ForeverMissed
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.

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The Nwana Family is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Zoom Mass/Prayer Session Honoring Papa Dr. Elias Nwana
Time: Apr 17, 2021 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 509 098 6159
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kdvK1nwmZz
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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 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
           TRIBUTE TO PA, DR. ELIAS NWANA BY JOSEPH N. NGU

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 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 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 but he was also a smart father to us all. Towards the end of my second year in CCAST Bambili, I had become a father, through my relationship with a young lady called Anna Ade, whose father was the Commissioner of Police in Mamfe. I had been informed that the father of Anna 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 me for! Diplomatically, Dr. Nwana de-escalate the tension and resolved the problem 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 will eventually 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 went to his office. After asking me so many questions, instead of scolding me, extended and grabbed my hand and congratulated me by informing me that I would 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 the 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 married for 44 years and blessed with three wonderful boys and a daughter (all grown up now).
Then came another twist where Pa Nwana reappears again in my life. This time he will become father-in-law to my wife’s younger sister as his son, Augustine Bambot is married to Yvonne Ade, the youngest daughter of Commissioner William Ade. We have 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 was indeed a disciple of Christ and his passing on Holy Thursday assures us that he 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 the 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
         By
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 on April 16, 2021
Grandpa,
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, ndzìt mbɔ̀ŋkɛd!
Posted by Judith Nwana on April 15, 2021
Tribute from Rose Niba:
TRIBUTE TO DR PROF TANYI NWANA

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.
Posted by Judith Nwana on April 15, 2021
Tribute from Abel and Cecilia Mofor:

The name Nwana is synonymous with hard work, honesty and simplicity. He was a trusted friend and colleague at ENS Bambili. God had no choice but to bless him with a wonderful career and family. He has done his job and deserves to rest in perfect peace.
Posted by Judith Nwana on April 15, 2021
Tribute from Mary Fanka;

Papa Nwana, I appreciate the fact that we shared a quiet family friendship bond for a long time. I am happy that you came into our lives. When we parted in 2019, I thought we will meet again but God knows best. Farewell Papa. Greet my sister Emmy Fonlon. Rest in perfect peace.
Posted by Manuela Aurelle on April 15, 2021
Grand pa, from the stories I hear you were a great man. From the short time we spent together both in Njimanfor and in Yaounde, you have always blessed me and my marriage to Buma, your first grandson. Our last physical conversation was about making you black soup with pounded plantain the way they make it in my tribe (Bulu-South region of Cameroon). I promised I will but God decided otherwise.
Grand pa, i know you are happy wherever you are because through Buma and I, you have been blessed with two amazing great grandchildren, Jean Philippe and Paul Edwin.

Papa, Rest in the Lord. Perfect Peace and intercede for all of us.

We will always love you.
Posted by Langmia Fonjoe on April 15, 2021
Elias Nwana was a man among men. He was also just my grandad. But even at that, he was remarkable. He was so knowledgeable. Knowing that I took interest in family history, Grandad would outline our family tree in great detail. He would then explain familial relationships and cultural dynamics. These conversations would last hours and sometimes stretch over several days. He even authored a book on our family genealogy and autographed a copy for me. Grandad wrote several other books, too. I even cited two of them in my undergrad capstone thesis. On another note, Grandad was so compassionate. I’ll never forget when he coached me out of a minor state of depression. There are so many commendable things I could mention about him. Most of all, I admired his 24/7 demeanor - calm and collected. In boastful moments, Grandad was simply pleased and content; in trying times, Grandad was optimistic and enduring. He remained grateful for all of God’s blessings, and that’s how he maintained his “cool” He lived his faith and he lived in the light. I will forever appreciate and admire my grandfather for that. Although I’m sad that we lost him, I’m happy we had him. He’s a saint and he’s living the eternal life he overly deserves. 
Posted by Theresa Fomunung on April 15, 2021
Farewell my dear uncle/father Dr Elias Nwana.
Growing up as a young girl , my late mother Mamun Margaret Nahsang Mfonfu ( Dr.Nwana' s sister )was so family oriented and instilled that spirit in us.She would tell us about our aunties and uncles , Dr Nwana.Elias, Uncle Jacob aka PaJ.,late Nih Robert who became Ba Tanunjam, late Ba Dan, at the entrance of our grandfather's compound ,,late Nih Sunny , late a Francisca, late Na Sayounga married to Ba Fogam.just to mention a few.She would encourage us to visit these relatives in Nchijoh or wherever they were , so we went visiting every holiday .I came to know more about this part of my family when l lived with my grandmother late Na Ma Leila.All of them were so warm and welcoming whenever me and my siblings stopped by.
  After High School I went to Yaunde and was hired to work with C NPS.I had to do some training in Buea and l knew nobody there .I would have been stranded if my late brother Dr.Mfonfu Daniel didn't remind me of my uncle Dr Nwana who was living there at the time.He and his beautiful wife Ma Odilia welcomed me into their home with so much warmth.
  They were very kind , generous and made me feel at ease.Pa Nwana was so soft-- spoken , caring and often inquired about my training course .I am blessed to have had the opportunity to spend time with this icon who has impacted so many lives .l remain indebted for the lessons of life learned during my stay with you
 May the Good Lord strengthen and comfort the family (wife,children,all family members ) you have left behind .Ps.34:18 "The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saved those who are crushed in spirit."
Your great legacy lives on.You will be forever missed.Rest in perfect peace my dear Uncle till we meet to part no more.
Therese Mfonfu Fomunung
Posted by Jonas Nuvaga on April 15, 2021
I had the honour of hosting Big Papa and sharing my room with him sometime. Long after his departure, I found a loaded envelope, which I could quickly identify as belonging to him from his very familiar writing on it. Because a long time had elapsed, I was tempted to think he had not realised the loss, and it could be an unintended gift from an unconsciously generous heart that he had. But the mind he had educated quickly knew there could not be reason enough to keep it. So, I returned the envelope to him on my next visit home. Behold, he did not remember it, and laughing joyously, slipped it into his pocket saying – you will not make a good thief.

His death on the commemoration of the Lord's Supper, the night when Christ gave Himself for us, must be a fitting tribute to his life, blessed and broken for us all. I received a bountiful share of that life that I would have thought mine was the lion’s share; except such a claim will be greatly contested. No doubt we called him Big Papa. He was big – literally and figuratively. He had a big smile and a big laugh. He had a big compound, which often hosted his big family, friends, and neighbours. His love was big and he shared it generously. At the 11th hour, I saw an unusually big boat emerge from a meander of the big river Wouri as if to announce the passing of the big man.

Whether it was by vividly telling stories of his life, sharing his perspectives or his meal, or by dishing out a compliment, Big Papa made us feel the pure and unfiltered love of Christ in the family. His was a love that broke down walls and built roads, one of which connects his compound to that of his beloved brother, my father, literally. The road itself, an emblem of a love story that has two brothers walking up and down to meet each other to mutually reinforce the bond that bound them together. His love was generous and kind, sometimes exemplified in his willingness to give away his best possessions. In Dance Monkey fashion, he went from room to parlour, emptying his wardrobe into our waiting arms, and while we stood there, amused and awestruck, he did it all over again. As kids, he often gave us his hands to pull and crack his knuckles. We have been pulling from his fountain of love ever since.

To educate a child is to bring them closer to God. My familiarity with him obliterated my recognition of his remarkable contribution to the Country’s system of education, but that was not necessary for me to recognise in him a great educator. He made sure we went to the best schools and encouraged us to read extensively. By editing his letters, I learned to write. By ironing his clothes and polishing his shoes, I learned duty and respect. By loving Mama as he did, he taught me how it is done. When the need arose, his stern expression and a reminder of “Dr. Do Good” disciplined me. By being his valet on some of his outings, I learned to carry myself as a man. Indeed, I received a holistic education mostly by observing the ways of the man, as he discharged his duties gracefully, effortlessly, purposefully, with an uncanny and infectious smile. He imparted his wisdom through our long and lively conversations, garnished with laughter and punctuated by long silences. When I asked what his secret sauce was, he credited it to everyone but himself; beginning with his Creator to his family and other benevolent spirits. That is how Big Papa drew me closer to God.

Papa, if destiny is the journey God has planned for us, and life is the stage on which we undertake that journey, then your performance of the role of Elias M. Nwana is worthy of a heavenly Oscar. I know my father – the master planner as you conferred on him, went before you to plan the award ceremony, as no other could be more fitting to do so. As you receive your award and credit everyone else but yourself, please know that you were the bread which Christ blessed, broke, and gave to us all. As often as I ate it, I remembered Him who sent you. As we lay you to rest, we will sing and dance as you taught us to, and when peace returns to our land, we will bring out the guns and thank the Heavens for the gift of you to us. And I promise to make a good thief of your class act.

Jonas N. Sama (Son, Brother, Friend) 
Posted by Nagella Nukuna on April 14, 2021
TRIBUTE IN HONOR OF PA DR ELIAS NWANA:: By Bobga Fokeb   
       My dear father, uncle, friend and brother, I am broken, my heart bleeds and I can't contain myself. Your heroic position in my heart remains because you're a true legend. Others may paint you as they wish, but you remain a true epitome of hope, peace, truth, transparency and love. Each time I had the opportunity of being beside you, you always reminded how to distinguish between truth and pretence. Daddy, you have put light in many lives and traced a path for their future. The world might see you dead but for me you just crossed over. You are irreplaceable. Enjoy your rest..BOBGA FOKEB.
      To God be the glory.
Posted by Moses Tita on April 13, 2021
Pa Dr. Nwana was a great soul who lived a good live. He was someone who had enough love to share to everyone and loved to laugh when he is with family and friends. He would always look for the best in others and gave the best he had to everyone he met. He was a great mentor to so many including myself (Ba Titamohkumi). I feel so lucky to have known him after marrying her daughter Ma Kuna. He led a remarkable life by touching the lives of so many. We feel so blessed to have been a part in Pa's life and yet so shattered to have loss a man as loving and caring as Pa. It hurts to know that he is not here with us anymore, and we cannot help but smile at the memories and the great times we shared together. To know that his last public speech where he was seen by so many people, was during Ma Kuna's fiftieth birthday celebration, gives our family so much joy and we will forever cherish that moment. His presence during our wedding anniversary despite all ought's, was a blessing to us and will remain in our memories forever. Nothing we can say will lessen the pain, but we seek comfort in the fact that he was there for us whenever we needed him and that will live with us forever. He was so big on family love and unity; we pray his legacy live forever. He made my wife's dreams of having the presence of a father when she needed him the most come true in all instances. His departure has created a vacuum in the family that could never be filled easily. It is very difficult to withstand the nostalgia of losing a great man forever, but we can only pray to God to give us the courage to deal with this great lost. Even though Pa is gone he will never be forgotten, his memories will live with us forever. Farewell papa and may your soul rest in peace with the lord as you join the rest of our angels in heaven.
Ba & Ma Kuna Titamohkumi’s for the Family.




Posted by Patience Ndi on April 12, 2021
Tribute to  Dr. Elias Matthias Nwana by Anthony Ndi.
                                                               
Dr. Elias Matthias Nwana, was a legend even in his own lifetime. He was a baobab and belonged to a generation of Southern Cameroons elite born at the dawn of independence, who were mightily conscious that their mission was to give effective leadership to the new nation and indeed, but for the political intrigues of the time, they played their roles with unwavering selflessness and dedication. The toll bells announcing his demise also sadly marked the demise of a whole epoch of anglophone educationists.
      He and Mr. Sylvester Dio, took over the administration of CCAST Bamblili with the backing of Dr. Tanyi, Dr. Bokossa and other heavy academic and administrative weights from the American administration of Mr. Stanley and Dr. Laird, who already set in motion the machinery for converting that institution into a veritable American-type University College as the anglophone arm of the Federal University of Cameroon. This dream was stifled by the Ahidjo Government. Dr. Nwana became Executive Vice Principal of CCAST, then moved to Buea as the Cultural Delegate and Provincial Delegate of Education for the Southwest Province. Even in retirement, he became Vice Chancellor of the Bamenda University of Science and Technology (BUST) into which, with Dr. J. N. Foncha and others, he had invested so much energy. Whatever Dr. Elias Nwana undertook to do, he put in his heart and soul.
 
The point is not so much the high positions he held in the educational ladder where he made remarkable contributions to the system of education, but the nature of administration he injected into the system emblazoned with transparency, firmness and paternity, hence it was termed an administration with a ‘human face’, paternal, kind and just but firm, and resolute. Yet, the CCAST he administered was far superior to some universities. CCAST students earned allowances, stayed in hostels not exceeding five per room, had their dresses washed and ironed, shoes polished, rooms cleaned, and beds made by workers. They ate standard meals of two, three and four courses. Indeed, he should actually have been addressed as Vice Chancellor by all comparisons.
      The Cameroon College of Arts, Science and Technology, (CCAST) nexus was part of the National Union Cameroon Students (NUCS, Africa) and the students’ affairs were run by a powerful student Government with an elected and highly respected Student Union President, while the Students Representative Council or Parliament was presided over by an elected Speaker. Campaigns for the various posts were a very serious affair. Like in all Nigerian universities especially Ibadan from which the cream of the lecturers were recruited, CCAST was an autonomous institution. This left the school administration with a very limited supervisory role. Since the institution was previewed as the Anglo-Saxon component of the Federal University of Cameroons, the chief administrator of CCAST, who Dr. Nwana was, was conventionally and by right, Vice Chancellor and not an “Executive Vice Principal “ when he took over from Mr. S.N. Dio, who went on sabbatical. Evidently this Foncha-Jua institution was a ‘monster’ too high and too complicated for the Ahidjo Government, which did everything to dismantle it.
   This is the establishment which Dr. Nwana administered prior to being appointed Cultural Delegate of the South West Province. He was a man of few words , who unlike his predecessor said little but moved mountains by his deeds.
    A significant incident that epitomized Dr. Nwana as a paternal administrator was the tact he engaged in handling the announcement of the brutal death of Mr. Alfred Nfor Ngala in a car accident in Yaoundé on 10 May, 1974. Alfred, a brilliant graduate from Ibadan University had taught under Dr. Nwana in CCAST before his transfer to the University of Yaoundé as part of the academic outfit intended to give that institution a bilingual trimming. He was easily one of the most personable intellectuals, beloved to all who knew him. The issue was how Dr. Nwana, the Cultural Delegate would break this devastating news to his young bride, who was a student in GTTC Kumba. To avoid any untimely leakage, Dr. Nwana immediately dispatched his driver to bring her to Buea so that he could better manage the situation. This he did with consummate skill giving Mrs Esther Ngala, the impression that her husband was yet battling for life. This successfully bought time and prepared her mind  gradually to receive the final  blow, otherwise, the result would have been catastrophic.This was patent in his administrative style.
      In his numerous capacities, Dr. Nwana’s pen wielded national and international influence, opening all doors, through the thousands of certificates and documents he signed. It was unique and did not require stamps for authentication. Thus, I brandished and continue to treasure the testimonial he issued for me in CCAST, where I held the illustrious position of Speaker of the Students’ Representative Council. For conduct, it simply stated, “Excellent, admired by staff and students alike”. I have clung to it all my life,even though I have had the privilege to sign for others myself, I cherish that which Dr. Elias Nwana signed for me as Executive Vice Principal of CCAST. He was such a charismatic figure that numerous categories of people went to him for advice.
     At the personal level, he was my mentor until the outbreak of the raging war in the North and South West Regions. I never missed any opportunity whenever he was around to visit and sit at his feet in his Nji’mafor residence to drink from the fountain of his wisdom and humour. Sometimes, I visited him with priests and religious so we could pray together because he was a source of both spiritual and intellectual inspiration. In this regard, though assured of his place in the celestial kingdom, I will for always miss him here on earth because there was still much to garner from his rich stock of knowledge and experience. May Dr. Nwana’s gentle soul and cheerful disposition be amply rewarded by his Creator with eternal peace and perfect bliss in his celestial kingdom.
Posted by Muoh Aligi on April 11, 2021
Beloved Pa Nwana, I know n believe that in your transitioned state now, your gentle and kind spirit is still very much alive amongst us. I wish to re-iterate how much you meant to me and my family in your humanly state. My appreciation for the important role you played in shaping my family's destiny is infinite. I and my family are what we are today thanks to this important role you played in making me start my Secondary School career. My family and I miss you dearly but we know the Lord would surely grant you a meritorous place in his Kingdom. All your great works here on Earth doubtlessly earn you that angelic position in His heavenly Kingdom. Pa, we will continue to pray for your soul's peaceful repose. We know you will continue to intercede for us. Amen. Pateh Asongwe family.
Posted by Jacinta Bisanga on April 11, 2021
*TRIBUTE TO A GREAT HUSBAND*
    From, Mary Ati SAMA

Papa, your passing away has left me dumbfounded ever since I got the sad news on Holy Thursday. I have cried and cried, been very restless, anxious and just wondering how I would carry on without you.
I prayed so hard and said novenas for your quick recovery and wished that you get well and come back home.Infact, words cannot express how heartbroken I am that you are gone.

You were a true husband indeed; very Peaceful, prayerful, diligent, trustworthy, loyal, positive, humorous, selfless and more.
Sometimes, I just sit quietly reflecting for a while, imagining your voice as you entune and sing your favorite song *( "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty the king of creation...")* in church.

I feel very empty Papa as you and your brother, my late husband ( Bambot) are no more. You both were my support and strength.
Whom am I going to be roasting cocoyams and plantains for?
Who is going to call me Maria again?

After a deep reflection, I lean on God's word in Isaiah 55:8-9, no doubts that HE called you home on Holy Thursday, and I'm rest assured and consoled that you rose with him on Easter Sunday and are now seated at his right hand, smiling and watching over us all.

Thank you Papa for your Love, care and concern.
Thank you for being there for the children.
Thank you for uniting us as one family.
Thank you for your encouragement and support throughout my marriage.
Thank you, thank you, thank you...

Greet Bambot, Pa Ndofor and mami Helena Temfe.
Till we meet to part no more, it's good-bye my dear husband.
        *Mary Ati SAMA*
Posted by Searh Mufor on April 10, 2021
Pa Nwana Educator, just want to join my voice with other brethren to thank God for your life.l will never forget the lamp you presented to my daughter in nursery school Buea headed by Nkuku Nwingwe in1974 as the best behaved child.That lamp has lit her way to success till date.l admire your simplicity each time I see you, expecialy when you used to join us sing in st.cecilia choir in St.Elisabeth Ann Seton while visiting your daughter Dr.Nagela Nukuna. Papa,may the Angels open to you the gates of Paradise ✝️.
Posted by Leyen Fanka on April 10, 2021
My Tribute to Papa Elias M. Nwana

Papa though i new u only for a while, the bond that existed between u and me as ur care giver was more than words can describe. Though u were not seeing me, u always called me by my name when ever i stepped into ur room " Mary " followed by greetings, and the usual ' how u sleep, u sleep fine.

While i did my usual routine in ur room , we would sing songs and one of ur favorites was " The Devine Mercy chaplain in a song ' ur favorite line was, ' Have Mercy on us and on the whole world '

When a company took over the responsibility and i had to leave, the only question u asked was, is this new care giver going to do more than what u have been doing. I am going to miss u. He did not know that i was going to miss him more and now i will forevermiss him.
GREET Mama Emmy Fonlon my sister of blessed memor.
REST IN PERFECT PEACE PAPA.
Posted by Kah Flore on April 10, 2021
My tribute to Ni Doctor Nwana

Ni Doctor, as fondly called by the family..you were the family icon, very reserved and soft spoken, rarely involved in family misunderstandings and peaceful..Ni!

We miss you!

As Shakespeare puts it; life is a stage where all of are actors.

You have acted your your own part in moulding the minds and much more and you have you have exited. This is the reality about human existence.

I thank God for the life you lived on Earth, at least beyond three scores and ten. I would have loved to have you around as the pillar of the family after the passing away of Doh Ndeh and as my reference book to tap some wisdom as but helas! You are gone...May the Lord grant you eternal rest and let pepertual light shine on you. Your memories are forever in my heart.

I know you are resting from pains. Good night!!!

Kah Flore
Posted by Peter Nsanda Eba on April 10, 2021
Tribute to a Trusted Friend

The passage into Glory of a close friend is always received with deep emotions. But when my son Valentine broke the news of the demise of Dr Elias Matthias Nwana, I let go a horrible scream! W-h-a-t! Dr Nwana was not only a trusted Friend, but we were like Brothers!
Our lives on earth are like trajectories, with coordinates in time and space. Sometimes the Coordinates intersect, sometimes they follow the same trajectory for a while, before they part and go their different ways.
Dr. Nwana and I entered Sasse College in the same year 1949, he into Form Two from Primary Standard six with Admission Number 465, and I into Form One from Primary Standard Four with Admission Number 488. After our successful Secondary School course, we obtained the Cambridge School Certificate (equivalent to today’s GCE O-level), and then we proceeded to undergo the Teacher’s Grade Two Higher Elementary course, he in Nigeria and I in GTTC Kumba. After 2 years training we returned to teach in Sasse College as Pivotal Teachers (Grade II mounted on O-Level). We shared a comfortable house meant for Senior Tutors; I was alone, while he cared for his siblings. In 1960 we both went for University studies, he in Ghana and I in Nigeria at Nsukka. We both returned with University degrees, he in Sociology and I in Mathematics.
On arrival, he went to teach in CCAST Bambili. Friends advised me that, with an enviable Maths Degree, I should not go back to teach, for there were no prospects for advancement as a Teacher. So I went to the Audit Department as an Assistant Auditor. In 1965, as the Executive Vice Principal in CCAST, Dr Nwana asked me to come head the Maths Department in CCAST. My job satisfaction is in Teaching. So I accepted and met him there. We were very happy to be together again. After some years he was appointed Principal and I the Vice. The Fon of Bambili gave him a large piece of land to build his house and later also gave me a plot near Nwana’s, large enough for my House, a Chalet, and a garden behind. Here again we were very close neighbours.
Dr Nwana was raised up in strict military discipline by his Uncle who was a Corporal in the Police Force. Elias regarded him as his biological father, and his children like his biological siblings. Later in life he transferred this discipline onto his children, who today are all success stories. On retirement, Dr Nwana moved to his house in Njimafor, built very close to the Catholic Church. This earned him the nickname of ‘Catechist’!
From the above narration, it can be noticed how closely linked were our paths in life, which justifies my calling him, not only a Trusted Friend, but a Brother! It can be imagined the grief I felt by his demise. I pray that the Good Lord should forgive all his earthly transgressions, and take him to His Heavenly Kingdom.
Elias, fare thee well! Also intercede for us you have left behind. When my turn will come, let St. Peter open the gate for his namesake to enter and meet you, to enjoy the Eternal Bliss, and to part no more! 
Requiescat in pace. Amen!      
       Peter Nsanda Eba
Posted by Kenneth Simo on April 9, 2021
The entire Simo family will fondly miss the late uncle Dr Elias Nwana. He was a father to us all and more than a brother to our parents of Blessed memory (Bernard and Philomena Simo). He took special care of each and everyone of us and followed up with keen interest, our respective academic choices/progress, professional careers and subsequently, family lives. A resource person, disciplinarian and devout catholic Christian, he was also a humble, unassuming, passionate and loving father, with admirable faith in God. We will forever remain grateful to him for his comforting words and advice when we lost our parents, his bossom friends, in 1999 and 2000 respectively. They were by us all the way! You were called Home during Holy Week!! Go well Daddy and rest in perfect peace in the Bossom of our Lord. We will continue to take care of your darling wife, our mother, Mama Odilia Nwana whom you have left behind after almost 60 years of marriage. What an example. Thank you again uncle.
Posted by Valuma Hilda on April 9, 2021
It is hard to say goodbye.
I came to know that Daddy has gone to rest forever, knowing he has mainly changed his place here on earth to a different place in Heaven, leaving behind a tremendous amount of memories which will be treasured forever.
My lasting memories of Daddy are that he was a quiet and soft spoken person by nature. Hard working, a passionate figure of strength who was tireless in his support for our family and who even soldiered when times were tough. You never gave up and tried everything in your capacity to support everyone. I thank you for all what you did for our family.
The memories you leave behind will carry on forever.
May your soul Rest In Peace.
Posted by Yaah Maggie Kilo on April 7, 2021
Dr. Nwana was a name on the lips of every student who anticipated entry into CCAST (Cameroon College of Arts, Science and Technology) the lone high school in West Cameroon in the 60s and early 70s. Dr. Elias Nwana was principal of CCAST, Bambili when I took the GCE Ordinary level in June of 1973. Because the competition was exceedingly high, I knew that with a pass in only six papers, I was out of the race. The anticipation to progress to CCAST was killed when the A-list was read over radio and my name was not called. I was sick – physically, morally, psychologically and every other … cally that one could imagine. Living in Bamenda town added the burden of the stress. You saw CCAST students whenever their bus brought them to town for official events. But the reclusive Dr. Elias Nwana I had never met. I insisted my mom and I make the trip to Bambili to meet this mythical man and get me on the B-list before it was published and my hopes for a career as an Educator, dashed.
My first encounter with Dr. Nwana was at his own home. I had my head bowed and would not look him in the eye. My disappointment at my GCE “O” level failure was that great. I had expected to meet a man as tall and imposing as his reputation. But he was not huge. Nor was his voice thundering. Nor his demeanor haughty or threatening. He greeted my mom warmly, and I realized they knew each other. He engaged in the intimacies of old friends, as I waited impatiently for mom to broach the subject of our visit. She did not. Because he himself did. You should not have come all the way because her name is the second on the B-list. The list will be published a week after classes begin, so go and get ready to come to CCAST, my daughter.
Two weeks later I reported to CCAST, Bambili as the second named student of the B-list, having passed in only six papers in the GCE. My failure had been predicted in Lourdes but the prophets could not have imagined that failure did not deter me from proudly claiming my place in the only high school in the country at the time. I went to the principal’s office and for the first time I had a one on one with the man – Dr. Elias Nwana. I was still trembling with a combination of respect, awe, gratitude, and excitement. He rose from his imposing desk and took my hand. Then he addressed me directly, calmly. You did not fail. There were just too many science students this year. We had to make sure that they were all admitted because they merited the slots before we could focus on the arts students. My gosh! The man was making excuses for me? Taking time to talk to me! I had to listen. So I tried to calm down.
He spoke to me for about 15 minutes which felt like an eternity. I received the best preparation for the academic side of my education in those 15 minutes from the best Educator I have ever met. CCAST will be challenging for you for many reasons. And he listed them. The distractions will be many, but you must concentrate on why you are here. Advanced levels are different. Analytical not descriptive, like Ordinary levels. And as he spoke, I saw why he was so revered. This soft-spoken giant of West Cameroon Education was patient, humble, and generous. I promised him that I would not disappoint him nor my parents. He then shared with me the information he had just received – his transfer to Yaoundé. The news was not even announced in CCAST but he shared it with me. I felt an added load in my feeble promise to do well. My last encounter with a true professional in the trade. A real Educator. I never forgot that moment because it truly marked my life. Yes, I did become an Educator because of the moment the great Dr. Elias Nwana spoke into me. In 15 minutes, he instilled the confidence that I needed to carry me through the rough years awaiting me. Today I wish I had met him again to share with him the influence of an Educator’s 15 minutes.
I have gotten to understand the ties between Dr. Elias Nwana’s family and the Kilo family over the years. To understand the intricate connections, especially with Mama Nwana’s family, The Domatobs. At the time my mother drove me to meet Dr. Nwana in Bambili, only to be told I was already on the B-list, Mama Nwana’s junior sister, Ma Rose Niba had been working for years with my dad. And I had been bridesmaid at their wedding. I also had an intellectual, mutually respectful friendship with their lone brother, Prof. JKD and other Domatob sisters. Then there is an even larger younger generation, many of whom are LESANs. Despite these connections, my momentary deep interaction with the iconic Prof. Elias Nwana was totally authentic on its own merit. I got a chance to learn a simple lesson from the best: a good teacher takes time to speak to a prospective student, implanting change for a generation. 
West Cameroon Education has lost some of its greatest educators: Prof. Elias Nwana, Dr. Omer Yembe, Dr. Mathias Niba, Prof. Martin Njuema, among others. Prof. Elias Nwana will be remembered by many former students, particularly those from his days in CCAST. A larger-than-life reputation, his soft-spoken, gentle, deep, calming, intellectual, compassionate personality will remain in the memories of those he impacted professionally. My deepest condolences to the entire Nwana and Domatob families.
May his soul rest in perfect peace.
Posted by John Fodje on April 7, 2021
Tribute by John T. Fodje.              
   The transition of Dr. ELIAS NWANA marks the disappearance of one of the brightest stars from the educational sky of Cameroon. He was one of the few Southern Cameroonians who were already University graduates at independence or in the early years of independence and who greatly impacted the education milieu of the time. The others in his cohort were: Professor Victor Anoma Ngu, Professor Bernard Fonlon, Professor Daniel Lantum, Dr. Omer Weyi Yembe, Dr. Bokassa and Mr. Sylvester N. Dioh.(all of them now of blessed memory).   
  Dr. Elias Nwana was the unassuming promoter of excellence in the education of young anglophone Cameroonians. He was one of those Senior Educationists who fought for the creation of the GCE Board. He was also one of the Founding Fathers of the Bamenda University of Science and Technology (BUST). He imparted the virtue of honesty, accountability, hard work and resilience in both his students and the staff who worked under him or with him.      
  His family was an example of the ideal family in which respect, love understanding and tolerance reigned par excellence . I know that his fervent belief in God guided his every action and behavior. He extended love to all who came across him and I happen to be one of his adopted sons who benefitted from that love. He supervised my M.Ed. Thesis and wanted very much for me to proceed for a PhD.
  Dr. Nwana laid the foundation of hardwork and discipline wherever he worked, be it : as Principal of CCAST Bambili, Cultural Delegate of Education in Buea, Director of Studies in the Ministry of National Education in Yaounde, Professor of the Science Of Education in HTTC of the University of Bamenda, or more Recently as Vice Chancellor of Bamenda University of Science and Technology (BUST). He left footprints wherever he passed that will last for very many years to come. The legacy of Dr. Elias Nwana is boundless and a short tribute of this nature cannot list them all.
  This great man will continue to live in my heart and in the hearts of many whose lives he touched for the rest of our own earthly life. I believe that we shall meet again in God's glorious kingdom where we shall never say goodbye! Till then, Good bye Ba Doctor.                     
        John T. Fodje (Your Adopted Son)



Posted by Langmia Fonjoe on April 5, 2021
Tribute from Charlie Doh...

Special tribute to Papa Dr Elias Nwana. Your gentle, pleasant, calm, loving personality has a unique place in my heart . You have absolutely created this huge vacuum within the family circle and world at large! You have educated and encouraged me in so many positive ways whenever I visited you. I will continue to navigate my own style based on your overwhelming legacy that you have left behind. I remember how Papa used to call me “ Ni Charlie “with that fatherly smile. That gentle voice has gone to rest a peaceful life in the world of no return . Papa , May your soul continue to rest in most perfect peace in paradise !!             Charlie Doh !
Posted by Philomina Gwanfogbe-Monie... on April 5, 2021
Not quite sure where to start. Kind, loving and an educationist to the core. I'll keep it short. While i was in CCAST. I told Manyi that i would like to stay with them and prepare for my mock G.C.E. A level. Before i knew it he gave me a whole room and place a big table and a chair in there for me to study peacefully without any disturbances. Not only that but was checking from time to make sure that i was comfortable in there as i studied. I did good in my mock exam and continued through with the final exam. Doctor, you are in the right place now resting with your Lord. Amen.
Posted by Nagella Nukuna on April 5, 2021
Tribute from Aunty Veronica Obi;

Dr. Nwana, my in-law and Educationist in all aspects. You carried out your service with an unreserved spirit and dedication. The ill-health you faced on Earth, was a form of purgatory. It is with pleasure that you go to rest as Protus welcomes you to eternal happiness in Heaven. It is with earthly ties that I weep for your absence. But trusting in God's mercy that you may see Heaven and rejoice to be United with those who have gone ahead especially Protus. We love you but God loves you more.

Ma Obi Vero
Posted by Pamela Nwana on April 5, 2021
“Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die;
and he charged Solomon his son, saying,
I go the way of all the earth:
be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man;”(1 kings 2:1-2)

We had a wonderful Papa Nwana,
One who never really grew old;
His smile was made of sunshine,
And his heart was solid gold;
His eyes were as bright as shining stars,
And in his cheeks fair roses you see.
We had a wonderful papa,
And that’s the way it will always be.
But take heed, because
He’s still keeping an eye on all of us,
So let’s make sure
He will like what he sees.
Adieu!! Papa Nwana, you have gone the way of all the earth. We shall ever live to make you proud.
Posted by Vincent Nyasa on April 4, 2021
Tribute to late Ba Dr Elias Nwana.  Ba Dr Nwana came to my life when he played a leading role to my traditional title as family head in the Bali Nyongha clan , when he stopped the performance of some satanic rites that were to be carried out on the corpse of my late father-Ba Nyasa Raymond Mufuh in July 1980. His argument was based on the fact that late Ba Nyasa Raymond Mufuh was a Roman Catholic Christian, whose faith was not distorted till his death on that fateful July 3rd 1980 at Jamjam quarter Bali Nyongha in the Nw region of Cameroon. His action made the satanic traditional enablers sad & they left the compound confused & disappointment. This was a sign that he was God fearing & ready to die for the truth. Dr Nwana regarded me as a cousin brother, from the Tanunjam family where my father grew up with them as an adolescent. I worked with him in Buea to prepare the FSLC s for his signature & onward transmission to the rightful owners. He had been very instrumental in giving family pieces of advice to my nuclear family which produced positive results & I congratulate him for that. I last visited him with my family when he was to undergo another brain tumor operation at John Hawkins University hospital Baltimore MD & were both optimistic that he will make it & he did. In conclusion, I will like to register my thanks to all his children and his better half who have worked so hard to keep him going health wise to the end. As the Bible puts it “He fought a good fight, ran a good race & may he enjoy the crown of righteousness in God’s heavenly kingdom “. May his soul rest rest in perfect peace. - Humbly submitted by Ba Nyasa Vincent Fombutu.
Posted by Nagella Nukuna on April 4, 2021
A special tribute from Dr. Joyce Ashuntantang

And Dr. Elias Nwana the erstwhile educator dies! What a life! What a legacy! I am glad I seized the moment when I had the chance. Yes, in October 2014 when I went to Bear, Delaware to give a keynote address I found out from his daughter Nagella Nukuna that Papa was around. I could not believe my luck and privilege. I followed Nagella home the next day and like I captured at the time, “Some moments defy words. They are timeless strings of light illuminating the soul.” I seized the moment and was able to take a stroll outside the house with Papa! I asked one question after another trying to scrape every little bit of wisdom I could get given my short stay in Delaware. It was pure joy to drink from the fountain of one of Cameroon's pioneer educators. Although he had lost his sight he was still the consummate scholar and like a true educator he was now passionate about audio books. It was my pleasure to send some to him later on.
Thanks again Nagella for bringing me home to meet Papa and I am glad your husband, Kenneth captured that moment in photographs. I will treasure them for a long time to come.

Papa leaves with a piece of my childhood, but it is an indication that we have stepped into the spaces our parents once occupied. When I heard the news I wept, but even with the tears rolling down my cheeks, I quickly stood up in respect and gave him a standing ovation! He was a trailblazer in every respect. His accomplishments made our dreams valid.
88 is not terribly long but it is 18 years on top of the biblical three scores and ten, so I would venture to say, he lived long and served well. May his ancestors welcome him home and may all his loved ones find comfort in his rich legacy.
The Senegalese poet, Birago Diop captures it well in his poem, “Breaths”

… The dead are not gone forever.
They are in the paling shadows,
And in the darkening shadows.
The dead are not beneath the ground,
They are in the rustling tree,
In the murmuring wood,
In the flowing water,
In the still water,
In the lonely place, in the crowd:
The dead are not dead.....
.....

Posted by Foba Marceline on April 4, 2021
Papa ,I will like to begin with "good morning" because you have risen with the Lord Jesus this Easter Sunday morning. Your whole life has been that of teaching , be it formally or otherwise. Papa what a unique father you have been to us, I am sorry to miss you but I will do just what you expect of me for your late brother's children. Papa the tears won't stop because you promised to come home for us to talk, you have spoken though! I pray you rest in perfect peace Papa. God's will be done.
Posted by Jude Fokwang on April 3, 2021
For a life, richly but humbly lived, you left an indelible mark in your family and professional life. For the counsel and mentorship you provided to my late dad, I say thank you. For your matchless love and care for my second dad, Bambod Peter Sama, I say thank you. For your support during my own years of carrying out research and following the path you had so valiantly traced, I say thank you.
We will indeed miss you, Papa, although you live on in so many ways as we continue to count the blessings that have been channelled to many, thanks to your having been here. Fare thee well, Papa for Njimafor!
Posted by Mispa Ajua-Alemanji on April 3, 2021
Papa!! Papa!! Oh dear. You will surely be missed. Every now and again God reminds us of why he created us. To love him, serve him, and our fellow brothers and sisters. That is exactly how you lived your life just the way your maker intended and fulfilled that purpose until the very end.

Every time I want to feel sad about the void you have left by your passing on , I am comforted and filled with gratitude to God for blessing this family with a father, teacher, role model, grandfather and friend. We were never intimated by your greatness and wisdom because you were open and humble to all- children and adults alike. You showed us a glimpse of what God’s heart is like by being the father that you were. Simple and just loving.

Papa had such a great memory. Even after you became blind my mom fondly remembers how you would call out her name as soon as you heard her voice in a gathering “Nyongpua ya?” “ Is that Nyongpua? “

Oh papa the Lord chose to call you home on Holy Thursday for a reason. Please watch over this family like you’ve always done and intercede for us. Say hello to mummy Florence Nukuna, Kah Helen and Ba Tata. May we live in your footsteps and hopefully follow the path you’be paved for us. Your love for children is evidenced by the picture of you carrying Banji on his first birthday. You put aside your own discomfort to celebrate special events with us all. I don’t recall any occasion I attended were you and mama weren’t present. Banji will grow to know that he had a grand-dad who loved him. I will definitely save this picture to remind him.

Rest In Peace papa. So long!!!

Love,
Ma Mis.
Posted by Joseph Tata on April 3, 2021
A Broken Bridge -Life Celebration of Iconic Prof. Elias Mathias NWANA -PhD.

This is not only the most difficult post for me to pen down but this also is an incredibly difficult time for the family. Still I feel it is important for me to share my feelings by my writing which otherwise however hard I try I will not be able to give words.

Through the post I also want to highlight the fact that blessed are the families who have elders with them. Our elders are the blessings that Almighty showers on us. We have more to gain then we have to lose. With them beside us:

     We enjoy our lives like free birds,
     Coming home from work, we do not feel lonely,
     We can share our joys and sorrows with them,
     We can discuss our problems with them and benefit because of their rich experience,
     Working couples do not have to worry about their children, as grandparents are there to take care,
     Kids learn so much about their culture, values and history in the form of stories from their grandparents.
I am dedicating this post to my 88-year old father-in-law, Prof. Elias M. NWANA-PhD, who just passed away on April 1,2021. Not only was he a man of principles, a disciplinarian to the core, a loving father, a caring, playful, cheerful grandfather, a devoted husband, and was married to my mother-in-law for many years, but one of the extremely intelligent man and most respected person I have ever known.

In all the 40 years I have known him, I cannot recall a single moment where he raised his voice or complained about anything. From the beginning when I met him, when his family was living at Bamenda hospital roundabout , next to my sister -Ma Eli MATATA MBA he took me in as his own son and made me feel part of his family from that very moment.

I can say without any second thought that time spent with him have been a treasured time in my life. We were so fortunate to have him with us for all these years.
As God does things , I , Ma Tina Fongod and Bambot NWANA  meet in CCAST Bambili . The best part of this drama and relationship is when my Brothers got married to the TWIN daughters , Ma Nagwa Fonjoe and Ma Nagela NUKUNA.
My father-in-law has touched each of our lives in ways that cannot be expressed with words. For their daughters and sons , he was their best friend. They are fortunate and blessed to have grown up with a super star model grandfather. Through his living example, he has taught them what it means to be a man of humility, honor and grace. We have so many wonderful memories with him that we will treasure for the years to come, all of them happy and joyful.

I have also witnessed my Sisters in Laws in another light, as obedient, faithful and loving wives to whom their father was their biggest hero. We will miss my father-in-law dearly, but I am confident that his legacy will live on in future generations.

As now, Dr. NWANA is gone, yet he is not. He lives eternally within all of us. We will always remember him for his loving nature, strong personality and the values he passed on to us. Praying to Almighty for his soul to Rest in Peace. Amen.
I here-by join all our sympathizers to apologize to all those that  Papa knowingly or unknowingly annoyed in anyway and pray to God all mighty to forgive his sins . RIP.

Joseph Babila TATA alias Dohnjuhnden.



Posted by Kebila Nwana on April 3, 2021
Papa I cant find the words to express my gratitude for all that you did for this family especially for my father late D. K. NWANA . Now that you rest, rest well till we meet again someday. You inspired me through your shared experiences and with tears I want to say THANK YOU.
Posted by Omerine Aseh on April 3, 2021
One can only say “well done” for a life well lived. I remember the countless trips with daddy (Dr. Omer Yembe) up the hill to your house when I was a little girl. You always had a kind voice, gentle demeanor and a welcoming attitude. Sleep well uncle and say hello to my daddy for me.
Omerine
Posted by Ivo Ndoping on April 3, 2021
Pa has passed onto eternity at a ripe age!

He was a quiet and overly modest man, inclined to be extremely cautious in his personal relationships.

I remember, when I just started work as a very young teacher in CCAST Bambili in the 80s; Pa was a lecturer at ENS, Bambili. So, most Wednesdays and Thursdays, l and another teacher of blessed memory, Kum Set Ewi, were sure of a free ride back to Bamenda because as per our timetables, it fitted quite nicely into Pa's. At the closing of the day's teaching we will join him in his SUBARU car!! It became a habit such that, if Pa finished his lectures earlier than expected, he would tarry around to allow me (us), his regular "hitchhikers", to join him back to Bamenda especially as the road was not tarred, therefore dusty or muddy depending on the season!

The legacy Pa leaves behind; he was a fine man, sincere, earnest, loyal, self-sacrificing and very caring.

You are in our thoughts and prayers and pray you to withstand the difficult times and also pray that God Almighty will receive his soul in his heavenly kingdom.

Best regards.
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Recent Tributes
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.


his Life

Biography

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

Tribute to Pa Nwana by Yvonne Ade Nwana

Shared by Yvonne Ade Nwana on April 18, 2021
There is that eerie feeling you get when the phone rings in the wee hours of the morning. Bambot turned around and told me “we have to go to the hospital” The 30 minute drive felt like an eternity. There we met papa lying so peacefully, however, motionless and for the first time I did not hear him say Mamun Yvonne as he fondly called me. For real it was not an April fool’s joke as I had initially asked Bambot.
           Writing a tribute to a parent is painful, this is the third parent I am writing a tribute to and my heart sinks into my stomach as I am writing this. Your absence has left a deep wound in my heart. Papa took me for a daughter and I never for once felt like a daughter- in-law. Papa was a well-established scholar, distinguished gentleman yet very humble. I am very fortunate to have spent almost two decades with him and I learned many life lessons from him. The only time papa will scream at me was when I will insist on making up his bed or washing his plates and silverware. So many fun memories to talk about him. We used to sing together, I would engage him in dancing Zumba with me during my workout sessions at home. When my mother passed away in 2016 papa stood as my rock. Your love and peaceful memories shall remain as our guide. We lost a giant on earth but heaven has gained another saint. Papa, you ran a brave marathon and you have now crossed the finish line. I Will always remember you in the present. Rest well my beloved father.

 Your daughter Mamun Yvonne Ade Nwana

'My Guardian Angel'- Tribute from Ma Bea Nwana Ambe

Shared by Jacky Ashu on April 16, 2021
My dear uncle, Papa, Dr. Nwana, will forever remain my guardian angel. The very first time I met Papa was when he visited me in Queen of the Holy Rosary college, Mamfe. Our principal at the time, Reverend Sister Siburus, sent a student to call me urgently. I left immediately, running up to the Convent as it was our tradition when you were summoned by the principal. When Papa saw me, he opened his arms to welcome me with such a warm smile and embrace. I turned first to the principal who introduced Papa to me as the principal of CCAST Bambili and she nodded her head thus giving me permission to go ahead and embrace my uncle. I rushed into Papa’s arms feeling very privileged and at the same time trembling in fear like a child in the arms of a tiger, as by that time, he was just a principal and I was in awe of him. Behold, my imaginary tiger turned out to be a dove.  I will never forget this meeting as students gathered around me with envy knowing that my uncle was the principal of a renowned school.  The first thing that came out of Papa’s mouth was that he had discussed with his brother, Pa Moses Nwana, our father, that during the holidays I will move straight to Bambili to live with him and continue my education.  That is when I knew that matters were serious.  

In Bambili I was given a wonderful reception. I had come into a home full of loving people, children, cousins, uncles, house help, you name them, a total of about fourteen people. Yet to these humble parents, the house was never full.  Discipline, care, and concern were upheld for everybody.  Papa will check on everyone when he left the house and when he returned. The education of everyone was his primary concern.  With love he encouraged and appreciated each one’s endeavor.  

Papa encouraged me to join the teaching field, remarking that I will make a good teacher, which came to pass. He invited his friend, Dr. Tambo, and they gave us lectures during our College of Preceptors, London, classes.  One interesting thing that used to happen during our lectures is when papa will pause, doze off, and as soon as he stirred, will continue his sentence where he ended.  The students will make remarks to me like -  my uncle, Dr. Nwana, was not just a genius but a special person.  

Papa, you were blessed with that brain of yours, the energy you had, and the virtues you exercised, how you touched everyone’s life you encountered.  We enjoyed our visits with you in Njimafor.  We will miss your warm embrace and smiles.  I remember how you followed up your brother, Papa Moses’s health concerns, made sure he received baptism and holy communion before he passed on.  This made him qualify to be buried at the Catholic Cemetery in Bali.  Thank you, Papa.  

Papa, how can I thank you enough.  You introduced me to so many educationists which uplifted me and greatly contributed to what I am today.  What a humble man you were, yet a giant.  Your sight may have faded, but that did not dull the light you shone on everyone around you.  We thank God for your life on earth. Please greet all you meet on the other side.  May your soul continue to progress through all the realms of God.  Rest well, Papa. 

~By Ma Bea Nwana Ambe

Tribute to Dr. Elias Mutia Nwana. By Simon Soh Awasum (SASSE Classmate)

Shared by Bambino Nwana on April 14, 2021
TRIBUTE TO DR. ELIAS MUTIA NWANA 

I first met Dr. Elias MUTIA NWANA in January 1949 in Sasse College Buea. We were classmates. He came from a School in Mamfe and I came from St. Joseph’s School Mankon (now Big Mankon). During socials he taught us some Bali Songs and Dances. One of the songs was something like this “Mooh Kepad Ngwashi-Pala Pala Ngung Ngung Pala”. He was very adventurous. We had a Nigerian Science Teacher called Mr. Okeke. He started a boxing club and Dr. Nwana was one of the very few to venture to be a member. I remember the coach sparring with him and we started cheering him. He then gave Dr. Nwana an upper cut and he started bleeding from his mouth. Dr. Nwana in great pain cried out “my mouth Sir”, and the coach in reply said “go and wash your mouth”. From that day we nick named Dr. Nwana “my mouth Sir” (laughter). This episode scarred many of us from enrolling in the Boxing Club. He had the leadership quality and behaved maturer than many of us.

Since he had lived and schooled in Mamfe we took advantage of his connections to stay with him whilst transiting to and from Bamenda during our long vacations. He had a rich uncle, a retired policeman, who was also a transporter. His passenger truck was called “God feeds His people”. Mamfe was a junction town with many passenger trucks converging in Mamfe park from Bamenda Kumba and Onitsha. In those days Mamfe was a very important Commercial Centre. It also had a river port owned and managed by the United Africa Company (UAC).

My friendship with Dr. Nwana paid off richly. It was during one of my transitional stops in his uncle’s house that I met my wife to be, who was also on her way to Queen of the Rosary College Onitsha, since there was not a single college for girls in the then Southern Cameroons. That eventful meeting in Pah Nwana’s house blossomed and we got married in London in 1961. Dr. Nwana was elected the Senior Prefect of Sasse College in 1953. In Sasse this was and it is still a very prestigious post. The Senior Prefect was the bridge between the administration and the students. Most of the teachers were Mill Hill Father from Mill Hill London. The Principal was Rev. Father Francis Woodman. His high handedness provoked the first strike by the entire school, with Dr. Nwana as Senior Prefect. To have dared to strike was like a mortal sin in those days. To imagine that students had the guts to strike in the only Secondary School in the country was unimaginable –yes! But it happened. The students boycotted classes and Church services and the refectory for 3 days. At one point form one students who could not tolerate it anymore, gathered those volcanic pebbles with many of them around the campus and were ready to storm the glass windows of the presbytery. It required the intervention of the White Education Officer, the Chiefs from Buea and the diplomatic prowess of Dr. Nwana (the Senior Prefect) to calm the storm. It was all centered around bad food at the school restaurant. The students took their plates of garri and dishes of watery soup floating with oil and arranged them neatly infront of the father’s residence. When Fr. Woodman got up from his siesta about 3pm and saw the spectacle coupled with the entire school population singing, he could not believe his eyes. He removed his eye glasses, wiped them and wore them again and stared in bewilderment. 

On the evening of the third day of the strike with the pleading of Dr. Nwana, students went to the chapel and prayed and sang the Hymn of St. Joseph the patron Saint of our School. Even though the students had been starving for 3 days they mustered all their energy and sang like angels. The principal was at the Sacristy listening. Then he mounted the podium and apologized and promised to form a food committee to improve on the quality of food. He offered a cow and then arranged with the native hunters at the forest at the foot of the mountain for a weekly supply of antelopes for the school kitchen.

Dr. Nwana had cautioned the students to stay calm and no betrayals. The Mill Hill Fathers carried out investigations to fish out the ring leaders for dismissal. All their investigations came to naught and not a single student was dismissed. Come to think of it, the poor principal had also budgetary problems, imagine the fees were 12 pounds (15.000FCFA) per year for Books, lodging and tuition). After our graduation a similar strike took place and all the Form 6 students were suspended from Campus and they came from town to write the Senior Cambridge School Certificate of London. They did not have a leader of Dr. Nwana’s caliber to outwit and outplay the Mill Hill Fathers.

On graduation, whilst many of us opted for greener pastures Dr. Nwana decided to teach in Sasse College, went to Nigeria for teachers training and finally to the USA for his PhD. On his return he joined the civil service, was Principal of CCAST Bambili (a very prestigious appointment in those days). He impacted the lives of many many students who are now the pillars of the civil service and the private sector. Dr. Nwana and his wife gave me the honour to be the God Father of one of their children.

I last saw him in Baltimore Maryland during the SOBA American Convention. We had enough time to revisit our old days in Sasse College. He was coherent and was still able to recall incidents that happened donkey years ago.

On his retirement he was very lucky to build his house about 50meters from the Njimafor Parish Church. He had the privilege to attend daily masses. Parishioners always surrounded him especially after Sunday Masses to pay homage to a man who had impacted their lives in various ways. 

In our commencement class of 1949 and the same graduating class of 1953 (the coronation year of the present queen Elizabeth II) I can only remember Mgr. Clement Ndze, Professor Boniface T. Nasah and my humble self still standing and struggling in our declining years. We have lost a great educationist, a great and glorified pedagogue, a simple and humble moral giant. May the Good Lord have mercy on his soul!

Student N° 444 (1949 class)

Senior SOBAN

Simon SOH AWASUM 

 Yaounde