This is it, the last day of the festival. While we’re euphoric at having managed to bring the 15-day festival to a successful conclusion, we’re feeling a little twinge of sadness at the idea that it’s almost over.
One thing’s for sure: this Saturday, all roads lead to Mengong, and the closing of the festival is on everyone’s mind.
And it’s fair to say that no one anticipated the popular jubilation on this last day of the festival, as if the entire arrondissement had wanted to celebrate this final day in style. Everyone is heading for the Cocam stadium, the setting for the men’s soccer final, the first act of this closing day.
But perhaps we should start by recalling a few figures from this festival, which set records that will no doubt be hard to beat.
Bia So Mengong in figures is :
20 men’s soccer teams
more than 60 matches
6 women’s soccer teams
2 athletics competitions
A total of over 700 athletes.
273 exhibitors, including more than 10 SMEs.
50 artists, including 44 local artists
6 national artists.
15 different activities
15 days of celebration
Approximately 45,000 visits.
Over 150 volunteers, mainly from the CNJC.
Participation of the governor’s office
Participation of the prefecture
Involvement of the Subdivisionnal delegation for culture.
Involvement of all Mengong administrative staff.
1 sub-divisionnal officer
1 deputy sub divisionnal officer
16 department heads.
Gendarmerie (6 gendarmes).
Red Cross (8 volunteers).
Mengong District Hospital.1 Doctor,10 nurses
5 paramoount chiefdoms(.5 chiefs +approx. 75 notables.)
49 3rd degree traditional chiefdoms (49 chiefs + approx. 490 notables).
To this we can add the entire population of the county, mobilized as never before.
It’s 3pm when the closing parade kicks off, led by a brass band specially requisitioned for the occasion. The same youngsters who had already delighted us at the opening ceremony were on hand.
Then come the words of the sub divisionnal officer representative, in the person of deputysub divisionnal officer, and those of the Founder of the The Belinga Foundation.
The pitch was then given over to the two teams, who delighted the large crowd. At half-time, Mekamemvom’s Kpwatolo were 1-0 ahead of FC Mengong Yat.
Time for both teams to take a breather and redo their tactics, a contortionist held the crowd spellbound, punctuating each of his feats with incredulous shouts.
Then came the second half, full of emotions and twists and turns. After leading 3 goals to 1, Kpwatolo was beaten 4 goals to 3, much to the despair of some of its most influential members, such as Mr Mbo’o Josué, better known here as “Eperon”
To celebrate their first Mengong district championship title, the people of Mengong Yat (the rural area of the town of Mengong), whose team has pulled off a masterstroke, are taking over the town, including the podium, where Krystel Elektra, guest star of this closing ceremony, is literally setting the place alight.
The party goes on until Sunday morning. And the first Christians on their way to worship will cross paths with the last revelers.