Cameroon Cup Finals: Fovu Might Have Won the Cup; Yet PWD Fans Won the Match
Colbert Gwain in Nfandena, Yaounde
Muteff might be a small local village kaleidoscope situated off the jaws of Abuh in Fundong Sub Division in the Boyo Division of the North West Region of Cameroon, but what happens there sometimes has global ramifications. Back in the 70s, Muteff was one of the few localities that had a football team — Muteff Social Club — and its fan base that spanned the whole village of over 3000 inhabitants. With local star players like Diangha Sam at the goal post; Ndoin Joseph Nchindo, Eric Nchindo Sam at the defense; Munchim Linus Bulawa, Chia Kenneth, Nchindo Oliver, Yam Christopher Yuh, Mafim Francis Munchim, Suh Samuel Ntuh, Mbang Emmanuel Tasah, Yam Ndzi Francis at the midfield, and mesmerizing attackers like James Ngem, James Yingoh (the club’s version of Eto’o Fils), and Enah Ephesians (who was on hire from faraway Oku in Bui Division of the North West Region), the team could overwhelm any other team in the zone.
Each time the team went out to play in neighbouring villages like Ajung, Mboh, Aduk, Ilung, Abuh and Ngwah, it was sure to bring back victory because of the overwhelming presence and support of/and from the fan club. Without a real coach for the local village team, every fan operated as a coach, giving direct instructions to the players and never giving them an opportunity to make any faux pas. Each time players of the opposite team tried to dribble past the defense of the Muteff Social Club team, one would hear direct instructions from the fans to the defense players: ‘chappear the thing’, which loosely interprets as an order for the defense player in question to ‘clear both the ball and the player’. The football players in Muteff were able-bodied men that could ambush any oncoming onslaught from the opposing team.
Given that the fields were not as large as we have today, the Muteff Social Club defense players used to ‘clear’ the ball right into the neighbouring thick bushes, and it would take a search party to bring back the ball for play to resume. Playing with strong bare feet and sharp toe nails, the defense players often ended up bursting the ball. There are even stories of how the fans once cheered one of the defense players to ‘chappear the thing’, and he kicked the ball with all the raw energy that it went up the sky and was never found again.
Last Sunday’s Cameroon Cup Finals saw an outpouring of PWD Bamenda fans invading the Nfandena-Yaounde Omnisport Stadium with the same dogged determination to cheer the players of their darling and enigmatic club to victory as often did fans of the Muteff Social Club. The Fan Club President, Justice Oben, had mobilized fans from Bamenda to fill over seven 70-seater buses. This, not counting fans who made the trip in their private cars and those who came from other regions to meet the Yaounde based fans. Over 5,000 tickets had been bought for PWD fans by North West elites under the inspirational leadership of H.E. Felix Mbayu.
The fans gave their all to cheer up PWD Bamenda, even as the corresponding dogged determination that animated Muteff Social Club players in the 70s came in short supply. The PWD team was composed mainly of young and new players who did not yet seem to have any individual or collective play style. Muteff Social Club players could give in their all on the pitch even just to win the attention of the extremely beautiful girls that Muteff harboured. North West elites and their friends from the South West and other regions had raised the bar for the players to over 50m. Yet, it appeared that while the fans were setting their objective, the players had theirs. No wonder that since last Sunday’s defeat, fans are increasingly calling for the replacement of the team President, Abunde Pascal, with the Fan Club President, Justice Oben, who put in his all to make sure fans got all what it takes to cheer a team to victory. Since last Sunday’s crushing defeat, fans are still to understand why the Club President couldn’t obtain licenses for all the newly recruited players who could make the difference.
And victory! PWD Fan Club had. Fovu Football Club might have won the cup, but PWD Bamenda fans won the match. Like the enigmatic Muteff Social Club fans, PWD fans enhanced the feeling of last Sunday’s game. The roaring, the chanting and the applause even when PWD was down showed the love and faith the fans have for the team.
Aside from that, the Mbayu-inspired support on behalf of North West elites, gave a unique opportunity to the numerous resilient youths to come to Yaounde and distract themselves from the fatigue in Bamenda, epicenter of the raging deadly seven-year Anglophone conflict. No doubt that as the fans left their base for the stadium, one of them noticed a police water tank stationed at the entrance to the stadium and exclaimed in amusement that while Bamenda is using armored cars and armored tanks, Yaounde is still at the level of water tanks. He doubted whether anybody’s hair in Bamenda could ruffle at the sight of a police water tank.
Beyond that, it was a moment of relaxation, communion and rebirth of youth engagement in positive lifestyles. It was fulfilling seeing ordinary boys and girls from different quarters in Bamenda rub shoulders and pose for selfies with Minister Mbayu Felix, without having to be brushed aside by any intimidating security officer.
But right NOW, we are far behind the fundraising goals we set for The Colbert Factor to support school resumption in the local Muteff community, where such exciting players and fans came from, and where educating the younger generation is the right way to having enlightened and well behaved fans. We wish we were faster so we quickly close this chapter and settle down to our ever-demanding job of creating the kind of relevant content you have always loved.
Will you support The Colbert Factor today to send over 200 dropouts back to school in the adjacent village communities of Muteff, Abuh, and Ngwah? Just MoMo 677852476
And you would be putting a smile on someone’s face with your widow’s mighty mite.