He was the 20th Fon of the Mankon.
The governor of the North-West region officially presented today in Bamenda, the condolences of the President of the Republic to the family of King Solomon Anyeghamotü Ndefru Angwafo III, senior chief of the Mankon since 1959. He was the 20th Fon of the Mankon. The monarch died on the evening of Saturday May 21, according to sources close to the palace. Fon San Angwafo III was 97 years old.
Actor and witness of the Reunification of English-speaking Cameroon and French-speaking Cameroon in 1972, Fon Solomon Anyeghamotü Ndefru Angwafo III was first a parliamentarian in the first Assembly of West Cameroon, in 1961. He will be elected until 1983.
This powerful traditional leader had not left his palace when the traditional authorities were the target of the separatists from the start of the secessionist conflict in 2017. “If they (the separatists) think that the problem can only be solved by separation, then when they eventually have a problem after separation, maybe another separation will be necessary. Together we must move forward. We have to accept that we solved the problem by the plebiscite (referendum of 1961) that we had. We have been divided by the colonial people. We became an independent nation thanks to a plebiscite,” he defended then.
The monarch said about the Anglophone crisis: “ I am the Fon from Mankon. Don’t you think I have problems with the other North West Fons? We should discuss the problem, find a solution and move on. Life is full of problems and you don’t solve problems by running away from them.”
Speaking after President Paul Biya’s message to the nation in 2019, the Fon of Mankon says he is among those who voted for a united Cameroon during the February 1961 plebiscite and will not want the country separated.
His words: “I am happy President Paul Biya spoke to the nation. We as traditional rulers at the base have suffered a lot. When you are fighting our army, you are fighting us. And you’re our children. It’s terrible. I hope they will listen to the president’s call for peace to reign.
“Do you think I will support somebody from my own Fondom who wants to divide? I cannot allow Mankon to be divided. Will I support somebody who wants to divide Cameroon? I will see Cameroon as one as I voted in the plebiscite when I hand Mankon to the next Fon. I hope all of us will support his [President Biya’s] idea of dialogue and make a contribution.”
Born on May 1, 1925, into the prominent and influential royal family of Mankon in the Bamenda Grassfields of Cameroon, Solomon Anyeghamotü Ndefru attended the Aggrey Memorial College Arochuku, Eastern Nigeria, from 1945-1950, where he obtained the Senior Cambridge Secondary School Certificate. He later enrolled in the University College Ibadan, Nigeria, and graduated with a Diploma in Agriculture in 1953. Until he was enthroned as the twentieth king of Mankon, Fon Angwafo III, in 1959, he was the Chief of Agricultural Technicians in Wum.
Close to power, the Fon was a titular member of the Central Committee of the Cameroonian People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM), the presidential party. Before that, he was the boss of the UNC (ancestor of the CPDM) for Mezam, in the North West region.