In the summer of 1993, a group of Fako individuals, led by Mola Ngale Efange and Mola Makuna Tande, embarked on a series of discussions concerning the state of Fako division and the Fako Diaspora community in the United States. They observed that unlike other Cameroonian communities in the US, the Fako elements had not come together to discuss their collective issues or celebrate their individual successes. Furthermore, there was no national organization representing them in North America.
Recognizing the need to mobilize the resources of the Fako Diaspora community for development and networking, these individuals were determined to move beyond past inaction and despair.
Their immediate challenge was to identify and locate Fako elements across North America, gather their contact information, and inform and unite them around the concept of an all-Fako reunion.
At the time, there were only two Fako associations in the United States: FECA (Fako Elements Cultural Association) Minnesota, established in August 1990, and BCA (Bakweri Cultural Association) Washington, DC. It was decided that these two associations would play a pivotal role in organizing the Fako meeting. FECA Minnesota agreed to host the first-ever gathering of Fako elements in the USA in October 1993. They laid the foundation for what would become one of the most successful conventions in Fako America’s history.
Simultaneously, in Chicago, Makuna Tande and Martin Lifanda mobilized the Fako community to create Fako Chicago, a new association that would later play a crucial role in the convention’s organization and deliberations. This association would also host the FA 1996 convention.
During this period, Makuna Tande also established Fako International (Mendi me Fako), a quarterly Fako cultural newspaper aimed at facilitating dialogue within the Fako Diaspora in Europe and America and between this Diaspora and the Fako Community in their homeland.
The path to Fako America ’94 was marked by intense mobilization efforts within the Cameroonian community, culminating in the convention held between July 29-31, 1994. This historic event featured passionate and in-depth deliberations, discussions on indigenous entrepreneurial initiatives in Fako, and methods to promote Fako languages. It also marked the birth of a new organization called Fako America.
Fako America ’94 proved to be a turning point in the history of the Fako community in North America. It fostered unity and pride, leading to the creation of several Fako organizations across the United States. It may have faced challenges, but it successfully instilled a newfound confidence in Fako’s rich culture and history, encapsulated by the motto “The New FakoCentricity.” Today, Fako America remains a symbol of unity and celebration of Fako heritage.
On June 29th and 30th 2024, all roads will converge in Phoenix, Arizona to celebrate Fako America’s 30 Years of ascent and achievement. Adding grandeur to this significant milestone will be the introduction of a new leadership team to guide the association into a fresh era.
Mola Julius Nammeh
Mola David Ikome Ngeve
9709 Byward Blvd, Bowie,MD 20721