More ATQ News from Nigeria and West Africa, courtesy of Ikechi Uko,
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Abumbi II, the 11th fon, or king, of Bafut, Cameroon, has close to 100 wives. They weren’t all his to start. According to local tradition, when a fon dies, his successor inherits all his wives and then marries his own queens. “The queens have a great role to play in the fondom,” notes Prince Nickson, also of Bafut, noting that it is up to these women behind the man to shape him in his kingly role.
“Behind every successful man must be a very successful, staunch woman,” says Abumbi’s third wife, Queen Constance. “Our tradition has it that when you are king, the elderly wives remain to hand down the tradition to the younger wives, and also to teach the king the tradition because the king had been a prince, not a king.”