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: Celebration of Life of Papa Dr. Elias Nwana
Time: May 1, 2021 01:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting via Web Link:
Meeting ID: 509 098 6159
Passcode: Nwana
Join Zoom Meeting via Phone Dial-in:
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kdvK1nwmZz
Meeting ID: 509 098 6159
Passcode: 774343
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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 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 M Nwana on April 3, 2021
Tribute by Mr. Ivo Ndoping

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.
Posted by Nagella Nukuna on April 3, 2021
Papa Nwana, you have kept us spell bound since yesterday when you brilliantly departed this world. The last 35hours since that dreadful message has kept us in mourning naturally, but also pensive about the messages you so saliently send in all your actions. YOU ARE THE ULTIMATE TEACHER. PAPA WE CONTINUE TO PAY ATTENTION. I cannot lie to you that we will miss you so much.

On Wednesday afternoon, as I walked into Room 203, you shared so many messages. Ni Lang had outlined all the instructions as he so meticulously did through out this journey. We were there to arrange your discharge but you knew with your ultimate wisdom that it was time to go home. I totally misunderstood you when you said, Yes Nah, I’ll be coming home”. As usual, your wisdom takes a few hours for us to totally comprehend. Now I understand, Papa, what “home” you were referring to. We thought all was set for you at our physical home, but you knew best, that we were not ready. Your wisdom settled it all. Papa thank you for that. You are the most generous, kind hearted, humble, soul provoking, peace making man that has walked our earth.

I have a few stories to share about our father, Elias Mathias Nwana. Stories that show how befitting the fact that his transition occurred on Holy Thursday. As Catholic Christians, we believe that Christ carried his cross and bore the ultimate sacrifice, death for us. Our father, Papa was as close to Christ-like as I have ever known in any man. A few years ago when Papa lost his sight he navigated all of our homes and mastered every staircase, every path and would miraculously describe and identify which house he was in, each time without pause. As we drove on roads, he will tell you about landmarks that we bypass to each of our amazement. One Saturday afternoon as Papa and walked at the Pike Creek park, hand in hand as my 85 year old dad trodded along, he paused and spoke softly “I thank God for the many eyes that God has given me to see”. After a few more minutes, Papa continued “Nah, I am blessed to carry this cross for all of you”. I remember stepping aside to shed a tear in utter awe of this man who had spent his entire life giving us, his children and everyone who crossed his path, all he could muster. On that day, I asked God to make me half the man my father was. I continue to say that prayer daily.

Papa the educator. If you needed anything from Papa, you asked for a book. Papa was an ardent reader blind or not. In his later years after he lost his sight, he heard every word. His other senses became astute and we soaked as much as we could from his wit and wisdom. Never a day, did you hear Papa lament. He fought the Charles Bonnet syndrome that flooded his mind for years with positivity. He would sometimes communicate with the images and share the stories vividly in jest. What a man! He had so many reasons to complain but he never did. As a patient through a brain tumor removal, brachytherapy for prostrate cancer, heart treatment, blindness and his ultimate fate, he understood every technicality of each ailment. He was the doctors dream as a patient. Papa’s multiple recoveries baffled us. In hindsight Papa was a miracle for mankind. God kept you here through thick and thin, to show the world that HE was all mighty. You performed HIS tasks flawlessly with joy and love for all, You taught us that service to mankind, family and career were to be executed on earth in that order. Papa we will remember every lesson you so generously shared.

Papa, the ultimate husband. Oh Papa, this is when I start to cry again. You loved your wife, Mama with the kind of love that we all dream of. We all, and our spouses have been benefactors of witnessing a love that is so spiritually faithful and deep. Mama will miss you enormously. Please take care of her, I beg of you, Papa. I know she was your divine partner. I know your #1 task will be to intercede for her every hard step, every unclear word and every hurt that she feels. We promise, we will continue taking care of her. Mama may be broken but I see a strength in her that has unfolded since yesterday as she stands her ground for you. She is your supreme advocate. We promise you Papa that we will strive to be like you and Mama in our relationships. Thank you for being the special example to all of us, our spouses and the grand children and great grand children. You, Papa were a class act. Bravo Bravo Bravo.

And so, I will end this tribute with a prayer for the best man we’ve known all our lives.
“We know you have sailed through already to paradise, the world of sight to see us more, the world of breath to blow on us, the world of strength to lift us up and the world of ultimate happiness to smile down on us. You stood by Christ’s side and carried that cross and HE will be taking you with him to heaven. As Easter emerges, we will celebrate like no other Easter because I know you will be rising up to meet our maker. Good bless you Papa and Yes, you are not one to Rest In Peace. You are one to Rise with the Lord.
We love you so much and will strive to be a bit like you in all we do.
Your dear daughter, Nagella


Posted by Nagella Nukuna on April 3, 2021
*A little tribute to an infectiously humble father Elias Nwana.* by Mr. Divine Nchamukong.

Papa Dr Elias Nwana distinguished himself in just about every way. I could say quite a bit about him not because of my family relationship with the Nwanas but because this was one human being noticeably unique. It is no secret that Dr Nwana raised toweringly successful children professionally and academically. If my count is accurate, about five or six with PhDs . Yet unlike what many of us would do he never bragged about it. I often wandered what kept Papa Nwana so humble. It has to be his stubborn belief in Christianity. The realization that unless the Lord builds he who labors does so in vain. The realization that it's all vanity. Each time I met Papa Nwana he dragged me to his side and my conversations with him were both instructive and sweet. Oh what a man!!!
Papa you have gone physically but your many children (not only biological) will never forget you. You are forever in our hearts. Please tell my beloved grandma Na Anna Tita Taku who left the scene several years ago that we appreciate your good counsel. Rest in peace valiant crusader of love and kindness. Your gentle nature is a fragrance that will never go away. You engraved your infectious humility in my mind. Thank you.

Ni Divine ( as you always called me)
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Posted by Judith Nwana on May 9, 2021
Dear Papa or as I fondly called you, grand dad,

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

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

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

Ni, you were the pillar holding our family now there is no one for us to turn to. Thank you for all that you did especially to me. I would not be where I am to day without you. You thought me a lot to carry on with your legacy . I love you so much but the Lord loves you more. I will forever miss you. Your lovely sister.
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

ENDURING LEGACY OF LOVE N FRIENDSHIP

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

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

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

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

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

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