Principal we shared a bed in their family house in Mamfe
On return he slept in our Kumba house.
What a wonderful extra ordinary man.
Joy to the world, Dr Nwana is no more!
God, speak, is gone!
May his soul rest in perfect peace.
In the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ! Amen.
Hon Tasi Ntang Lucas (his mentee)
Posted by Lucas Tasi Ntang on April 24, 2021
What a blessing to remember Dr Elias Nwana;
A Bali Nyonga of high birth and breeding;
A cost effective economist;
Icon of humility and simplicity;
Stood tall in the market of character and esteem;
Marketed love, understanding and tolerance;
Wonderful teacher, administrator and mentor;
My mentor.

As Vice Principal we shared a bed in their family house in Mamfe
On return he slept in our Kumba house.
What a wonderful extra ordinary man.
Joy to the world, Dr Nwana is no more!
God, speak, is gone!
May his soul rest in perfect peace.
In the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ! Amen.
Hon Tasi Ntang Lucas (his mentee)
Posted by Judith Nwana on April 23, 2021
From Dr. Marie Fongwa

Tribute to Dr. Elias Nwana: An Educational Icon.

A path we shall all travel, death!
We came and one by one, we shall honor death by returning to earth from where we came, it is written. Time on earth is short. When the job is done, our Maker calls us home to eternity.

Ba Dr. Elias Nwana, you completed your tour and you are home with God, our Maker.

Now, we thank you for what you did for humanity, especially through the field of education. I was never a direct beneficiary of your classroom teachings but I believe that some of my teachers reaped from the wisdom-laden educational pedagogy you imparted in your students. For you educated thousands of minds here on earth.

Ba Tanyi Dr. Elias Nwana, you will remain shining in our minds as the beacon in the field of education. Your shiny light remains to illuminate the world because you are remembered well, and are in print and even more, in cyberspace!

As we bid you farewell, go gently to take your place among those who preceded you in death. As you serve with the angels, please intercede on behalf of the huge earthly family you left behind and especially, your dear wife, Na Manyi Odilia Nwana.

Ba Dr. Elias Nwana, may God grant you eternal rest.

Dr. Marie Fongwa, April 23, 2021
Posted by Ndofor Nwana Davidson Sam... on April 21, 2021

If you love me, you will keep my commandments (Jn 14: 15). Yes, Big Papa, you loved God so much that you did not only keep His commandments but you taught them by your way of life. Like Christ and your mentors (Nju Vatkuna, Mfum Wadinga and Davidson Mfum Nwana), you formed great men and women out of their nothingness and frailty. Prove of this is the like of one of your mentees who eventually became your father, beloved brother and now your guide in paradise (the late Pa Sama Nyongah Peter Alias Bambot Mfum III).

Being the grand Mentor, I will always remember you as the master of Assignments. Today I am a committed servant because of the rigor and tenacity with which you evaluated every task you gave me. No doubt I am told that in your last days, when you started mixing words, you never forgot my name which I know was your final and ultimate assignment to me and those you call your own.

LOVE FOR ALL and SERVICE TO ALL is the assignment you leave for us in order that none of your own (your legacy) will be lost. For sure along the way we might wander like the apostles on their way to Emmaus, but we know that you will always reappear to rebuke us with your firmness and unique laughter so that our eyes might be open to know that though you have left us physically, you are always with us until the end of time (Lk 24: 13 – 35). Fair well GREAT MENTOR. You are a Legend.

Ndofor Nwana D. Sama
Posted by Noela Essomba on April 20, 2021
Tribute To A Great Saint Of Our Time Papa Elias Muthias Nwana

Oh, 1st April commonly known as April fools day will be a day I will never forget in my life.
It was this same April 1st, 2017 when we were staying at the house up because the house down was under repairs and at night, I went into labor. I ran to the room where Ma Mary Sama was sleeping and told her Mama labour has started. And papa hearing from his room jumped up and came to me, ready to take me to the hospital as though he had the power to carry me on his back.
On our way to the hospital, Papa told me Mama Noe I am expecting my grandchild in 5 hours. But that was not the case because I labored the whole day and only gave birth on the 2nd of April thanks to the prayers of Papa and others. Upon our arrival from the hospital, I saw a very huge smile on the face of Papa. He held me like never before took the baby from Ma Mary and lifted the baby saying Nahsang our Easter baby.

So on this Same April 1st, 2021 which happens to be an April fools day and a holy Thursday, Ma Mary Sama rang my phone crying and shouting Noela ohhhhhhhhh I am dead. I knew something bad had happened to her so I kept on saying Mama please talk to me and she said Papa is dead. I could not believe the news. I starting running and shouting at carrifour obili saying my father is dead ohhhhhhhhh. I ran to the house and cried and cried and then remembered what papa use to tell me. Papa always told me "Mama Noe if I die today, I die a happy man knowing where my soul will be. In heaven with God" this made me stop crying and I then smiled.

My other encounter with Papa was on the 19th of May 2016, when I was coming back from work and I met Papa Nwana looking very sad in front of the church all alone talking to himself and I went closer to him and asked what the problem was and he held my hands so tight and looking at me tears dropped down his eyes and he told me My Brother is dying. I immediately ran to the house just to see Papa Peter Bambot gasping for air and I followed Papa Nwana to church to pray for my Father. While I was praying, a little girl tapped me from behind saying allow your father to rest in peace. And on the 20th of May by midnight, when we called Papa Nwana he said I did not sleep knowing that this will happen. He immediately rushed to the house down to see into it that his Brother is put in the mortuary. Such great love.

To continue, on Monday the 26th of December 2016 Papa Nwana called me early in the morning after mass saying when do you think we can do your white wedding and I laughed telling him Papa, we still have time and Papa told me I am giving you two days to get married. I thought he was joking just for him to call me that same Monday evening telling me he has already arranged for our wedding mass for Wednesday. He told me to tell Mr. Essomba to prepare by 6 am on Wednesday you two will be getting married. I said Papa I don't even have a wedding gown and papa told me what you are putting on is enough to get married with. I again said Papa people will be angry I never told them that I am getting married and Papa told me to make my face shine with God and not man.
I then begged Papa to shift the wedding to Wednesday evening so that I could make small arrangements and he accepted saying Wednesday should be Wednesday, and that is how I blessed my white wedding.
The next morning which was a Thursday Papa called me saying Noe how do you feel and with a very big smile on my face I said papa, thanks so much for everything. My husband and I were so happy as we did not spend up to 250 thousand Frs for a wedding which we were planning for about 5 million.
Papa then told us if I die today my Brother will be happy because his wish was to see you all get married. I will tell him Noela is married. Thank you Papa for everything.
You are a man with a pure and kind heart.
A man with a heart full of love
A man who does not discriminate
A selfless man
A man who lived his life for others.
Keep on interceding for us all Sweet Father. I love you endlessly Papa.
Your Daughter Noela Essomba.
Posted by Nagella Nukuna on April 20, 2021
A tribute to Papa Nwana by Ma Esther Nyongpua

Pa Nwana the greatest of fathers on earth. Pa when I think of my first visit to you and Ma at Clerks quarters Buea, I was a teenager I visited with my late grandfather from Missellele. You welcomed me like your daughter. You asked what I would like to do after completing the primary school. When I told you, you hugged me and said that was good. It was rare in those days for someone like you to hug a girl from the village. You a CULTURAL DELEGATE OF NATIONAL EDUCATION!!! I was just taken aback by your humility.

Later as I prepare to go to Secondary School this time around I visited with late Pa Domatob. You encouraged me take my studies seriously.

Pa you have always been on my side no matter my condition or circumstance. You knew all the places and quarters that I lived in Bamenda. You started calling Ma Nyong from the first day I knew you. You are a father for all children. You never treated a child differently. . All children were equal to you. What a humble man and father. You told me that no one owns my future that only God had the final say. I thank you Pa for all your kind words of encouragement to me. I’ll miss you forever.

Adieu Pa may the angels take you heaven. I know that you are heaven. Look down on us Pa. Thank you for all your love and wonderful care. Eternal rest grant to him oh Lord and let perpetual light shine on him. May his humble gentle soul rest in perfect peace Amen. Ma Es Nyongpua.
Posted by Tangu Yunishie on April 20, 2021
I knew Pa Nwana(Dr.) growing up in “New-layout Bambili as an Educationist. His Honorary attributes never ever cast shadows over his simplistic and down to earth qualities.Coincidentally,my wife Seraphine, a sister-in-law have lived to admire the aforementioned qualities of Papa.She shares how Papa sit and wait as freshly harvested corn roasts in the fire place.He made sure his corn on the cob was well done or you will have to do it all over again. His smile, laughter was contagious which kept everyone around him cheerful.
Papa, you’re resting in the Lord and your memory will remain with us for ever.
Posted by Jacinta Bisanga on April 20, 2021

OH YES, PAPA! I call you a hero because you are just an epitome of a true hero.
Your name says it all:
E  - Educationist
L  - Loyal
I  - man of Integrity
A  - Assiduous
S  - Spiritual

Papa played a pivotal role in my education which cannot be overemphasized. How can I thank you enough for this Papa? You gave me hope again and revived my spirits even when all was lost.
I am a nurse today thanks to Papa. I cried and cried even on my way to school because I never wanted to do nursing, but papa with his genuine fatherly advice and wisdom, saw what I couldn't see and thought that was just the best thing for me to do. No doubts, it is said, "What an old man sees sitting down, a young man cannot see standing up". Papa, thank you a hundred folds for leading me into this nobel profession, *NJIKA NJAMU PAPA!!!*

Papa's love for family was synonymous to the love of the Holy Family of Nazareth. He stretched out his hand not only to his immediate family members but also to extended family and embraced all who were in need of his services; the children in his community, the priests, reverend brothers and sisters, those undergoing formation, just to name a few. Papa willingly accepted to teach them English language and many other courses throughout their formation. OH!, What a man who will put others 1st and himself, last.

Papa's spiritual life with his creator was so fascinating. Come rain, come shine, Papa wasn't going to trade his morning mass for Anything. He entuned a song even before the choir did, Lol..., and at the end of mass, Papa sung the 'closing' song from church right through to his bedroom. He loved singing, to him, singing was praying twice.

Papa's love for his brother, my father, Bambot was so mutual, so much so that, when Bambot died, I saw in Papa the vacuum which his brother had left, but he remained positive as always.
On that fateful Friday of 20th May, 2016 at exactly 12:05 a.m when Bambot passed on, we immidiately called Papa Nwana who walked into the room and seeing his brother, I knew he was going to burst into tears but surprisingly, he instead made the sign of the cross 3 times and said "Go well, my father".I was very touched by this,

Papa has greatly touched so many lives, it is by no chance that God called him home on Holy Thursday.
If all had just one- tenth of Papa's virtues, this world would have been a better place for all to live in.
I will not cry, but will celebrate you Papa for a life well lived and well accomplished. Its a celebration not Life, because your Legacy lives on...

PAPA had worked and now is time for him to REST.
I'll end this tribute with this song for Papa:
Sleep on beloved, sleep and take thy rest;
Lay down thy head upon the saviour's breast;
We love thee well, but Jesus loves thee best:
Good-night! Good- night! Good-night!

Good night Papa, Sleep well, greet Bambot, Na Genla, Ni Prutus and the rest of the family members.
Intercede for us all, and please take care of your beloved wife, mama Odi, whom you cherished so much.

Till we meet to part no more, it's good night, Papa.

Jacy Sama Langsi (Your daughter).

Posted by Nagella Nukuna on April 19, 2021
Tribute to Papa by Ni Langmia Nukuna

As I think of Papa, so many things come to my mind. Simply put, he was kind, generous, humble, faithful and appreciative of so many of the things we take for granted. He was many things to many of us.

What was Papa’s calling? Husband, teacher, mentor and church elder. Papa fulfilled all these responsibilities with grace, humility and dedication. To me, he was divine.

Once Papa welcomed me into the family, he never looked back and his acceptance was complete. For the many years that he lived with us, I can only remember smiles, faith and willingness to give to others. Always giving, even in his moment of anguish and trials, as he went through treatment for prostate cancer, glaucoma surgery and many other health challenges. Without a lot of money in his account he would occasionally remind us to take out $50 or so to donate to Christiana Hospital so he can help other patients. Medical staff and doctors were in awe of their special patient and have never stopped asking about him, multiple years post his time with us. I was particularly touched on one occasion when he asked us to remove a certain amount of money from his account to give my daughters, Nagela and Nagwa for their birthday. We reminded him that he will probably almost deplete his account and that the kids did not really need the money. He responded to us that he is a rich man and that his wealth is his love and the friends and family that surround him. “Everything I need, you and your brothers and sisters get for me. Do you see me going to the store to buy anything else?” he added. That became his standard response as he continuously employed us to donate whatever money he had to various organizations like hospitals and churches to care for other people.

As a husband he taught us to be loyal, caring, faithful and supportive. So many of his friends, students and colleagues have recounted his dedication to teaching, mentoring, employing innovations and creating a better educational structure. On the very spot on our dining table where Papa used to sit for many years, while he still had his gift of sight, writing, reading and spreading knowledge, is where my son has studied for the last year while schools have been closed for the pandemic and preparing for his SAT. From that very spot, we remember the long discussions we had about everything, including History, culture and family. Papa taught me so much about Bali culture in addition to many other things, enforcing what I learned from my grandparents and parents in my earlier years. I remember one discussion we had which he said” Ni Lang, all great empires rise and fall especially when they do not take care of their most vulnerable and powerless”.

He was a progressive dad. The kids (younger and older) adored him and prodded him with questions galore. It was amazing how simply and intelligently he will answer each one of their questions. With so much wisdom, character and laughter. My brother Vincent already alluded to the fact that Papa was a pioneer in the “me too” movement decades before its re-emergence and acceptance into the modern society. He would come downstairs at night and sit with us and kids in the kitchen to keep us company when we insisted on washing up and cleaning at late hours. He was simply a formidable man. At times when we will advise the kids to stop playing music while studying, he cautioned us that it may enhance their productivity and brain stimulation if it was the right choice of music. He was a champion of the lowly. Having lived those earlier years with both Papa and Mama, it is no surprise that we and our children are advocates and passionate about narrowing the wealth gap between the rich and poor. With his encouragement we continue to devote a lot of the time, working to create opportunities for the less fortunate.

He was very religious and always put everything in the hands of God. During happy occasions and celebrations, he never forgot to remind us to give thanks and praise to God. As I watched him struggle with his blindness, using this to teach us to continue to give glory to God, his faith became even stronger and his appreciation of what God has given him became more profound. We will sometime tease him or tell him that the playing field was unequal when we engaged in activities that required vision. He will always respond that “you should not worry because you all are my eyes as well”.
“Papa always reminded us that he was a rich man because he was surrounded by family, friends and love”.

He taught us to trust, care, forgive and appreciate the challenges we face, enjoy the gift of life. “Granddad” as we all called him, reminded me so much of my own mother who went ahead to prepare a place for Papa. He and I never exchanged angry words in all the years I have known him. Mark you, this is not because I am good but because it is hard to fight with a Saint.

He remained humble, God-fearing and dedicated his life to serving God and taking care of his family. He was the embodiment of goodness.
Papa, may you continue to teach us pray and watch over us as you sit with the angels above.
Posted by Langmia Fonjoe on April 19, 2021
Tribute by Pa Zachary Fang

Pa Dr Elias Nwana was my elder brother-inlaw in the sense that his wife and my wife are biological sisters.
Pa Nwana shared his profound loving attitude with my family in a special way. He took great care of my children in a special way while I studied abroard on two separate occasions. He assisted to protect my property whenever the occasion presented itself. He accompanied me to my late father's burial. We lived like biological brothers.
The Priest who led the holy Mass on 04/09/2021 @ 6.30pm sounded as a spiritual visionary (according to the priest) he saw Pa Nwana smiling each time he the priest was in contemplative prayer.
Pa Nwana's soul is at rest with the Lord. We pray for this to be truth for ever and ever,

Amen. ZFang
Posted by Souliy Wan-N'Tani on April 18, 2021
I fondly and vividly remember Dr. Elias Nwana as the dedicated high school principal at the Cameroon College of Arts, Science, and Technology ( CCAST -Bambili 1971-‘73) who summoned me to his office during a college strike and, instead of firing me for my role in the insurrection that crippled the college, told me I was political science material. Today, I’m a jurist and political scientist, but never had the chance to thank him for his acute sense of justice; his serene attitude, his humility, clairvoyance, and the noble way he carried himself.
I was crushed to hear of his passing and hereby would like to send my profuse condolences to Dr. Nwana’s family and friends. Dr. Nwana proved to my peers and me at a tender age that “ the heart of education is education of the heart”. May he rest in perfect peace in the bosom of our Ancestors.

Posted by Joseph N. Ngu on April 18, 2021

My tribute to my friend, educator, adviser, savior and in law, whom I met at a very tender age of 20. I had just completed Sacred Heart College and applied to further my education at CCAST Bambili where Dr. Nwana was then the principal. I had some issues with my birth certificate and Dr. Nwana informed my elder brother that I should stay with him as a “day student” and asked to attend classes. He gave me an option to get A grades in the first quarter of school which would qualify me as a regular boarding student. I accepted the challenge and lo and behold, I got all the A grades in my tests and became a regular boarding student. I was so excited with Dr. Nwana not only because he kept his word but because I will no longer be commuting to CCAST Bambili as a day student.
My second experience with a Pa Nwana is one that I will never forget and will forever give him thanks as he's recently transitioned to our God in heaven. He left an indelible mark on me that transformed me into a responsible and mature person. Not only was Dr. Nwana the Principal of all students with various backgrounds/upbringing, he was also a smart and caring father to us all. Towards the end of my second year in CCAST Bambili, I became a father through my relationship with a young lady called Anna Ade, whose father then was the Commissioner of Police in Mamfe. I was informed that Anna's would be coming to CCAST to arrest me for this odious crime. I was forced to disappear from campus, and nobody could find me.  Mr. Ade went directly to Dr. Nwana and informed him that they had come for my arrest for what I had done! Diplomatically, Dr. Nwana de-escalated the tension and resolved the problem immediately by reasoning it out with the Commissioner. He informed Mr. Ade that even though I was only 20 years old, my work habits and school performance indicated that I was serious with my schoolwork and would become a responsible young man. That evening Dr. Nwana called me to his office and sat me down. I wondered why he had asked me to sit down because we always stood up when we entered his office. After asking me so many questions, instead of scolding me, extended and grabbed my hand and congratulated me by saying "young-man, you'll be a father very soon".  Since he knew my family very well and was close to my late brother, Pa Peter Ngu (our chop chair), he instructed him on how to resolve this outstanding issue with Commissioner Ade. Fortunately for me, I was head-over hills in love with Anna who was then 8 months pregnant with my first child. And the rest is history. Not only did I love Anna at that time, but we have been happily married for 44 years and blessed with three wonderful boys and a daughter (all grown ups now).
Then came another twist where Pa Nwana reappears again in my life. This time he'll become father-in-law to my wife’s younger sister as his son, Augustine Bambot is now married to Yvonne Ade, the youngest daughter of Commissioner William Ade. Until he fell sick, we spent the last years visiting each other in Bamenda and became very close Pa Nwana’s family when he moved to the DC Metro area. Pa Nwana always recognized us by our voices as soon as we entered the house, and our jokes were filled with fun and laughter about the good old days. Oh, how we’ll all miss him and his wonderful humble nature!!!
Pa Elias Nwana was indeed a disciple of Christ here on earth and his transition on Holy Thursday assures us that he's found peace with the Almighty Father. I pray that he will intercede for us and request our Sweet Jesus to forgive the sins of those of us left behind. Rest in Peace Pa Nwana and extend greetings to friends and family members who have gone ahead of us. With Commissioner Ade and Dr. Nwana together again, I’m sure we’ll all be in safer hands as they conspire to protect us!!! Amen

Joseph N. Ngu, Upper Marlboro, MD, US.
Posted by Erique Lukong on April 18, 2021
Thank you Papa Sama for considering me like one of your sons and for your encouragement and support when I was 12 to shape my future career and professional life. I will always be thankful to you.
Posted by Frida Fokum on April 18, 2021
Papa Dr. Elias Mathias Nwana
Our Husband......Our Father
Frida Domatob Fokum

Dr. E.M. Nwana married our eldest sister, Mama Odilia Mantan Nwana nee Domatob in 1963. Following the sudden death of papa Vincent Philip Domatob, his father-in-law, on Holy Thursday of 1973, Dr. Nwana became the epitome of a father to the Domatobs until his earthly exit on Holy Thursday 2021.

According to mama Faustina Yembe, a close friend to the family, these iconic fathers celebrate two anniversaries; Holy Thursday every year, and their actual date of arrival at the celestial city.

DRIVEN BY FAITH: Dr. Nwana like his father-in-law whom he revered, lived by the Ten Commandments of the christian faith. Even when his eyesight failed, Dr. Nwana still walked from his 'Njimafor' residence to attend daily mass while most were still sleeping. It was no coincidence that we had to honor the piety of Dr. Nwana and his wife by baptizing two of our then-toddlers during one of their visits to Urbana-Champaign, Illinois. May Dr. Nwana now enjoy HEAVEN with all the saints and life everlasting while interceding for us.

EDUCATIONISTS: Dr. Nwana and Pa Domatob were two educationists to the core who improved the trajectories of many, even in eternity. Pa Domatob saw the need to educate the 'girl' child at a time when such initiatives were daring. Dr. Nwana was a visionary who saw the need for a University in Bamenda, a place where cultural and natural resources abounded yet portals to educational advancement were limited.

"TILL DEATH DO US PART": Dr. Nwana was married to the same lady, my sister, mama Odilia for 57+ years. This is a laudable milestone experienced by a privileged minority. He out-numbered Pa Domatob in marriage by 24 years. I truly admired these inseparable duo who took to heart the phrase "Till death do us part". When Dr. Nwana's wife was cooking at the outdoor fireside, he would often pull up a chair and sit by her side chanting his favorite hymns. Sometimes he would engage her in conversations. Back in the days, if he craved for a special dish like "Poulet DJ", they would place an order and enjoy it at home (not in the bar and not at the night club). Please God, guide the family on how to fill the void in Mama Odilia's life as a widow.

HUMILITY EXEMPLIFIED: This great man and his wife visited and stayed in my humble apartment while l was a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. They also visited my husband
Ni Ben Fokum and l when we had children. Despite his own health needs, Dr. Nwana encouraged his wife to come and assist me in America for over a year to care for his ailing mother-in-law, Mama Pauline Domatob, who preceded him in death.

TRANSLATIONAL LOVE: Sincere thanks to Dr. Nwana's children and their families for taking good care of their father to the tomb. Dr. Nwana and mama Odilia visited continents. The children demolished their already beautiful retirement house, then customized to geriatic perfection. Unfortunately, papa didn't live to appreciate that luxury. Papa, your legacy lives on.

APRIL IS A SOLEMN MONTH as Nubia Fokum, Dr. Nwana, papa Vincent Philip Domatob, and Christian Cardinal Tumi all slept forever. May they and many others who need intercession now DWELL in the HOUSE OF THE LORD FOREVER. AMEN

Dr. Nwana will not want anyone in harms way because of his funeral. Wash hands often, wear mask, social distance, and get vaccinated

Bernard and Frida Fokum

Posted by Sema Fongod on April 17, 2021
April 1st 2021 would forever be embedded in my anamnesis as a ‘day of dawn’ for a great man. I carefully select the word ‘Dawn’ because it marks the beginning of a journey into the heavenly kingdom of the Almighty, who had carefully selected 2021’s Maundy Thursday for my grandfather Elias Nwana to join him in his ‘First Supper’.

A man of integrity, strong family values, rigour, humour and spiritual opulence. O Grandad what a life you’ve lived. Many may choose to mourn, rather I choose to celebrate - celebrate a very accomplished life full of memories worthy of an encyclopaedia, which I very much believe you’re scripting right now.

I had a very special relationship with my grandad. Why? Because I was named after a doctor who successfully operated my grandad whilst he had a brain tumour - I was born right after this surgery where the family thought he had slim survival chances. I see my birth as a Godly sign to my grandad of the unfinished business he had here on Earth and for that I had always revered him.

So many fond memories of this great man. Goodness me… Where do I start? Grandad Elias went for Morning mass at Njimafor parish every morning and irrespective of whether you joined him for mass or not, you would know the closing hymn sung in church as he would sing it all the way from church into the family home. A very humorous chap who had an outburst of laughter that was so contagious.

Grandad had so many virtues. However, the two that really stuck with me are his educational beliefs and his love for his wife, my grandmum. An educationist himself, he led by example. For us as grandkids, you could get away with anything as long as you’ve put in hours into your daily education. We all today in the family can take no credit for our individual and collective successes, without crediting Elias Nwana and his values. Grandad adored my grandma Odilia and catered for her so dashingly - a quality I pray to emulate in my upcoming marriage. 
I celebrate your life grandad and keep looking after us. Until we meet again!

Sema Fongod (Grandson)
Posted by Judith Nwana on April 16, 2021
Tribute to Dr Elias Nwana. By Faustina Yembe.

    The phone rang: “Sister, your best boh, your massa Dr Nwana don die!” I held my breathe, waiting for this close family member to say, “April Fool!” She was instead sobbing loudly. I knew this was for real! The greatest and finest gentleman I know had gone HOME on Holy Thursday. I started praising God.

    Dr Elias Nwana built his life around the two greatest commandments of Christ: Love God and love your neighbor as yourself. His love was all embracing - his wife, children and family, his colleagues, collaborators and friends, his fellow SOBANS, his daughters’ LESANS and sons’ SHESANS, his affiliates OPSANS; his wife’s Nkumu Fed Fed and various Bali Cultural Associations; the Catholic community in Njimafor - in fact all humanity was Dr Nwana’s love. Bambili village his first/second home has endearing memories of Dr Nwana. How did he do it?
    Love for Dr Nwana was genuine: genuine smiles; genuine laughter. His laughter was full of mirth and joy. In his last years on earth, years of visual impairment, any time I called him, never would he complain or indulge in self pity. It was always solicitude for other people’s welfare and health. And he was always so cheerful.
    Dr Nwana’s pleasant attitude was from habit; and also from participating fully in his household dynamics. Dr Nwana found time to relate with his family, even in the kitchen. When his son Protus was handicapped for almost 30 years, Doc did not relinquish his care to his wife and house-helps only, but cheerfully participated in keeping him comfortable and decent looking to his end. God blessed Doc and his wife Odilia for this - a blessing which overflowed to their children and grandchildren as evidenced in their amazing successes and achievements in life.
Dr Nwana extended his love and disciplined upbringing to others in his extended family and neighbors. When my husband was studying in the US for several years, Doc came to our house in Bambili often, in a quarter far from his own, to check on and counsel my children. I remain grateful to him for this.
    My family actually has a privileged long-standing relationship with the Nwana family, which started with us the two mothers. In 1958 a mutual family friend connected us. I, Faustina Ojong, was in QRC Okoyong and she, Odilia Domatob, was in St Francis Teachers’ Training College Kumba. We became pen-pals. This pen-friendship kept us together till we met in Bambili in 1970. By then we were married to two gentlemen who were close collaborators and friends; they considered themselves brothers, though Omer was from Mbot (Nkambe) and Elias from Bali. Our love for each other, Odilia and I, has blossomed to include our offsprings, and extended families: the Domatobs / Nwanas / Fangs and their households. Odilia and I practice profound and intimate social distancing. Both of us, intellectually competent and highly skilled, have been satisfied with basking in the shadows of our distinguished husbands’ greatness.
I thank God, the Supreme Planner, for the happy days we spent together August 2019 in Virginia. Please pray for my friend Manyi Odi as she mourns her most darling husband, while not in good health herself.
    I wish to congratulate the Nwana children, their spouses and their children for the excellent care they gave their father to the end. Thanks to close family members for enduring love and care for Doc and his precious wife. Thank you our beloved Dr Nwana for teaching us how to live in humility, simplicity, integrity, kindness and respect for all: how to love God and love your neighbor as yourself.
    May The Good Lord consider Dr Nwana’s last days of intense suffering here on earth as purging of his sins and preparation for the joy and glory of eternal life. I plead for forgiveness from anyone Doc wronged in his life.

    Adieux Dr Nwana.

Now I have two darling gentlemen in Eternity who call me by the same sweet shortened form of my first name: Omer and Elias. We shall one day meet to part no more.

By Faustina Yembe     ( Family friend)
Posted by Paul Asobo on April 16, 2021
  My earliest and long-lasting impressions of Dr.Elias M Nwana through family and social interactions were that, he was a soft-spoken, loving and caring person. This is evident in the quality of children that he raised; just as kind, intelligent, respectful and caring like their dad. Dr. Nwana was the father every child would love to have, and the father everyone like me wanted to emulate.
   Being the highly qualified intellectual that he was, Dr Nwana occupied key positions of authority in the Ministries of Secondary and Higher Education where he was known to have served with exemplary devotion, honesty and integrity. As a university Don, he taught by example, giving merit it’s rightful place in every decision making process, which earned him the admiration of his colleagues and collaborators, as well as students.
   His accomplishments were not quite evident to an onlooker at first sight as it was often his humility and friendly demeanor that was at the fore. In fact , he was to me, an embodiment of virtues that radiated in him in different contexts or situations.
    Dr. Nwana was my IDOL ! I was honored in 1989 when he accepted to be godfather to my last child, Paul Junior who today is full of love and admiration for his godfather. We greatly miss him, but we are , however, comforted that he leaves behind fond memories for us to lean on .
Posted by Kadhija Njoya Fongod on April 16, 2021
Not having a chance to meet you feels like I have lost a huge fight. I have only heard great things about you, how hardworking and humble you were, your grandson Sema said you were “God-like”, like an angel here on earth. Your nieces, Mama Noe and Mama Jacy said to me, “Kadhi, you have missed... you would have loved Grandpa so much and he would have loved you too”. What is life without humility, love and service? Reading your biography, I seek comfort in the fact that I will be a member of your beautiful family, the one you raised and had a great impact on. I know I’ll feel you in them, as I already do with the few that I have connected with. God knows best. Go with the Lord GrandPa, till we meet in God’s heavenly kingdom.
Posted by Judith Nwana on April 15, 2021
Tribute from Rev. Sister Nuala Lahert:

Stella, my deepest sympathy on the death of your beloved Papa. Angèle shared the sad news of his death with me. I believe he and your Mama lived with you in recent months. I know what a loss Papa will be to you and all the family. One is never prepared for the death of a parent. Dr. Nwana was a wonderful person. He contributed so much to education in Cameroon. He was always so gracious and helpful. Holy Rosary Sisters availed of and benefitted from his wise guidance. I'm with you in spirit and prayer at this sad and difficult time. Please convey my sincere sympathy to your Mama.
Love, Sr. Nuala
Posted by Gwanbidpua Tangeh on April 15, 2021
Ba E.M. Nwana, you’re a Doctor of Education who let education to be the business of countless Bali Minds. Thank You . Ba, your humility and Christ-liked Character here on earth are great standards for us the living to emulate. Thank You . Ba, You are a Great Teacher who has touched lives forever. The Resurrection of your Soul from your Body, on a Holy Thursday, is a lesson of your Faith to the learning Bali Minds. Thank You . Ba, Rest In Peace ✌️ through Christ Our Lord. Amen  Fare thee well... Role Model. Ba, Jǐd mbɔ̀ŋkɛd!
Posted by Judith Nwana on April 15, 2021
Tribute from Rose Niba:

Where are you Tanyi, Doctor, Professor, husband, Papa, Granddad, Great Granddad, Brother, Friend, Colleague, as I always addressed you.
   The 24th of December 2020 took you away from home to the hospital where you stayed in bed unlike you until the 1st of April 2021, Holy Thursday, when you left for eternity deeply wreaking our hearts.
   Who will call me again as Na Rose with that warm welcoming embrace and laughter which was typical of you?
   Your arrival in our family as the first husband to our elder sister Manyi Odilia Mantan Domatob remains memorable to this day. I had just completed form 5 in the Queen of the Rosary College, Okoyony Mamfe and I was excited about my Sister's wedding. This excitement has lasted until that fateful Holy Thursday.
   God endowed you with several attributes, but I will concentrate only on one aspect of you as a family man.
   You were a loving, respectable, responsible, reassuring, resourceful, resounding, realistic, rekindling, reputable and a reliable person. You did not only love your immediate family members but the extended family of cousins, nephews, nieces, uncles, aunts and above all your in-laws. The joys and sorrows of these persons listed above were your concern. You ensured that the children were educated, being an Educationist yourself. The health of family members was a challenge that you handled skillfully. This can be seen in how you took care of your son Protus for 29 years. For your reward for having treated him well, on the night he passed on even though he never spoke, he called you. You got from sleep looked round the house and saw no one. You went back to sleep and he called again for the 2nd time and you got up again.
   Good nutrition and balanced diet were of prime importance. He ensured that there was sufficient food at all times at home. No visitor left his home without a bite or a drink
   He was a staunch Roman Catholic who loved God with all his might and strength. He taught his family how to love, praise, thank and worship God. His faith has had a great influence on the family and God has a number one position their lives. God in return has showered enormous blessings on the family.
Tanyi, I am confident that you are now enjoying the kingdom of heaven that you had prepared yourself for. Surely you are in good hands with the family of friends and relatives who have received you into their fellowship.

Posted by Judith Nwana on April 15, 2021
Tribute from Betty:

Papa we love you so much and we pray for the fast and smooth progress of your soul to the realms of God. Papa greet your brothers our father papa Moses Nwana who went before you, papa Tadoh Nwana who followed behind you and all the others for us. I believe you will have a wonderful family reunion in God's name. We love you all so much.
Posted by Judith Nwana on April 15, 2021
Tribute from Odilia and John Njinjoh:

It is still like a dream that papa is no more. I still visualize him laughing and cracking jokes as these were his hobby. Each time I saw papa I knew I was going to laugh hard because of the therapeutic words that would come out of his mouth. Papa and Mamie Odi, my name sake, and my father in law papa Njinjoh called themselves the key and each time he saw me and my husband, he will say the key, even after my father in law had passed. Mamie Odi and papa came to my house and we had a great time together with my father in law. They talked much about Mungaka. Both papas we big time educators, that's why their education was more on how to educate the young to grow. Papa was a very lovely and jovial person. I can imagine the vacuum he has placed in the family. Papa we loved you, but God loves you more. May you lay your head on Jesus's breast as you go to the land of no return.
Posted by Judith Nwana on April 15, 2021
Tribute from Priscilla:

Papa I celebrate life not death, I can't forget your history lesson on Empire Day. Papa you were excited about your uniforms and your matching band. It seems like yesterday when you said, "ndia Prici Don cam". What is life? Don't judge my writing. Papa never judged me, he loved me unconditionally. Let's love unconditionally. I am not the greatest writer, but I love unconditionally and that is why I got along with Papa. He loved me not credential. Papa you are dear to my heart. After losing my father you are the best. Safe travels till me meet again. I will never think of him in memories, he is still present in my here and now. Safe travels until we meet on the other side. Papa I love you.
Posted by Judith Nwana on April 15, 2021
Tribute from Evangeline Fogam:

Farewell Dr. Farewell my brother. You came to the world like a humble giant, lived as a humble giant and now exited as a humble giant. Jesus held your hands and said come with me on this Holy Thursday. Only a humble giant like you deserved that privilege. We will miss you brother, especially that infectious laugh. When I visited you, I asked about your health, you said, "I cannot see but I am fine, I am healthy and happy. My wife is my eyes and I am her strength." What a man, what a man. I will never forget when you fought for Ni Ben's corpse to be brought to Bali for the last time. We held your hands as you forged ahead for him to get that last honor. Even in blindness you continued to be a leader. You never gave up. Your tenacity and steadfast love for family was unmeasured. Ba jhit mbongket. We can only imagine how great it must be on the other side. You are living it now and for that I thank God for you. You just being you. Fare thee well Dr, farewell brother.
Posted by Judith Nwana on April 15, 2021
Tribute from Emma Daiga:

Papa did not show love, care and concern to his direct family members only. He extended his love to everyone he knew. I was taken aback in Nov of 2019 when Papa made Nagwa to bring Mama and him all the way from Virginia to Maryland to attend my Junior sister's and her two kids' memorial service. Many in his then condition would not have bother to attend.
One other amazing thing about him was the happy face he carried at all times.
Papa rest in peace.
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Recent Tributes
Posted by Gina Akene on April 1, 2022
Dad, I can’t believe it is already one year since you left this world. I wish you a happy heavenly birthday. Continue to rest in the Lord’s bosom . Amen
Posted by Anne Tebo on April 1, 2022
Rest in perfect peace Papa Nwana. You are fondly remembered today and always.
Posted by Yaah Maggie Kilo on April 1, 2022
A year is a very long time, and yet so short. It feels like yesterday we mourned your passing to eternity. But in that long/short time, your beautiful loving wife and our dear Mama Odilia has joined you among the Heavenly Hosts. As we pray for the sweet repose of your soul(s) and think about the wonderful legacy you both bequeathed us, we are comforted by the memories, knowing you could only be with God in the place of eternal rejoicing. No more sorrows, and no more pain until we meet again.
his Life


My life has combined attributes of fortuitousness, steely determination, hard-work, military-instilled discipline, and a sense of giving back to fellow mankind. (E.M Nwana, 2004)

Elias Muthias Nwana was born in Bali Nyonga in the North West Region of Cameroon circa 1933. First son to Bambot Kala & Nah Genla, his presumed birth date of 26th February 1933 was estimated upon entry into primary school in Mamfe. Arguably the most important person in his early life was late Papa Davidson Mfum Nwana, junior brother to Bambot Kala, who played a pivotal role as his father and sponsored him through secondary education at St. Joseph’s College (SJC), Sasse.

He attended primary school at the Roman Catholic Mission school in Mamfe and his formal education was augmented by an induction of discipline that was typical of upbringing in the Police Barracks that was home to him and his elder brother Ni Moses Nwana. He graduated with his standard 6 certificate in 1948 and was admitted into SJC Sasse in 1949. From the accounts of his teachers and contemporary students, he was venerated for his discipline, moral rectitude and fairness. It was not a surprise therefore, that he was elected Senior Prefect in 1953. He graduated from Sasse, having obtained the Senior Cambridge Certificate. In 1954, he was enrolled into Bishop Shanahan Teachers’ Training College in Orlu, Nigeria, along with two of his best friends, Mr Ben K. Simo and H.R.H. Fon Moses Galabe. Upon graduation in 1953, the three of them, along with Mr Peter Nsanda Eba, formed a strong cohort of young Cameroonian teachers at the prestigious Sasse College.  Whilst teaching in Sasse, he embarked on studies for Advanced Level General Certificate of Education, successfully obtaining good results in 3 subjects: History, Literature and British Economic History.

In 1960, he was awarded a scholarship, along with Mr Francis Nkwain and Mr Daniel Namme, to study for a Bachelors degree at the University of Legon, Ghana. During his time at Legon, he was lucky to secure work placements at the Volta River Authority, the body that was tasked with constructing the strategic electricity-generating Akosumbo Dam in Tema. During his placement years, he also helped in the supervision of the construction of the first resettlement village in New Ajena. He obtained an honours degree in Sociology in 1963.

Upon his return from Ghana, he assumed duty as a teacher at the Cameroon College of Arts, Science and Technology in Kumba which was under the Principalship of Mr Sylvester N. Dioh. Within 6 months of starting in Kumba, the government requested the operations of the college to be moved to Bambili – and he was appointed Executive Vice Principal, a position he held until he went on to further his studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

During his tenure as Executive Vice Principal of CCAST, he instituted two schools: the School of Agriculture, and the school of Education and the Sciences. The creation of these two schools aligned with a strategy developed by senior anglophone educational pioneers for CCAST to eventually become full-fledged university. One of his ultimate regrets was that this strategy was stymied by political interference that eventually left CCAST as a “Lycee” with the Schools of Agriculture and Education transforming into separate institutions. The former is current day Agriculture College in Bambui, and the latter is what is now the Higher Teacher Training College (HTTC) of the University of Bamenda.

Two further achievements stood out from the multitudes that he recorded during his time as Executive Vice Principal. First, having studied Economics as part of his degree at Legon, he introduced the teaching of Economics into the Cameroonian education curriculum during this period. Second, he was proud to facilitate the admission of girls into CCAST Bambili – thereby opening new horizons for the next generation of women in Cameroon.

In 1965, he embarked on a Masters Degree in Education at UCLA and proceeded to complete doctorate in Education in 1968. Upon his return from California, he was recommended by his student, mentor and friend, Dr Omer Weyi Yembe, to take over as Principal of CCAST Bambili, a post he held until 1973. During this time, he oversaw the construction of some of the iconic infrastructure (student halls and administrative building) that are still in use on the campus today. He was succeeded as Principal of CCAST by the recently departed Dr Mathias Niba who shared similar philosophies and principles to pursue excellence in the education of CCAST students.

He also credits Dr Yembe with facilitating his following appointment as Cultural Delegate of Education for the South West province. In his consummate humility, he wrote of Dr Yembe in his autobiography “Dr Yembe would not like me to mention this, but my life history cannot be written without mentioning the role that he played in my life.”.

In 1979, having made a significant impact during his time at the helm of Education in the South West Province, he was appointed as the Director of Studies (Charge d’Etudes) at the Ministry of National Education – a natural promotion – for a visionary educationist. However, this was the least rewarding time of his professional career – finding the role far removed from the frontline of providing education which to him was a vocation. After just over a year, he negotiated to be transferred to the Ministry of Higher Education – specifically, Ecole Normale Superior (ENS) in Bambili to carry out his passion of educating the Cameroonian mind.

Leading the Science of Education department at ENS Bambili for over a decade was his last engagement with the Cameroonian Civil Service. During this time, he was a trusted advisor and defacto Assistant to a list of venerated Directors of the institution including: Mr. A.T.M Mofor, Prof Moses Asanji, and Dr Omer Weyi Yembe. His life was also influenced by – in his words – the young and brilliant Dr Ivo Leke Tambo – who ran the department with him and brought new ideas to the department and Cameroonian Education. Top amongst these was Dr Tambo’s facilitation of a close collaboration between universities in Canada and Yaounde. As part of these partnerships, he was seconded to work at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan, Canada. He enjoyed this period immensely and made numerous friends who would eventually organise and pay for treatment of a brain tumour in 1990.

His life was a vocation to education in Cameroon and the passion for this was no more evident than in 1992 when, along with his friend, Dr Yembe and other anglophone educationist like Andrew Azong Wara, fought for the creation of the GCE Board. The initial lobbying resulted in the creation of the Sondengam Committee. This committee, which he was a member drew up to modalities for the operation of the GCE Board in Cameroon.

Following his retirement from the Cameroon Civil Service, and frustrated by the fact that Bamenda was still devoid of a fully-fledged university, he worked alongside the others, including Hon John Ngu Foncha and Mrs Anna Foncha to form the Bamenda University of Science and Technology (BUST). He reluctantly served as the Vice Chancellor of the University during which time, he facilitated some of the building projects and signed a partnership with the University of Buea to validate degrees awarded by the Institution.

As an anthropologist and sociologist, he enjoyed the process of curating the cultures of the grassfields regions of Cameroon. He wrote, reviewed and critiqued several papers on the historical and contemporary cultural aspects of the peoples of Bali Nyonga. In a sense, together with other cultural curators like Mr Augustine Ndangam and Mr Patrick Mbunwe, he acted as a liaison between older curators of Bali Nyonga culture such as Liz Chilver with a now, vibrant body of researchers in this field. Along with Mr Patrick Mbunwe and others, they sought to “industralise” the teaching of the curation of culture through the Association of Creative Teaching (ACT). The raison d’etre of ACT was to imbue teachers from different backgrounds with the tools to teach creatively, using appropriate pedagogic models that fit the African sociological context. ACT’s operations culminated in brilliant publications by authors such as Mr John K. Fokwang, Mr Martin Miye, M.N Fonjie and others.

During his life, and in the last few days since his passing, one of the most used adjectives to describe him is “humble”. His humility derives from a strong Christian belief. He was never beholden to an ostentatious lifestyle – demonstrating his simplicity and humility in whatever he did. He wore his Catholic faith on his sleeves and was influenced significantly by Late Prof Bernard Fonlon and Archbishop Paul Verdzekov, with whom he worked closely as an advisor. He led multiple initiatives in the Archdiocese of Bamenda including acting as chair of the Cameroon Catholic Convention on three occasions. His love for sociology and anthropology also came to the fore in the work he did with Archbishop Verdzekov and his team on “Inculturisation in the Catholic Church in Cameroon” – a seminal piece of work which contextualised the Catholic Faith within the African culture. Dr Nwana also taught Sociology and Psychology of Education at the St Thomas Aquinas Major Seminary in Bambui and served severally as chair of Parent Teachers’ Association of Sacred Heart College and Our Lady of Lourdes College, Mankon. Having moved to Njimafor in the early 90s, he became a parishioner at the Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish Njimafor. He served in the parish council, was a member of the Knights of St Columba.

He would freely acknowledge that any success in his professional life over the last 60 years was underpinned by a formidable and indefatigable wife, Mrs Odilia Mantan Nwana nee Domatob. They met and married in 1963 and had a wonderful union that has now only been broken by his passing. They were blessed with 8 children – with three sets of twins – Protus Samgwaa (died 1994), Hyacinth Samjella, Augustina Genla, Augustine Bambot, Gerald Feh, Stella Nagwa, Benedicta Nagella and Vincent Lebga. He will always credit “Mama” as the mainstay of the upbringing of these many children and spoke glowingly and proudly about how Mama had “trained them to be good and moral citizens of the world.” Together, they were the epitome of a good Christian marriage and in this regard, were role models for a generation of younger couples. He was blessed with 19 grandchildren and 2 great grandsons.

He was also robbed of one of his closest friends and confidants; his brother, Mr Peter Nyonga Sama, in May 2016. He and his younger brother, Peter, had a formidable bond and were the patriarchs of the wider Tanunjam family.  They are now re-united.

He battled several ailments in the latter years of his life but faced them with fortitude and faith in God. He lost his sight in the latter years of his life – but stayed positive throughout, once stating that “I believe that I will see again – if not here, then in the God’s kingdom.” A mark of his faith!

For what its worth, given his apathy for frivolous recognition, he was a Knight and Commander and the Cameroonian Order of Valour. Perhaps more importantly to him, he was also in receipt of a special commendation from the Vatican.

In summary, he was a man who lived an impactful life. A man with a passion for educating himself and others. A man whose humility overshadowed his significant achievements. A man who viewed fatherhood in the broadest sense of the word: not just a father to his biological children but to the wider populus. A God-fearing man who never took himself too seriously; safe in the knowledge that there was a greater purpose to life than earthly achievements. The impact he has made on the lives of people he met is boundless. His legacy on education in Cameroon and beyond is unparalled. All these attributes are demonstrated in the following sentence which he used to summarise his life: My life has combined attributes of fortuitousness, steely determination, hard-work, military-instilled discipline, and a sense of giving back to fellow mankind. (E.M Nwana, 2004)
It was a life well lived. Adieu – rest in peace.

Recent stories


Shared by Muoh Aligi on May 6, 2021
This picture in particular means a lot to me. The reunion of Pa Nwana and Pa Eba children is so humbling and  emotionally heartwarming to me who had played my little role as Caretaker in their lives as kids, and witnessed the two families living side by side smoothly, interacting in peace, sharing christian love and care as both fathers were lecturers in CCAST Bambili while the mothers were our Primary School teachers in St. Francis School Bambili in the 60s and 70s. I'm particularly comforted and moved to tears of joy seeing Ma Magdalene Eba, Ma Najela Nukuna, Ma Nagwa and their friends stand lovingly hands on each other's shoulders to bid eternal farewell to one of their beloved parents. I don't doubt they did same to Mami Anna Eba who went ahead to the Lord a few years ago. I sincerely applaud this great legacy which they are leaving for others to emulate. This again is evidence of the greatness of our beloved Pa Nwana whom we loved and continue to love even in spirit so much. We know his way  to the Lord's Kingdom is open and straight with no obstacle. May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace. Amen. Pateh Asongwe. 

A Simple Gesture. An Unforgettable Lesson. Tribute by Lilian N. Fokwang

Shared by Lilian Ndangam Fokwang on April 30, 2021
"...people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou
It was the summer of 1996. I had just completed undergraduate studies at the University of Buea and had been awarded the joint Guinness Cameroon - Chevening Scholarship for postgraduate study in the UK. Cameroon had recently joined the Commonwealth and along with its membership came the benefit of its citizens applying for Commonwealth scholarships. So this being Cameroon's first time of participating in the prestigious scholarship, the award itself was a big news making event in the country - broadcast on national TV. But this story is not about me or the award. It is about what Dr. Nwana did when he learned about it. A few days after returning from Buea for the awards ceremony, the event was broadcast on national news on CRTV. The day after the broadcast, Dr. Nwana made his way to our house. On foot! It was around midday. My siblings and I were surprised to see him because we had not heard the sound of a car. He explained that he had parked his car down the hill. (Our family home in Bamenda is precisely not the most easy place to get to especially during the rainy season. During this time, the road is at best muddy, and at worse impassable!) But the muddy and slippery slopes of the hills were no deterrent to his singular mission of leaving Njimafor that morning. When I'd opened the gate and welcomed him in, we exchanged pleasantries in Mungaka and I offered apologies for my parents absence (whom I assumed he had come to see). He smiled and explained that my parents had not known he was coming over (this was the time before mobile phones were a thing.)

"Ndǒ to mà chà'ti Ma lɛ yì bo kà na'ti i ma tv nì mbɔnyùm a " - "I came to greet the lady they showed on tv last night, " he explained.

I was stunned! But I had no time to hide my shock because he went on to ask which of us was the recipient of the scholarship. Still awestruck, I told him it was me. He grabbed my hand, lifted it up and told me how proud he had felt on seeing the news the night before. So much so that he had made the trip out to tell me just that. And it did not matter if his car could not make it up the hill, he knew the road so he could walk. It did not matter if my parents were home or not, he had seen the person he wanted to see.
"Ù ŋâ yi' kɨtɨ kǎ Na" - "You lifted us up/You made us proud"
, he continued.

He congratulated me on my achievement and again said how happy he felt to see that news on television. He asked about what I planned to study in England and he encouraged me to work hard, study further and accomplish more. Of all the things I recall about my receiving that scholarship, this very remarkable gesture from Dr. Nwana is still one of my favourite memories of that time. Here is why: Long before my brother Ni Lang met and married Dr. Nwana's beautiful daughter Ma Nah, we grew up knowing Dr. Nwana as a giant in Cameroon education with a stellar career spanning various sectors of the Anglophone educational system and an icon within the Bali community. I would later come to read his writings on Bali Nyonga, admire and be inspired by his and others' commitment to promoting knowledge and the documentation of our history and culture. He was deeply proud of his heritage as a Bali man. That someone of his stature walked on foot to my family's home just to congratulate a total nobody like me, showed me the measure of the man at the same time as it taught me a valuable lesson in humility and simplicity. He could easily have passed on the message to my parents to give me. But he felt it was important to come and extend his congratulations personally. That gesture and the encouraging words he gave me were so heartwarming and have stayed with me all these years. It captured the lifelong champion of education that he was. Dr. Nwana's departure from this world is a profound loss for the Nwana family, and the wider community that he lived in and served. His commitment to educating and mentoring young minds, his dedication to promoting education and his services to the community at large are a lasting legacy which we would forever honor and celebrate. My deepest sympathies to the entire Nwana families. Tenderly, may time heal your sorrow. May peace replace heartache and may your memories always be a source of comfort.
Fəti mbɔ̀ŋkɛd Ba. Jǐd nì bɔnì.
Shared by Foba Marceline on April 30, 2021
Papa, Papa as I fondly know and call you. I cherish every moment I spent talking to or listening to your softly spoken cautions about life and living. I can never forget your praises of my progresses in life. You thanked me for the successes of the children, just like you will rebuke any misdeeds. Thank you Papa for the encouragement you showered me with. Thank you for the push you gave me to pursue my studies. Papa how I wish you could just talk to me again! How I wish you were understood by those you toiled to assist. God understood and took care of you Papa. Fare well Papa, son of the most high. Intercede for us where you are now. You will for ever be my yardstick. I love you even more than ever before. Thank you Papa.