In Bangang Fokam, in the west of Cameroon, nearly 23 schoolgirls fearing to be forcibly married to the future king being taught, have deserted their village and stopped their studies.
A village in the Bamileke zone to the west, Bangang-Fokam is preparing to take over its new king. In the meantime, it is time to begin the “la’akam”, a “sacred” hut where, for nearly nine weeks, the future ruler and his court “will be introduced to the traditional, mystical and religious values of the village” and hence receive lessons needed to better manage the village.
As in most African customs, any king of Bangang-Fokam can not claim to rule without women. However, the future king who is a student in civil engineering, does not intend to marry in marriage with illiterates. He needs queens with full heads.
The members of the royal court have been deployed to choose high school girls who will be part of the harem of the sovereign. Fearing being married against their will, nearly 23 high school girls desert the village of Bangang-Fokam.
More than 11% of minors forcibly married in Cameroon
Information confirmed by officials of Bangang-Fokam High School. “The poor (girls) do not want them to be forcibly married to the king. That’s why they decided to leave the village, “says a teacher.
Even worse, neighboring high schools have rejected their applications for re-registration, local media reports. Which suddenly, “disturbs the studies of children. Some of them were forced to settle in Douala or Yaoundé. They must be admitted to certain institutions, “regrets another professor.
In Cameroon, forced marriages, especially against children, are common. A survey conducted in 2014 by the National Institute of Statistics and the Ministry of Public Health reveals that 11.4% of Cameroonian minors are victims of forced marriage in the name of customs.