“Efeyo” : Inside The Bakweri Marriage Rite

Directed by Ivan Namme, the film carries massages of love, patience, understanding and respect while also highlighting the effects of lust and betrayal.

Recently presented to the public in Buea, Efeyo is a documentary film on how marriage is conceived and instituted by the Bakweri people in the South West Region. Directed by Ivan Namme and Palmer Mbua, these home-based directors put across the different procedures and steps that have to be followed until two families unite during negotiations to a marriage rite.

The documentary, Efeyo compares what actually obtains in the contemporary society where strangers or people who do not know much about each other or virtually nothing get married. And the disastrous consequences that such a union brings in the short run. The film shot in the Likoko Membea neighbourhood in Buea, as well as part of Buea town in the South West Region presents a chronology about traditional marriage in the Bakweri clan over an extensive period of time.  It begins with an engagement phase, followed by the investigative period. During this period, the bride’s family sort to research in-depth on the groom and his family- if there are hereditary issues and any other negative societal tags. When the investigation yields positive results, the woman’s family accepts the groom’s request and presents a list of demands. Thereafter, a bride price is debated and a symbolic pig presented. Then the couple can now happily marry.

Efeyo is a “vivid interplay of upheld tradition versus modernity…” In the film, Mejorki Mbella and Joso Ekosse are about getting married. They must follow the necessary Bakweri traditional procedures in order for their marriage to be approved and celebrated. Their respective families are supportive in their wish to get married. However, natural obstacles and other actions by human beings deter their hopes and aspirations. The actions and scheming of a jealous, unscrupulous village mate, Anastasia Limunga, make things difficult for them. Nonetheless, their love, steadfastness and the collective support of almost the entire village gave them triumph as good supersedes evil. The film, which is the latest in the Nam Productions, has a cast of local actors such as, Becky Takang, Glory Chandomokake, Ivan Namme, Wung Violet, amongst others.

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