Cameroon’s Vibrant Mankon Mask Dance and Mvet Music (In Basssa)   
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Today’s Enlightening Entertainment will be presented in Bassa, French and Mankon, with subtitles in Arabic, Aulacese (Vietnamese), Chinese, English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Mongolian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thai.

Greetings noble viewers and welcome to this edition of Enlightening Entertainment. Today, we set off on an expedition to Cameroon to enjoy the electrifying rhythms of a popular traditional dance called Mankon Mask Dance. We’ll also discover the enchanting musical instrument called the mvet.

The Mankon Mask dance has long been been an indispensable component of the culture of the North-West Region of Cameroon. As a cherished feature of the Mankon culture, the dance symbolizes unity, expresses respect for culture, and brings joy to people.

The dancers wear traditional attire particularly designed for the dance. They also put on masks portraying the faces of animals to express the Oneness of creation and to show that humans and animals should live in peace and harmony. The masks concealing the identity of the dancers also add to spectators’ excitement about who the dancers might be.

The instruments used in the Ngombo Mankon mask dance dance include xylophone, rattles, local trumpet, and tunephone, which is locally known as “gong.” One very peculiar aspect about the Ngombo Mankon mask dance dance is that it can be performed as a tribute to a very important person; in some cases, God.

African philosophy firmly believes that there must be a Supreme Being who is the Master of the universe and who can be viewed as the pioneering force of all creation. This great being is believed to be God. In Cameroonian tradition, God is often glorified through an exhibition of traditional dances and songs. Now, let’s enjoy a Ngombo Mankon mask dance performance, which accompanies the song titled, “God is the Master of the Universe.”

God is the Master of the universe
God is on Earth
God is in Heaven
God is everywhere

God is the Master of the universe
God is on Earth
God is in Heaven
God is everywhere

God is the Master of the universe
God is on Earth
God is in Heaven
God is the Master of the universe
God is in Heaven
God is on Earth

God is everywhere God is the Master of the universe

God is in Heaven

God is the Master of the universe

God is everywhere

Next, we are going to look at the mvet, an African traditional musical instrument. We are very honored to have Mr. Zicoco, the musician, storyteller, and instrument maker from Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon. He will introduce to us the mvet, the zither-like string instrument that can also be found in many other countries in Africa, such as Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Republic of Congo, and Central African Republic.

Good day Mr. Zicoco and welcome to Supreme Master Television.

Good day and thank you.

Please, can you introduce yourself to our viewers?

I’m called Zicoco; I’m a story-teller and comedian, a player of mvet, and maker of mvet at the same time.

Thanks a lot. Which materials is the mvet made with?

The mvet is made with branches of raphia (palm tree), calabashes (gourds), ropes, a trestle (frame) and rattan (palms). It’s regulated with the rattan. It’s regulated with that.

Where did you obtain this material?

It’s from the village, from the village, except for the wires. But before, the mvet was not made with wires, but the mvet was really traditional.

The mvet occupies the first place in our culture, because the mvet is the first instrument for the Ekans, Bantus, the Bulu people, Bamouns, Fangs, Betis, all that, the mvet occupies the first place.

Thank you. Can you tell us a bit about your uniform?

No problem. There, I’m dressed as a mvet player. I’ve got my necklace, which is made from the fruits of the village. This is maracas, this is bom, this is also bom, African traditional wear, thus from tree barks. And on my legs, I’ve got maracas, because it’s said that the mvet player is an orchestra man. Thus when I move, then we need to dance.

Right, this is the uniform of mvet players then?

Yes, this is the uniform of mvet players.

To become a mvet player, one must undergo a long period of intense training. Holding a very special position in African society, the mvet player performs as a storyteller delivering works from a rich repertoire of original tales.

Where did you learn how to play mvet?

I learned to play mvet in the village, and I also learned how to make mvets in the village. I thus exported myself to town, to render the mvet known around the world. I have been playing mvet for ten years and I have been making mvets for 15 years. Prior to a mvet spectacle, the mvet player can spend even nine days in the bush, and he must come with the spirits. He thus invites these spirits, which must accompany him during mvet spectacles.

Thank you. And on what occasions do you play?

We play mvet mostly to tell stories, during marriages and funerals.

There are many other traditional Cameroonian instruments that can be played with the mvet.

There is the drum, which also accompanies the mvet and which also invites people to come and watch the mvet in the village.

Come everyone Come everyone Come everyone And here, is the keng, it’s also an instrument which accompanies the mvet.

What is it made from?

It’s made from iron, from iron. You’re aware that Ekans are people of iron, the tribe of iron, Ekans.

And here, we’ve got the pygmy flutes which also accompany the mvet player.

Right, we have another instrument, the sanza. The sanza does not accompany the mvet, but since I’m a maker of traditional musical instruments, and I conduct research in traditional music, I’ve also made the sanza, which is there, really with bamboo, a calabash and wood. Here, it’s really typically traditional.

And you have small mvets. In manufacturing small mvets, big mevts, I also realized that we also needed mvets for children. Thus, we’ve got here small mvets, medium-sized mvets, mvets for everyone. Thus, it’s for that reason that I also made mvet for all sizes. Thank you.

Thanks very much.

Now, Mr. Zicoco will tell us a story about a boy named Biba Bifanna through his vibrant mvet performance. Please enjoy!

If I say thus, “Ayaya,” you respond thus, “Ya.” Ayaya, Ya. Ayaya, Ya. If I say “story,” you respond, “Tell.” Story, tell. And if I say thus, “Akilis kwan,” you respond, “Akwanlang.” Akilis kwan, Akwanlang. And if I say, “Asibi tondo be,” you simply Respond, “Ya.”

Asibi tondo be, Ya. Don’t forget, don’t forget don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t. Ayaya, Ya. Ehe. I will then tell the story of Biba Bifanna. So Biba Bifanna was a child who was wise, kind courageous and very very serious. But Biba Bifanna had a small flaw, like all living beings, you and me. Ayaya, Ya.

You’re aware that all humans have a small flaw. You have all the qualities, but a small flaw. Thus, Biba Bifanna had his small flaw in that he never ate vegetables. He eat solely meat. Ayaya, Ya.

For instance, hikok – Biba Bifanna never ate it. Quem, folon, bioglo, Biba Bifanna never ate them. Babi Bifanna ate only meat. Thus, his father, very angry, realized that Biba Bifanna was exterminating all the animals around him, called for him one good day.

“A Biba Bifanna.” “Papa.” Biba Bifanna oh, Papa. Come here! I hope you’re aware that the animals in the forest also have a right to live. Thus, as from now henceforth, the forest has been accursed. It’s forbidden to hunt in the forest. Ayaya, Ya. Ayaya, Ya

Story, tell. Story, tell. Biba Bifanna, since he was a kind child, and serious, he thus decided to obey the advice of his father. The fourth day, Biba Bifanna was very hungry.

In his room. Ayaya, Ya. Biba Bifanna was in his room, and did not eat since five days. Ayaya, Ya. Ayaya, Ya. Should we continue? Yes. Should we continue? Yes. Applaud firstly for yourselves.

Don’t forget, don’t forget don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t don’t forget, don’t forget who you are. Krireeeeee Ayaya, Ya. Since that day, Biba Bifanna became a vegetarian. He thus started fighting for the safeguard of animals and he does not eat animals anymore. Ayaya, Ya. Ayaya, Ya.

I’m about to leave. Okay, go. To say good day and to tell you goodbye, because I’m going already. They’re waiting for me, perhaps in À Mvog-bi or at Nkol Ndongo, I don’t know, or at Nkol Bisson. We thus say Happy New Year to all the viewers of Supreme Master Television. Happy New Year, Happy New Year, Happy New Year to all the Cameroonians.

Happy New Year to all the Africans, Happy New Year to all the Europeans, Happy New Year to all the Asians, Happy New Year to all Americans. Happy New Year, Happy New Year! Happy New Year, Happy New Year! Happy New Year to all the Cameroonians.

Happy New Year to all the Africans, Happy New Year to all the Asians, Happy New Year to all the Europeans, Happy New Year to all Americans. Happy New Year, Happy New Year! Happy New Year, Happy New Year! Happy New Year to all Americans. Happy New Year to all the Asians, Happy New Year to all the Chinese, Happy New Year to all the Koreans, Happy New Year to all the Cameroonians.

Happy New Year to all the Malians, Senegalese, Congolese. Happy New Year, Happy New Year! Happy New Year, Happy New Year! Happy New Year to all Americans. Happy New Year to all the Cameroonians, Happy New Year to all the Congolese, Happy New Year to all the Sudanese, Africans,Asians, Happy New Year!

This concludes our presentation featuring Cameroon’s Mankon mask dance and mvet music. Our appreciation, Mr. Zicoco, Cameroonian dancers and musicians, for sharing your talents with the world. May the colorful cultures of Cameroon be preserved and thrive for generations to come.

Cheerful viewers, we enjoyed your presence on today’s Enlightening Entertainment. Coming up next is Words of Wisdom, after Noteworthy News, here on Supreme Master Television. May we all walk in harmony to the Divine inner rhythm.

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