Bana bua ba Oroko, the time has come again for me to address you all in the spirit of unity and love for our motherland. Although I would have loved to engage more on a personal level with each one of you, it is usually a moment of overwhelming honor for me to do so even through this medium.

We have come a long way through the hurdles of this passing year; moments by which we will be defined today and for eternity. The stakes are high and the actions we are expected to take are enormous. The challenges we have before us demand that we operate our wills within the framework of a unified impetus, one that requires the subjection of individual resolve to this group’s collective agenda – The MAKING OF A POWER COMMAND.

When I spoke to you last time, I told you that we had begun a new page in the rewriting of our history as a people. I promised to walk with you through this early stage of this great redaction and to lead a dream team by whose collaboration the merits of today’s union may be relished by those who will take our place tomorrow. So far, my team has been the greatest instrument of this dream. Members have shown absolute resilience, faithfulness and zeal to foster the values we hold dear to our hearts. Like our predecessors on whose shoulders I stand, my team has proven that however strong the tides present, we will wade through them in the spirit of brotherhood, aiming for nothing less than an OCA of total progress. The first steps of this momentous journey have already been made and today we are proudly recognized as a tax-exempt non-profit organization for the sake of social and cultural development.

But this journey has only begun, and I may not be there to see when it ends. I am confident, however, that the trajectory it will take can be defined here and now if we commit to its vision as collective beneficiaries. It is for this reason that, in consultation with my close collaborators, I have resolved to create another element within the machinery that must run this train of power for the Oroko people. The new Grassroot Projects Committee (GPC) shall be a think tank that will connect OCA-USA with all sister organizations around the world to define a unique plan of action that will drive development to our communities back home. I believe that, if for nothing else, OCA-USA was created that our underserved communities in Cameroon may see the light of day through life-changing developmental ventures.

The wounds inflicted by our perceived differences through superficial tribal divides are deep and aching. They have not only challenged our legendary motto – itongi basus isa ritaka -, they have also put to question the motive behind our union, hurting to the highest degree, the truth of our being Oroko. The ultimate duty of the GPC will therefore be to smear the gaps we have created amongst ourselves and reemphasize the creed of our forebears; the same that makes us a people, bound in eternity by a unique history, a shared ancestry, and a common destiny. Together, we will lay down modalities that will empower the GPC to act in the interest of OCA and the Oroko as a people.

The events that have taken currency in our midst today are of such great moment that OCA-USA cannot sit back, silenced by inaction or the fear to take responsibility. As I said last time, we honor our status as an apolitical social union through our restraint from direct political action. We will however honor our commitment to the Oroko people through our active commentary on the economic and social situation that they face today. This we will and must do by assigning relief measures to support displaced Oroko communities and families and help those suffering hunger and illness at this trying moment. If we must build an Oroko community that will be a POWER COMMAND in the South West Region and the entire nation, we must be ready to support our own and protect those for whom we work. We must be prepared to work extra hours in defense of our people’s right to an honorable life by giving them the tools necessary to survive the trials of this time.

My dear brothers and sisters, this is the era of the youth. The dream of this union today, the building of Oroko into a POWER COMMAND, is ultimately the mantle of our children to bear. We must not leave them to themselves. We must invest in their empowerment by showing them the way to their roots. The strength of a healthy tree remains in the depth of its roots. Our children incarnate the essence of our continuity; the mark of our immortality. If we fail to place their feet firmly in the grounds of their origins, we fail ourselves and shame our own existence. Since I took office as your leader, I have had the honor to meet extremely talented young women and men of Oroko ancestry. Most of these young people are innovators in the economic and technological sectors. Their chance at completing the rewriting of our history requires nothing more than a little touch of our benevolence. We have the power to change the course of our story if only we take advantage of this moment and invest heavily in these young talents.

For all these things, I ask you, dear friends, to open your hearts to change and embrace one another in love. Our fathers tell us that a single hand cannot tie a bundle. Mbonge will not stand if Ekombe does not lend a hand and Balondo cannot sing if Ngolo does not beat the drum for Balue to dance. We must recognize this truth; Bakoko, Batanga, Bakundu, and Bima. I ask you to lend me your hand, so I can walk this journey with and for you. Give OCA-USA the chance to prove our ancestors right when they say, “a man will surely eat the ripest of plums if his brother is on the tree”.

Thank you very much.

Dr Clementine Ebenye Nanje

National President, OCA-USA