Cameroon:Nation bids farewell to makossa icon Nkotti François

Emotion was at its peak last weekend in the Littoral Region as the population gathered to bid farewell to legendary…

Emotion was at its peak last weekend in the Littoral Region as the population gathered to bid farewell to legendary makossa icon, François Nkotti who paased away on August 4 at the age of 70.

The artiste was laid to rest in his native Souza, Mungo Division in the Littoral region on Saturday, October 3 during a solemn ceremony presided over by the Personal Representative of the Head of State, the Governor of the Littoral Region, Samuel Dieudonné Ivaha Diboua.

After he was decorated posthumously by the Governor, this set the stage for the Holy mass which was said by the Bishop of Nkongsamba, Mgr Dieudonné Espoir Atangana who prayed God to receive the artiste into His Kingdom.

The Souza community then rolled out a series of traditional rites and dances to pay their final homage to a man who they said was a true ambassador and promoter of their culture.

His colleagues, who turned out in their numbers in Souza also took turns to eulogise François Nkotti describing him as a pacesetter whose works will continue to live in the various generations of artistes whom he impacted.

“He succeeded in bringing up several projects for artistes to find themselves in the musical industry. Recently, he created a recording studio and set up a hall where artistes could go and practice before their shows. He has written his name in the book of history in the musical industry in Cameroon,” Prince Yerima Afo Akom said at the funeral ground.

Giant Concert

The burial in Souza last Saturday was a climax to activities which started on Thursday, September 30 with over 200 artistes showing up for a concert in honour of François Nkotti at the Club Camtel in Bepanda.

The venue which has always played host to François Nkotti’s annual FOMARIC Festival, to project other artistes was this time all set for the fallen icon.

One after the other, artistes took turns to roll back the years which François Nkotti’s vast musical repertoire. Dina Bell, Sam Mbende, Toto Guillaume and several other artistes mounted the stage for a seven-hour concert which was hugely attended by the population of Douala.

Despite the showers on Friday morning in Douala, it was equally a huge crowd that turned out the next day at the mortuary of the Douala Military Hospital for the removal of the mortal remains of the artiste.

A microphone-shaped coffin harbours the mortal remains as his family was still to come to terms with the departure.

In the hall were special guests like the Minister of Arts and Culture and the Roving Ambassador, HE Roger Milla.

After a brief prayer at the mortuary, then followed a procession through the streets of Douala to the Saint Louis Parish in Bonaberi for the solemn mass. The casket will then bid farewell to the city of Douala as it made its way out the same evening for the short journey to Souza where there was an all night vigil marked by prayers, traditional dances and a mini concert.