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Department location in Cameroon
Department location in Cameroon
Country Cameroon
ProvinceSouthwest Province
 • Total3,693 sq mi (9,565 km2)
 • TotalAbout 398,000
Time zoneUTC+1 (WAT)

Manyu is a department of Southwest Province in Cameroon. The division covers an area of 9,565 km² and as of 2009 had a total population of 398,000.[1]The capital of Manyu lies at Mamfe.


The division is divided administratively into 4 sub-divisions and in every sud-division there are villages.

  1. Akwaya
  2. Eyumojock
  3. Upper Bayang
  4. Mamfe Central

Basic Information

Archaeological artifacts point to the unquestionable evidence that humans have inhabited Republic of Cameroon, West Africa for at least fifty thousand years, and there is also, convincing evidence of the existence of important kingdoms, clans and nation states in more recent times. Of these, Manyu Division (formerly Ossidinge Division) in the Southwest Province of Cameroon in the hitherto Southern Cameroons is analogous to “Cameroon in miniature,” from a geographic, cultural and linguistic perspective.

Manyuland streams from the grassland (Savannah vegetation) and rolling hills in Obudu in Akwaya sub-division; stretches to the dense (Equatorial climate) Korup Forest Reserve in Eyumojock sub-division; climbs to the Mbio mountain in Upper Banyang sub-division; and descends into the great valley of the Manyu River and Ossidinge depression in Mamfe Central and Eyumojock sub-divisions respectively. Yearly average temperature meaders between 80-90 F. Temperatures can exceed 120 F during the Dry Season (February - April), and only fall during then Rainy Season, sometimes to 60 F.

Manyuland is the proverbial “Tower of Babel” linguistically. This is made manifest by the undeniable fact that, of the 279 living indigenous languages spoken in Cameroon, sixteen have the Manyu insignia boldly engraved on them. In other words, 6% of Cameroon languages are born in Manyuland.

Even after the infamous partition, and spread over 9,565 square kilometers; Manyuland still has the enviable distinction of the largest division west of the Mungo land-wise. Manyuland is bounded to the north by Menchum and Momo Divisions of the North West Province, and Lebialem Division; to the South by Kupe-Manenguba, Meme and Ndian Divisions. It shares the eastern corridor with both Littoral and Western Provinces; while Cross River State in the Federal Republic of Nigeria anchors the western frontier.

Count Eugen von Zintgraff was the first recorded European to set foot on Manyuland in July 1888 when he trvalled northwards from the station he had opened at Lake Barombi in Kumba to carry out reconnaissance for a further station which he was to site and open at Bali, in the highland country beyond the north-eastern borders of Banyang country. It was not until 1901-1902 that the first German civil administrative headquarters were established at (Agbokim) Ossidinge close to the Cross River (Manyu) in Eastern Ejagham country. In 1902, Count Puckler-Limburg became first Civil Administrator, assuming responsibility for a district corresponding broadly with what was later to become Manyu Division.

Due to lack of knowledge of the cultural cathedrals, norms and heavy handedness of the Germans on the indigenous population, Puckler was murdered in 1904 when traveling in Anyang country on the "overside" of the Manyu River. His murder sparked off a rebellion known as "Npaw Manku" war that engulfed Anyang, Boki, Eastern Ejagham, and Lower Banyang towns and villages. Dr. Alfred Mansfeld (affectionately called "Dr. Mamfe" by the inhabitants), the second Civil Administrator changed the administrative headquarters to their present site in Mamfe in 1909. Mansfeld remained in charge of the district until the defeat of the Germans in the Cameroons Campaign (1914-1916) when the administration of the district passed into British hands. In 1921, there were proposals to change the name of Ossidinge Division to Mamfe Division. The divisional name, by Decree Number 63/DF/250 of July 1968 later morphed from Cross River Division to present day Manyu Division after the Decree was modified on August 30th 1968.

Present day Manyuland with an estimated population of 398,000, is home to the Anyang, Banyang, Ekwe/Ekoi and Ejagham people. Manyu Division with four administrative sub-divisions; Akwaya, Eyumojock, Mamfe Central and Upper Banyang have maintained a long and proud social order through the means of subcultures (Ngbe/Ekpe, Mfam, Obasinjom, Angbu, etc.) with privileged membership, which held sway over political, economic, social and religious matters.

The western city of Mamfe continues to double as the Divisional headquarters and Sub-divisional headquarters for Mamfe Central. Akwaya is the Sub-divisional headquarters for Akwaya while the headquarters of Eyumojock and Upper Banyang are in Eyumojock and Tinto respectively.

Manyuland consists of chiefdoms. Each chiefdom may be considered as a hamlet, village, town or city. These chiefdoms are further sub-divided into quarters. These quarters are administered by quarter heads or sub-chiefs who themselves are answerable to the chief. The underlying principle of all Manyuland governmental processes is that coercive authority is directly or ultimately a function of the community acting corporately.

Religiosity in Manyuland is founded in rituals, ceremonies and festivals of the people. Shrines, sacred places, religious objects, art and symbols, myths and legends, music and dance, beliefs and customs, proverbs, riddles are a plethora of vehicles used in the acknowledgement of the existence of the Supreme Being. In as much as customs are not always religious, many contain religious ideas. Also, religion helps to strengthen and perpetrate some of the customs, and in turn, the customs do the same to religion.



The Manyu Elements Cultural Association Inc (MECA), Washington, DC metro chapter is a registered non-profit organization that unites the people of Manyu descent in the Washington, DC (USA) metropolitan area through its charitable activities.


MECA Germany is a Manyu cultural and non governmental organization with legal status in the federal republic of Germany. MECA Germany started as far back as 1996 in the city of Wuppertal, where some Manyu indigenes with wise thoughts, conceptualized that is better to live together in love, peace and harmony. Today, MECA Germany is proud to have 5 branches in Germany.


Our mission is to advance and nurture the cultural, intellectual, personal, social and economic development of Manyu citizens in the Americas. We work in close partnerships at all levels with other Manyu constituencies and stakeholders to incessantly develop services and programs thus creating a safe, inclusive, progressive and sustainable Manyu community.


NOMA is a nonprofit organization incorporated in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, with an IRS 501(c)(3) tax status granted

A number of organization carter for other needs of Manyu people without a need to promote the Manyu culture.


Many of us are familiar with the slogan: “Cameroon - Africa in Miniature”. This slogan is also true of Manyu Division. From a geographic and linguistic perspective one can safely say, “Manyu is Cameroon in Miniature”.

In terms of geography, Manyu Division starts from the grassland and rolling hills of Obudu in Akwaya sub division, stretches to the dense Equatorial rain forest (Korup Forest Reserve) in Eyumojock subdivision, rises to the Mbio hills (mountain) in Upper Banyang subdivision and descends into the great plains/valley of the Manyu River and Ossidinge depression in Mamfe Central and Eyumojock subdivisions respectively.

Linguistically, Manyu Division is a melting pot of Biblical proportions, a veritable tower of Babel. Of the 279 living indigenous languages spoken in Cameroon, 16 of them are indigenous to Manyu Division. In other words 6% of Cameroon languages are of Manyu origin. The following is a list of indigenous Manyu Languages:


Where Spoken: Akwaya Subdivision. BOKYI

Where Spoken: Along the Nigerian border northwest of Mamfe and Akwaya subdivisions. Also spoken in Cross River state of Nigeria. Alternate Names: Boki, Byoki, Nki, Uki, Nfua, Osikom, Osukam, Vaaneroki. Dialects: Basua, Boki, Iruan, Bashua, Baswo. CAKA

Where Spoken: Asaka, Basaka and Batanga villages in Akwaya Subdivision. Dialects: Assaka (Adzu Balaka), Batanga (Adzu Batanga).


Where Spoken: Central and southern parts of Akwaya subdivision and northern part of Mamfe Central subdivision. Partially in Takamanda Forest Reserve. Alternate Names: Anyang, Agnang, Anyan, Anyah, Eyan, Takamanda, Obonya, Nyang. Dialects: Basho, Bitieku, Takamanda, and Bajwo.


Where Spoken: The whole of Eyumojock subdivision and southern part of Mamfe Central subdivision. Also spoken in Cross River State of Nigeria. Alternate Names: Ejaham, Ekoi, Etung, Ekwe, Edjagam, Keaka, Kwa, Obang, Eeafeng, Ejagam. Dialects: Western Ejagham, Eastern Ejagham, Southern Ejagham (Ekin, Kwa, Qua, Aqua, Abakpa). EMAN

Where Spoken: Towns of Amayo, Amanavil, Akalabo and Akalam Gomo in Akwya Subdivision. Alternate Name: Emane, Dialects: Amayo, Amanavil (Aman, Amana, Amani, Elaka). EVANT

Where Spoken: Atolo and Matene 1 villages in Akwaya Subdivision. Alternate Names: Evand, Avand, Avande, Ovande, Ovand, Ovando, Balegete, Belegete. IPULO

Where Spoken: South East of Akwaya Subdivision. Alternate Names: Assumbo, Asumbo, Badzumbo. Dialects: Olulu, Tinta, Etongo. IYIVE

Where Spoken: Yive village, northeast of Akwaya on the Nigerian border. Also spoken in Cross River state of Nigeria. Alternate Names: Uive, Yiive. KENDEM

Where Spoken: Kendem and Bokwa villages east of Mamfe in Mamfe Central Subdivision. Alternate Name: Bokwa-Kendem. KENYANG

Where Spoken: Around and Southwest of Mamfe, Mamfe Central subdivision, Northeast of Eyumojock subdivision, Upper Banyang Subdivision, Eastern corner of Nguti subdivision. Alternate Names: Nyang, Bayangi, Banyang, Banyangi, Banjangi, Manyang. Dialects: Upper Kenyang, Lower Kenyang, Bakoni (Upper Balong, Northern Balong, Manyemen, Kicwe, Kitwii, twii, Manyeman).


The last thirty years have witnessed a revolution in our understanding of the origins of agriculture. What was once seen as a pattern of unilateral human exploitation of domesticated crops and animals has been described as a pattern of co-evolution and mutual domestication between human beings and their various domesticates.

Moreover, the adoption of agriculture was, by all accounts, the coalescence of a long, gradual series of distinctive and often independent behaviors. Techniques used by hunter-gatherers to increase food supplies, long before farming, included the use of fire to stimulate new growth; the protection of favorite plants; sowing seeds or parts of tubers without domestication; preparing soils; eliminating competitors; fertilizing; irrigation; concentration of plants; controlling growth circles; expansion of ranges; and ultimately domestication.  

By this definition, domestication means altering plants genetically to live in proximity to human settlements, enlarging desired parts, breeding out toxins, unpleasant tastes, and physical barriers to exploitation – in short. Getting plant to respond to human rather than natural selection.

In Manyu country, agriculture, which is primarily the main stay, could be said to be practiced on a two-pronged approach – subsistence and industrial. Categorization of farmers into one or the other categories may not be an easy sell. The demarcation line between subsistence and industrial agriculture, which at best, could be said to be blurred because most, if not all farmers, practice a combination of both, manifests this.

Even the eighty-year-old grand mother who grows umkpong (green vegetables) does not consume all of her produce. She either carries the excess to the local market for sale or displays it on a stall in front of her home where would-be-buyers stop by to make their purchase.

On the other hand, the last thirty years have also witnessed an explosion in large-scale agricultural production. Cash crops like cocoa, coffee, coconuts (tamagha), oranges (nsukuru), palms and palm produce, bush mangoes (nsenghe), egusi (nkwai), plantains (ekwa), banana (nsureh ekwa), etc are now produced in large-scale. The proceeds from these endeavors are used to solve a variety of problems like payment of tuition fees for students, building of permanent residential homes, improvement of quality of life, etc.



  1. "Departments of Cameroon". Statoids, obtained from Institut national de la statistique (Cameroun) - Annuaire statistique du Cameroun 2004. Retrieved April 6, 2009.

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