OCA-USA All the Presidents' Club
Since the inception of the Oroko Cultural Association (OCA-USA) in Atlanta, Georgia in September of 1997, five selfless and hardworking Orokos have ascended to the helm of the organization by democratic elections, after serving the organization at different tiers and meeting the requirement of the constitution. For posterity, I will like to present these hardworking Orokos who have served this organization and the Oroko people at the helm of OCA-USA; through its lifespan and how they work their way to the Presidency. Each of the five Presidents OCA-USA voted to office have served from his or her local chapter or ELECTED to serve at the National Level as stipulated in the supreme law of the organization, the constitution.
Tata Rev. Dr. Sam Esale (1997 - 1998 )
Tata Rev. Dr. Sam Esale, a native of the Dikome Balue village in Balue clan of the Oroko ethnic group is a founding member of the mother chapter (GA Chapter) and of the Oroko Cultural Association USA. He was the force behind the formation of OCA-USA, while President of OCA-GA which hosted the maiden National Convention in 1997. He was democratically elected as the pioneer President of OCA-USA and served for one year before taking a leave of absence from the Organization.
He hosted and chaired the first constitution committee meeting that drafted the first bylaw for OCA-USA. During his tenor, a lofty project known as the Oroko Marketing Board (OBM) was initiated but did not come to fruition after he took his leave of absence.
Tata Awanjo Felix (1998 - 1999 )
He is a progeny of Lipenja Batanga from the Batanga clan, long time member of OCA-GA, pioneer member of OCA-USA. He was Vice President and President of OCA-GA respectively before jumping into the void created by the leave of absence of the pioneer President and organizing his chapter to host the 1999 OCA-USA convention. He was democratically elected after a very hotly contested by-election which he won by a narrow one vote margin. He did all he could to see the Oroko Cultural and Resource center in Kumba – “Cameroon Go Operation.” It operated for over a year and was useful to both Oroko and Non-Oroko people before one of our own Oroko parliamentarians who as chairman of the Board of Directors of the center gave it up to the wind.
As a response to the many unanswered questions with regards to the then constitution of OCA-USA, a committee was created to revisit the constitution during his tenure of office, although he could not participate in the committee meetings due to his ill-health, he called by telephone to give his input. Tata Felix Awanjo resigned after a year in office due to health problems and as per the constitution, his Vice President, Tata Louis Etongwe continued to steer the affairs of the organization to complete his tenure.
Tata Louis Etongwe (1999 - 2005 )
He is a progeny of Masaka village in Mbonge Clan of the Oroko ethnic group.
He is one of the founding members of the Oroko Cultural Association - USA as well as the pioneer Secretary. Louis Etongwe is the only person in the history of OCA-USA, who held three executive positions consecutively. He served as the Vice President of OCA-USA and President respectively. As Secretary of OCA-USA, he fought head and toe, to rescue three Oroko girls who were trafficked into USA and used as house maids without attending school. His endeavor to rescue these Oroko girls became an international headline and appeared on cable news as well as the Times Magazine. He lost many of his Bangwa and Bamilike friends because the culprits were from these two tribes in Cameroon. At last the girls were freed and are able to work and help their relatives back home. It is very disheartening that the Oroko people are yet to recognize this illustrious son of theirs for what he did to those girls.
During his tenure of office, he was a crusader of the Oroko World Conference. He did his best to see how such a come together could hold so that Orokos in Diaspora and those in the Oroko homeland meet and craft a way forward for the good of the Oroko ethnic group to no avail. He invested his time and money to see that the Oroko Cultural and Resource Center which was initiated in tata Felix Awanjo’s tenure continued to operate for the good of the people. He is the most traveled President and member of OCA-USA at the service of his people. Under the chairmanship of Tata Louis Etongwe, the board of director was able to craft what we call our constitution today. He fought hard to see OCA-USA incorporated a 501C organization.
Tata Fred Bebe (2005 -2009)
He is a progeny of Banga Bakundu (the gate-way to the Oroko Nation) in Bakundu Clan. He is a founding member of OCA-USA, founding member of the Natural Resources and Development committee and Vice Chair of the committee. He served as Secretary General of OCA-USA for five consecutive years and was then voted to the helm of OCA-USA.
During his tenure, the list system of electing people to office was tabled and it was agreed to be accepted on a trial basis. He worked tirelessly to encourage Oroko to support the Oroko language project going on in Orokoland. He was given a traditional title by the Paramount Chief, His Highness Chief Itoh of Ekondo-titi, for the work he has being doing for Oroko people.
Iya Dr. Mercy Mabian (2009 - 2013 )
She is a progeny of Dikome Balue village in the Balue Clan. She became the President of OCA-GA chapter by virtue of a clause in the Georgia Constitution and was unanimously voted into office after she qualified by virtue of the fact that, she was then the only member who was in full financial compliance and had completed her dues. Per the Constitution, only members with such a record could stand for election or run for any office.
Democratically elected, she served two terms (4 years) as the President of OCA-GA. She runs an organization called Angels for Oroko children and has been able to sponsor over seventy Oroko children in several Oroko villages. She was later elected the Vice President of OCA-USA. Iya Dr. Mercy Mabian was elected National President in 2009 and is the first ever elected lady National President of OCA-USA with 80% of feminine Executive Members.
During her almost two years in office, her leadership has successfully carried out Pen, Pencil, and Raincoat projects, and a Book Project entitled “Books for Knowledge and Empowerment.” She started the life Insurance coverage to OCA-USA which the GA Chapter members are benefiting and negotiating with the other chapters to receive coverage and eliminate the $100/$25 paid in the case of the death of a registered member. In early 2012, her administration shipped a 40 foot container of Medical Supplies and equipment to furnish hospitals and health care centers in Orokoland. She is working on Maternity Ward Supplies and equipment to equip maternity wards in Oroko villages. In addition to these, her administration is currently working on a School Lunch Program for the students living and attending schools in the villages, and providing soccer jerseys, nursery uniforms, and dresses, shoes, and handbags to the Oroko school communities.
Prince Ferdinand Mediko (2013 - 2017 )
Dr. Clementine E. Nanje (2017 - Present )
During the fiscal year 2017 to 2018, the Oroko Cutural Association U.S.A headed by our National President Iya Dr. Clementine Ebenye Nanje has made strides to put Oroko U.S.A in the right direction. The Nanje Administration has made a number of achievements that will pave the way for a stronger and a more functioning organization. Some of the achievements include the creation of a 501(C)(3) which helps to give our association a status of recognition as a non-profit organization which is exempted from Federal Income Tax here in the United States and also the opportunity to raise funds through donor organizations for humanitarian purposes.
Considering the sociopolitical crisis in Cameroon and Oroko land in particular, the Nanje Administration has also created a humanitarian assistance committee which will be in charge of the humanitarian assistance program, aimed at addressing the current crisis in Oroko land. It should be noted that, Oroko land remains one of the most affected areas in the Anglophone region with villages being burnt, homes being decimated and people being displaced. The humanitarian assistance program however, consists of two phases. These include the fundraising phase and the implementation phase. I will also like to draw attention at this point that, the Nanje Administration is now working on the fundraising phase; meanwhile the members of the Human Assistance Committee are currently carrying out investigation and research on how this program will be implemented when the funds are raised.
Also, in line with the creation of the Humanitarian Assistance Committee, the Nanje Administration has also created an extra arm within Oroko U.S.A known as think-tank, whose aim is to provide advice and expertise on the projects that will be carried out in Oroko land. This think-tank committee comprises of Ex-Presidents and other prominent members of Oroko U.S.A.
Also the Nanje Administration has created a seal to serve as an administrative symbol on all Oroko U.S.A administrative documents, which will be handed down from one administration to another.
The Nanje Administration has also introduced a National Uniform that will be used in our National Convention. However, it should be noted that due to some constraints the National Uniform will not be available for the 2018 National Convention hosted by the Chicago Chapter.
Last but not the least, the Nanje Administration has taken the initiative of bringing Orokans across the globe to close environment by Creating a Global Whatsapp forum which is aimed at sensitizing the Oroko public on Social, Economic, Political and Technological aspects through sharing of information and ideas.
However, we should also be mindful of the fact that, in spite of the achievements we have gotten thus far, there has also being some challenges. One of our main challenges has being the issue of raising funds for the Humanitarian Assistance Program. It was agreed that a GoFundMe link will be created under the auspices of Oroko U.S.A to help raise funds for our Humanitarian Assistance Program, but for more than eight months since this link was created we have not being able to meet our goal.
The Nanje Administration also want to bring to our attention that, within the last few months, Oroko U.S.A has being face with death of relatives of this great Organization, and we will like to seize this opportunity to extend our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families.
Thank you, God Bless you and God Bless Oroko land.