By Ndi Eugene Ndi
Elite irrespective of their political leanings, traditional rulers, religious leaders from all denominations, and football fans from within and without the five sub divisions of Donga Mantung have been trooping into the divisional headquarters, Nkambe, ahead of the finals of the “Godlove Talla Nji Unity Cup” which will be staged this Friday December 4.
Richard Ndi Tamnjong, chairman of the organising committee of the tournament that featured 100 teams, told NewsWatch that “all is set for the finals” that promises to be a crowd-puller.
The finals in the male category will be played between Binju FC and Wimbum Veterans (WIVET) FC of Nkambe town. It will be preceded by a third place match between Mansoh United and Formation Sango on Thursday December 3.
In the female football final that was played recently, Zionist FC beat Baraki FC by 3 goals to nil to lift the trophy.
The champions will also receive their trophy and medals likewise the runners-up who will receive their prize money on Friday.
The winner in the male category will take home a trophy and cash prize of FCFA 3 million while the runner-up will smile home with an envelope of FCFA 2 million. The third-placed team, on its part, will receive a cash prize of FCFA 500,000.
In the female category, the winner, the Zionist, will go home with a trophy and cash prize of FCFA 1million, while the runners-up, Baraki FC will pocket FCFA 500,000. The third-placed team will receive FCFA 300,000.
“The global envelop for the tournament is FCFA 30million. Besides the prizes to the winners and runners-up, all 100 teams that took part in the tournament each have a participatory prize while there are also individual prizes ranging from FCFA 50,000 to 100, 000,” the chairman of the organising committee explained.
It should be recalled that the tournament that has been going on for more than one year, saw the participation of 100 teams; 76 in the male and 24 in the female categories. These participating teams were spread across all the five sub divisions that make up Donga Mantung division where all the competitions were played at sub-divisional levels, before the final to take place in Nkambe on Friday.
SDO hails tournament organiser
Speaking at the launching ceremony of the tournament that pulled a 2000-man crowd at the Nkambe Municipal Stadium last year, the Senior Divisional Officer, (SDO) for Donga Mantung, Simon Nkwenti Doh, hailed the cup donor, Godlove Talla Nji, for his peace and national unity-driven initiatives in the division.
He reiterated calls for youth in the division to shun acts that threaten peace and unity.
“We are so gratified by this elite. We want to thank this peaceful community that has the tradition of being united, for exhibiting the sense of oneness and patriotism by massively answering present for the launch of this tournament,” the SDO said.
“The population of Donga Mantung has shown and is still showing to the world that to be united is to pull all the strings together and overcome underdevelopment,” the elated Donga Mantung Chief Executive added.
Nkwenti Doh said, he understands these are difficult times, but enjoined the population to condemn acts that threaten the peace of the division.
Tournament’s objectives attained
The main objective of the tournament, according to the benefactor, Godlove Talla Nji, was to dissuade youth from embracing separatist activities in the Donga Mantung Division and to use soccer and pull out those young people of the Division, who had been brainwashed to take up arms against the state, from bushes.
Those who have keenly followed the one-year-long tournament say the primary objective has been largely attained especially given that most of the youth who took part in the games, as well as those who turned out to watch the matches, were among those who had taken up arms against the state in the different villages of the five sub divisions.
We learned that thousands of young people who were deceived to take up arms against the state in mainly remote areas of Ako, Misaje, Nkambe, Ndu and Nwa subdivisions had long abandoned the bushes and came for the tournament, “and they have since not returned to the bushes,” a source in Ndu said on grounds of anonymity, adding that the relative peace that reigns in some of the villages of the sub divisions is, in part thanks to the Godlove Talla Nji’s tournament.
Many other observers are unanimous that the tournament was more than just timely, as it gainfully occupied idle youth and the general population of Donga Mantung at a moment when the North West and South West regions are going through a turbulent moment which has forced many youth out of school, with some having picked up arms against the state.
“In the midst of the current conflict, the people of Donga Mantung and Nkambe in particular have, through their massive participation in this tournament, shown that they can hold tight to values of peace, unity and living together. Football being a unifying factor, this tournament has further strengthened the peace-loving nature of the people of Donga Mantung,” Godlove Talla Nji told NewsWatch via phone.
The tournament organiser, Godlove Talla Nji, it should be said, is the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of Cameroon’s leading Construction Company, BOFAS, with head office in Yaounde.