Downloads   Galeries   Forums   Audios   Vidéos   Liens   Livre d´or   Partenaires   Contact   
  Accueil
  Actualité
  Régions/Peuples
  Historique
  Sawanité
  Le Ngondo
  Tourisme
  Littérature
  VIP
  F.A.Q
  Agendas
  Evénements
  Annonces
  Projets
  Communauté



      
19.10.2006

Mpondo´s Reply 

Mpondo Akwa´s entrance on the first day of the trial made a rich impression on the press. The Hamburger Fremdenblatt described Mpondo as "elegantly dressed according to the newest fashion," and "very skilled in German." The Altonaer Nachrichten called him an "educated person [Mensch] with exotic, but not uncomfortable, mannerisms." The court room was filled with onlookers, including many of Mpondo´s noble acquaintances, some of whom would act as character witnesses: Baron Engelbert von Landsberg zu Steinfurt bei Münster in Westfalen, Graf Hans Praschma zu Falkenberg in Schlesien, and Graf Arthur Strachwitz zu Grossreichenau in Niederschlesien.

The interest of this case, as demonstrated by the large audience and the subsequent attention of the press, probably went beyond the thrill seekers who attended to watch the curious pageantry of an African prince appearing before a German court. Indeed, supporting or vilifying Mpondo was to become somewhat af a cause célèbre among various political factions and many of the political and legal issues of colonialism - especially the contradictions exposed by traveling Africans - were raised by the events leading up to the trial. How people attempted to negotiate these contradictions was closely linked to their beliefs about the meaning of race to law and modernity. Dr. Levis defense speech is aimed at controlling the way in which Mpondo´s "color" and "culture," his blackness and his Africanness, were to influence decisions about his guilt or innocence, both inside the courtroom and in the wider public arena.

The difficulty of overcoming racist arguments which posited Mpondo a priori as a guilty man must have become quickly evident. The prosecution lowered the trial to racist name-calling. For example, one witness for the prosecution, a representative of the Woermann Company, [The Woermann Company was a Hamburg firm that had a monopoly on shipping between Germany and the colonies. It had played a crucial role in the development of Duala-German trade relations in the nineteenth century.] testified that all "Niggers" (this is the actual term reported in the Fremdenblatt) were lying, lazy, disloyal and untrustworthy. A witness from the J. Braun firm also accused all "Niggers" of lying. [Mpondo reportedly stepped in at these times and asked the witnesses not to make such blanket generalizations.] The prosecution sought to elaborate on the prejudices of its witnesses. According to the prosecuting attorney, Mpondo had not worked since his arrival in Hamburg in 1902; he wasted his time in dance halls and courted women; and he made it a habit to live off of other people´s money, without the intention of ever paying them back.

After being read the charges against him, Mpondo was given time to reply. He used his time to outline the history of Duala-German relations up to 1905, beginning with the treaty signed between Duala notables and Gustav Nachtigal in 1884. He emphasized his noble title and lineage, particularly that of his father, and explained how and why English traders had given Duala merchants the titles "King" and "Prince." His right to the title, he explained, was generally recognized in Cameroon.

This response from the defendant transgressed a golden rule of Enlightenment legal practice - that the law be administered equitably regardless of status. Pointing out that aristocratic privilege should have no meaning to modern law, the judge apparently interjected at this point that for all he cared, Mpondo could be the "Emperor [Kaiser] of Africa," what was at issue in the court was whether or not Mpondo committed fraud both by accumulating debt and by using a noble title. Mpondo responded that he had not.

Mpondo was probably trying to address the stereotypes he knew existed in the courtroom by underscoring his noble heritage as means of establishing his credibility. Although it was necessary for the court to uphold the rhetoric of liberal universalism, Mpondo Akwa´s “difference” made his noble pedigree an important means of obtaining the status of human being which entitled him to equal treatment in the first place.[ For a detailed discussion of this legal problem, see: Uday S. Mehta. 1997. Liberal Strategies of Exclusion. In: Tensions of Empire: Colonial Cultures in a Bourgeois World. Berkeley: University of California Press, 59-86.] The emphasis on titles such as “Prince” and “King” in this context can be seen as a way of translating high status to a discursive system that constantly threatened to relegate all Africans to the position of, to quote Dr. Levi, "an insignificant little mayor of a small village."

As was discussed earlier, the terms “King” and ”Prince” can be seen as linguistic markers of a shared social space between European and Duala traders, and the product of an attempt to negotiate economic and political alliances during a time in which Duala notables controlled the coast. The question then becomes not - as it was in the trial - whether Mpondo was “in fact” a prince, but rather in what way he was a prince - what this meant in Douala, and what this could mean for Duala- German relations. In fact, one could argue that the whole intellectual architecture of the Akwa protest against the colonial administration of Cameroon is encapsulated within the convoluted issue of the meaning and legitimacy of their noble titles, inasmuch as within these titles lay a fundamental difference in the way Germans and Duala saw the meaning of German overlordship and the rights this accorded German administrators in Duala territory.[ This argument is outlined in my "Both African and German." For a different approach, see Leonhard Harding´s introduction in this volume.]

MPUNDU AKWA: The Case of the Prince from Cameroon, the Newly Discovered Speech for the Defense by Dr.M. Levi
Von Joeden-Forgey, Elisa & Levi, Dr. M. (Eds.)
Notes, bib, vii, 137pp, GERMANY. LIT VERLAG, 3825873544

 

Source:  | Hits: 25054 | Envoyer à des amis  ! | Imprimer ! | Réagir(0)

PLUS DE NOUVELLES


  Aimé CÉSAIRE (25 juin 1913 - jeudi 17 avril 2008)
( | 12.04.2008 | 19087 hits  | 0 R)

  Entretiens avec Aimé Césaire 2
( | 12.04.2008 | 18024 hits  | 0 R)

  Entretiens avec Aimé Césaire 3
( | 12.04.2008 | 17565 hits  | 0 R)

  Discours sur le Colonialisme de Aimé Césaire: Plaidoyer intemporel …contre la Domination et le Racisme
( | 07.04.2008 | 29439 hits  | 0 R)

  Meinrad Hebga : " Emancipation d`églises sous tutelle ou Essai sur l`ère post-missionnaire "
( | 06.04.2008 | 20590 hits  | 0 R)

  MAMI WATA: TRUE ORIGINS OF THE VODOUN RELIGION
( | 02.04.2008 | 24502 hits  | 0 R)

  AFRICOM et EUFOR : le quadrillage en douceur de l’Afrique
( | 02.04.2008 | 23644 hits  | 0 R)

  Religions et Spiritualité du monde Noir: Partie 1 : Catholicisme, Protestantisme et Islam
( | 01.04.2008 | 21729 hits  | 0 R)

  Religions et Spiritualité du monde Noir: Partie 2 : Vaudou, Candomblé, Santeria et syncrétisme religieux.
( | 01.04.2008 | 22018 hits  | 0 R)

  GRAND SAWA: Du bon usage de la SAWANITE
( | 16.03.2008 | 24239 hits  | 0 R)

  Mamy wata: arreter la déraison capitaliste qui tue la mer
( | 15.03.2008 | 18803 hits  | 0 R)

  Crise sociale : Le peuple camerounais révolté et les deux bourgeoisies
( | 15.03.2008 | 24003 hits  | 2 R)

  Emeutes au Cameroun: le rapport de l’ACAT Littoral et de la MDDH (à lire impérativement)
( | 11.03.2008 | 16468 hits  | 0 R)

  50 Years After Chinua Achebes "Things Fall Apart"
( | 09.03.2008 | 22767 hits  | 0 R)

  Nécrologie: Meinrad Hebga fut honoré de son vivant
( | 08.03.2008 | 27913 hits  | 1 R)

  EPEE MOUDIO - né le 25 avril 1934, décédé le 17 Mai 2006
( | 07.03.2008 | 30717 hits  | 0 R)

  What is behind the unrest in Cameroon?
( | 07.03.2008 | 16451 hits  | 0 R)

  Bilan des émeutes: plus d´une centaine de tués (d´après ACAT)
( | 02.03.2008 | 17579 hits  | 0 R)

  Yaounde Elite Declare Ethnic Cleansing
( | 02.03.2008 | 16138 hits  | 0 R)

  PENDA EKOKA interpelle les chefs SAWA….
( | 22.02.2008 | 30684 hits  | 2 R)

  Esclavagisme et racisme anti-Noir; Par Ambroise KOM
( | 17.02.2008 | 23164 hits  | 0 R)

  Hommage: Michel Kingue, Auteur–Compositeur–Interprète (1933 - 2007)
( | 10.02.2008 | 25159 hits  | 1 R)

  Succession Soppo Priso : Un empire de 1000 milliardrs Fcfa dans la brousaille
( | 07.02.2008 | 36313 hits  | 0 R)

  NSA´A du WOURI: ORIGINE, MIGRATION ET INSTALLATION
( | 02.02.2008 | 28903 hits  | 0 R)

  RAPPORT SUR LE MAQUIS OSENDE AFANA : Sud-Est Cameroun: 1er Septembre 1965 – 15 Mars 1966
( | 31.01.2008 | 31117 hits  | 1 R)

  Présentation de deux ouvrages : TETEE et NTÔÑ DISEE
( | 25.01.2008 | 27159 hits  | 1 R)

  1962, écrits prophétiques d’Ernest Ouandié: Citoyens libres ou esclaves?
( | 15.01.2008 | 21706 hits  | 0 R)

  Technology is the Root of All Evil - by Dr. Philip Emeagwali
( | 14.01.2008 | 23495 hits  | 0 R)

  Say No to AFRICOM - by Danny Glover
( | 14.01.2008 | 22707 hits  | 0 R)

  Nimele Bolo (version en ligne / Online version)
( | 08.01.2008 | 24548 hits  | 0 R)

  Sawa people on the move ...
( | 07.01.2008 | 29612 hits  | 0 R)

  Bebe Manga, Were-Were Liking Gnepo, Isnebo Fadah Kawtal et le Ballet national du Cameroun enflamment Kumasi
( | 07.01.2008 | 22765 hits  | 0 R)

  NKAM - Pierre Titi plaide pour le développement
( | 07.01.2008 | 21909 hits  | 0 R)

  Ambroise Mbia: Le festival mondial des arts nègres (Fesman)
( | 07.01.2008 | 19753 hits  | 0 R)

  LIVRE: Le Défi-Ecrins de vie de Ngand´a Kwa par Honoré Njimé
( | 07.01.2008 | 19351 hits  | 0 R)

  January 15, 1971- UPC Leader, Ernest Ouandie executed
( | 06.01.2008 | 28276 hits  | 0 R)

  Les LIONS dans la peau de l’ORYX en 1965
( | 06.01.2008 | 26112 hits  | 0 R)

  Sawa Mboa Report: News from an Afrocentric View
( | 06.01.2008 | 18650 hits  | 0 R)

  Mort de Antoine Logmo Nnyb. Décès de David Bernard Diwah Wondjamouna
( | 05.01.2008 | 24132 hits  | 0 R)

  CAN 2008, le Ghana et le Panafricanisme
( | 03.01.2008 | 22831 hits  | 0 R)

  André EYOUM EYOUM, wumse na mussango, na dube na di mende pete o jenene
( | 27.12.2007 | 25220 hits  | 0 R)

  Tom Yom’s est mort
( | 26.12.2007 | 23066 hits  | 0 R)

  Manu Dibango, Massao à "l´enfant prodige", de retour au Mboa.
( | 25.12.2007 | 18457 hits  | 0 R)

  Manu Dibango: Le cinquantenaire de musique du père du "Soul Makossa" célèbré au Cameroun
( | 14.12.2007 | 25914 hits  | 1 R)

  Francis Kinguè, îcone de la musique camerounaise. Manu aime les bonnes choses…
( | 12.12.2007 | 31808 hits  | 0 R)

  SAWANITE: Pr Njoh Mouelle ou le refus des usages compassés
( | 10.12.2007 | 22036 hits  | 0 R)

  Remember Simon Tchobang Tchoya "Tcho-Tcho"
( | 07.12.2007 | 27609 hits  | 0 R)

  François Doumbè Léa : Ex Lion Indomptable
( | 07.12.2007 | 25380 hits  | 0 R)

  Pourquoi le système éducatif occidental est inapproprié pour les enfants d’origine africaine
( | 05.12.2007 | 21092 hits  | 0 R)

  Ngondo 2007 prolongé au 08.Dec : Les Miengu recommandent l´unité Sawa
( | 03.12.2007 | 24823 hits  | 0 R)



   0 |  1 |  2 |  3 |  4 |  5 |  6 |  7 |  8 |  9 |  10 |  11 |  12 |  13 |  14 |  15 |      ... >|



Jumeaux Masao "Ngondo"

Remember Moamar Kadhafi

LIVING CHAINS OF COLONISATION






© Peuplesawa.com 2007 | WEB Technology : BN-iCOM by Biangue Networks